I just got back from my first official class of BUS 492 – Social Venture Accelerator and I loooooove it already! Since I missed the first week, my professor, Shawn Smith, told me to send in a 90-second introduction video about myself for the whole class to see.
Being constantly on the go during my trip gave me no time to produce something of quality. Here was the result:
As you can see, there wasn’t a lot of useful content in that video. Oh well, now the class knows that I know how to use an escalator…
So what exactly is the Social Venture Accelerator?
The Social Venture Accelerator is a 6-week intersession class that provides students with mentors, resources, and opportunities to help launch their own venture. I have always seen myself as someone who is eager to change the world but never knew how to do it.
Being in this class gives me the opportunity to learn about social entrepreneurship and help me create an idea that can potentially do big things. Currently, my partner, Madhav, and I are working on an alternative educational model for high school students. (Check out our first blog to learn more.) In our venture, we hope to change the mindset of students and disrupt the current education system. We want to give them the opportunity to learn things they actually want to learn and not things they are forced to learn. We know we have a long way to go but that is our goal for now!
In today’s class, all 6 ventures pitched their idea to the class through an 8-minute presentation. It was great to see many of my classmates talk about their venture and why they started it so that got me even more excited to present. To be honest, I’m not great at public speaking. I’ve done some case competitions here and there and have experience speaking in front of many people but public speaking is still not my strongest skill. Although I absolutely love being in front of the crowd (how contradicting…), I do get nervous at times and today my right leg couldn’t stop shaking! My goal by the end of this class is to confidently pitch my venture without having my heart race like a wild horse. There ya have it… now you must keep me accountable for that goal!
On another note, we got to meet our mentor today! Our mentor’s name is Kurt and he currently works at Accenture in their Global Strategy department. It was fun listening to his travel and work stories – going to Africa and Toronto and everywhere else! He has a lot of experience in the consulting and finance field so we look forward to having him destroy… err… I mean help us validate our idea. This class got myself and my partner so riled up that we talked about how to make it better during our 40-minute skytrain ride home!
Can’t wait to do MORE! It’s been an exciting day but I know it will just keep getting better from here!