Young entrepreneurs are an important part of the startup ecosystem and The Nest I/O has always initiated projects that support and promote young entrepreneurs in the local community. Summer Bootcamp is one such program. This year, the bootcamp kicked off on May 23, which was also the first week of Ramzan. A total of 28 kids we shortlisted out of 80 based on what they had written in their application form. The age bracket this year was 11-16 with the exception of the very talented Iman Danish, who is a 7 year old entrepreneur selling arts and crafts materials online.
The first week focused mostly on ice-breaking, team building, and getting to know each other. Some of the sessions conducted initially covered topics like team building, social media interactions, and art therapy. The sessions did not only help the children know each other, but also created self-awareness.
In the second week, the focus shifted more toward critical thinking, creative expression, visual storytelling, design thinking and introduction to technical skills such as developing solar panel houses, robotics, and 3D printing. Even though most of the kids were fasting, the energy level consistently went up from day 1. Not only did the kids were on time everyday, they were often reluctant to leave after the sessions were over 3 hours later because they were so thrilled to be a part of the creative environment where they could truly express their ideas and be themselves.
The last week was dedicated entirely entrepreneurship, communicating ideas, and pitching. During this time, the kids learned how to think like an entrepreneur and design a business model. They were given the task of developing and pitching a business idea to the judges on the last day of the bootcamp. Though they were only given a couple of days to work on their ideas, the final day pitches surpassed everyone’s expectations. From personal flight device to water and electricity conservation through an app – the kids had a solution for every problem. Some kids wanted to improve the environment and health while others wanted to improve the standard of living through tech and innovation.
“It’s very important to introduce children to the concept of entrepreneurship at an early age and help them become a part of the startup ecosystem from the very beginning. We initiated the summer nestling program for this very reason 3 years back and it still remains very close to my heart. Each year these children teach us more than we teach them and remind us that some of the most complicated problems have the simplest solutions and to never stop thinking out of the box. Summer bootcamp is something I really look forward to each year and will continue to support it in future” commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and The Nest I/O.
The Nest I/O Summer Bootcamp 2018 ended on June 6 on a high note as the kids left not just with a great learning experience but also with the inspiration to dream big because nothing is impossible. Many expressed their desire to further work on the ideas presented on the final pitch day while others decided to think out of the box solutions for their everyday problem.