Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs: Comcast Business and Junior Achievement – Week 2

November 30, 2015

This is the second in a series on Comcast Business work with Junior Achievement. For a look at the previous article, click here.

As co-chair of this year’s Junior Achievement Company Program at Comcast, and a repeat participant in the program, I have the distinct pleasure of working with a talented and committed group of Comcast volunteers to introduce a diverse group of students from throughout the Delaware Valley to the essential elements of building a practical business.

Together, we teach students about the many elements that go into building a successful business, including product development, financing, marketing and advertising—encouraging them to work collaboratively and think critically along the way.

In our first week, we introduced students to the program; this week, we started getting down to business. The focus of this session was how to identify a product need. We encouraged students to think about new ideas, as well as how to improve on existing products or services. Suggestions ranged from sun-powered cellular devices to an app that allowed parents to track their children’s location. As we worked through this first round of brainstorming, we encouraged students to think about practical reality. For example, we asked them if any of them had the coding skills to create an application. (The answer - no!)

What struck me as we went through this process is just how much us mentors have forgotten about business compared to what these students need to learn. It’s a healthy reminder for us to bring it back to the fundamentals whenever we’re stuck on a problem.

We also focused on getting the students comfortable with our online collaboration system so they can work together and stay informed between our weekly meetings. Not all of our students had access to a computer, so we worked with the Comcast Internet Essentials team to provide devices to those that didn’t. It was great to be able to leverage that resource.

Next week, we’ll focus on vetting the initial ideas (and any new ones) the students brainstormed for real-world viability through market research.

JA image (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

Read Week 3

Together, we teach students about the many elements that go into building a successful business.

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