Want to learn or refine your entrepreneur, leadership, and business skills? Want to work directly with established and serial entrepreneurs, serial startup founders, and business leaders?
Whether or not you have a business idea, the Y2 Entrepreneur Conference will offer you opportunities to work with mentors and coaches who have run their own businesses for years. You will participate in 3 workshops (design thinking, building an investor pitch presentation, effective public speaking) delivered by business leaders who provide this expertise to other businesses. You will meet many like-minded high-school students who want to experience what it's like building a creative idea in "the real world."
And, if you're curious to start a business, keep in mind that so far, 2 teams from Y2 have gone on to earn $5500 in seed funding.
Here is what's going to happen
The conference is broken into 2 consecutive Saturdays, February 25 and March 4. On February 25, you'll have time to think of one (or more) business ideas addressing any of sustainable planet, youth mental health, or financial literacy - mentors will be around for you to evolve your idea. Then, you'll have the chance to pitch your idea to the participants. Everyone will vote on their favs, and the shortlisted ideas will be what the conference focuses on from that point forward.
You'll form teams, and each team will be assigned a coach to help you evolve your idea. You'll participate in several mini-workshops around design thinking, have time to work, then learn about building a pitch presentation for investors.
Did we mention we're bringing top-notch food? You'll be fed amazing food - past Y2 conferences have featured lobster mac and cheese, buttermilk fried chicken, and 4-cheese mac and cheese (as well as delicious Halal and vegetarian options).
Back to the program - on March 4, you'll learn from a professional speaker about effective public speaking, have time to rehearse, then present your pitch to a panel of established entrepreneurs (and maybe an angel investor or two).
The 2 winning teams will be treated to dinners with a serial entrepreneur or senior technology leader. Ask your families - many adults don't have opportunities to sit down with business leaders like this!
Meet the Volunteers
32 entrepreneurs and professionals have volunteered to support you as coaches, mentors, speakers, judges, and prizes. The list of the volunteers is below, and you can read their bios here.
Can we see what's happened before?
Over the past conferences, participants have come from across York Region and the GTA, as well as from as far away as Oakville, Guelph and London (Ontario)! And there have been more than 60 volunteer entrepreneurs acting as coaches, mentors, judges, speakers, or facilitators - and they're from across York Region and the GTA.
Y2 brings together the combination of formal learning and mentorship from real entrepreneurs, in a safe environment focused on giving you meaningful learning opportunities. Hope to see you at Y2!