By Greg Frazier
Palo Alto Daily News, Calif.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “YIBI”, or Youth International Business Initiative, is a nonprofit formed by a Livermore teen. It seeks to promote youth involvement in business worldwide. At a recent YIBI pitch competition, a group of young people won first place with an app thats lets users look at what families near them are having for dinner and order a portion by take-out or dine-in.
Palo Alto Daily News, Calif.
A business pitch by a group of Palo Alto students won the grand prize at the 2017 YIBI International Grand Conference held Sept. 17 at Sofia University in Palo Alto.
Phil Han, Charles Huang, Annie Ma, George Wang, Amy Zhang and Thomas Zhu combined to present an idea for an app called Homemade, which allows people to become chefs by offering fresh, delicious and homemade food to anyone who craves it.
The platform lets users look at what families near them are having for dinner and order a portion by take-out or dine-in.
They made their business pitch to a panel of venture capitalist judges, demonstrating their understanding of marketing, financials and management.
“The YIBI Grand Conference was an extremely rewarding experience because of the enormous effort and countless hours every individual in our team put into making it a success,” Ma, co-CEO of the winning team, wrote in an email. “We faced many challenges, such as team members’ lack of public speaking experience, but we aimed for perfection and worked hard to overcome them.
“This competition taught me so much about business, teamwork, and leadership, and I look forward to returning and learning more.”
What helped make the Homemade presentation stand out among so many creative ideas, Ma said, was “the power of public speaking and perceptual dominance.”
“People sometimes tend to underestimate the importance of these skills, so I made sure to place special emphasis on volume, body language, cohesion, and memorization during rehearsals,” she wrote. “At the end of the day, the nitty-gritty details of the Powerpoint are forgotten, but the impressions the presenters give to the audience are not. I am sure that the confidence of our team from innumerable run-throughs and their preparedness to answer the judges’ difficult questions played a huge role in our success.”
YIBI, or Youth International Business Initiative, is a nonprofit formed by a Livermore teen. It seeks to promote youth involvement in business worldwide.
About 50 selected high school students from around California and China competed in the annual event after winning their local semifinals. A total of about 150 high school students (YIBI members) attended the conference.
The students worked for months creating and perfecting their business pitches, which they delivered to the judges and a live audience. They produced everything from mobile apps to air filters to clothing and services.
YIBI members took part in business classes and created startup companies, with business professionals teaching courses in the morning and YIBI officers mentoring them in the afternoon.
Second place was given to two teams: Automedic, a needle-less injection as a vital monitoring device targeted to those with coronary heart disease; and Refresh, a company that sells past-sell-by-date food that would otherwise be thrown out.
Third place went to team Adstract, which used a router-based platform to promote cheap, fast advertising tailored to your person, and team Poliglot, a social media platform that connected those who speak a target language, allowing both individuals to learn from each other.
First-place winners received $400, second place $200 and third place $100. In addition, sponsors gave out their own awards to teams of their choice.
Livermore’s Erika Yang founded YIBI in 2014 as a high school freshman to foster youth entrepreneurship and provide opportunities to students wanting to learn more about leadership and business.
“I saw that many people were interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own business, but had no idea where to start,” Yang said. “The financial aspects of a business alone daunted many young students and steered them away from pursuing their dreams and potentially starting a business that could change the world.”
YIBI has expanded to 15 branches across the United States as well as in Zimbabwe, Singapore, Japan and China.