Anthony Driver, a senior at Chicago International Charter School – Ralph Ellison Campus, was recently crowned the 2011 Future Founders Citywide Business Plan Champion at the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC)’s Future Founders competition on May 4, 2011.
Driver’s business concept, known as “Charge ‘N’ Go,” places electronic recharging stations throughout the city to ensure that consumers’ mobile devices can stay charged on the go. Charge ‘N’ Go comes at a unique time when more people are using mobile devices than ever before and the power needs for those devices also continues to grow.
“Future Founders inspires students to create scalable business concepts like Charge ‘N’ Go and consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option,” said Scott Issen, Managing Director of the CEC. “The program provides the mentoring and guidance students need to succeed as entrepreneurs today and in the future.”
Competition judges selected Driver the overall champion from three category winners (see below) focused on technology, products and services. Student finalists presented their business concepts in front of 300 guests consisting of students, family members, entrepreneurs, and business leaders at the Hard Rock Café Chicago. The competition was the culmination of a year-long program during which 200 students from seven South Side Chicago high schools received insight on creating and running businesses of their own from 125 of the city’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The CEC awarded more than $25,000 in prizes, including $10,000 in scholarships to the Future Founders Academy, an entrepreneurship camp that will take place in June. Prizes included college scholarships, laptops, Microsoft-branded accessories, and a personal shopping experience to provide the winner with a new business wardrobe.
2011 Future Founders Citywide Business Plan Champion & Technology Category Winner:
Anthony Driver (Senior,Chicago International Charter School – Ralph Ellison Campus), whose “Charge ‘N’ Go” concept uses an electronic device to charge everyday consumer electronics in various places.
Product Category Winner:
Karalyn Kelley (Junior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy), whose “Food Girl” concept focuses on preparing and delivering homemade, healthy and organic lunches for high school students.
Service Category Winner:
Michael Padilla (Freshman, EPIC Academy), whose “Off the Map Tutoring” concept offers tutoring to students struggling with various academic subjects. Padilla is the first freshman to win in the competition finals.
Sponsored by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, Motorola Mobility Foundation, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Harris Bank, Smart Bet Charity, Microsoft and CME Group Foundation, in partnership with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the CEC’s Future Founders program consists of mentoring and specialized activities which give students the opportunity to learn the public speaking, presentation, technology, and financial literacy skills needed to create and grow a business.
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