M.L. King student wins new Dell Laptop to start his own business through Student Ventures Pitch Competition

Latoya Collins-Jones, Dell Small Business Sales Enablement Advisor, was Skyped into the classroom

Sharrieff Muhammad, Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School junior, learned on Thursday, December 6, 2012 that he is the winner of a new Dell Inspiron Duo Windows 8 Tablet PC.

Even more awe-inspiring, Latoya Collins-Jones, Dell Small Business Sales Enablement Advisor, joined the presentation via Skype prior to Muhammad being presented with the popular tablet/laptop duo in his King High School classroom to help start his own business.

“I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Muhammad while holding the new laptop. “This is so cool. I’m really happy. It’ll really help me with my homework.”

And, with starting his new business.

After participating in the Student Ventures Startup Day + Tech Boot Camp on October 23, 2012, co-hosted by Brand Camp University and DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program), Muhammad submitted a video for the Student Ventures Pitch Competition.

The competition is sponsored by Brand Camp University, DAPCEP, Dell and UAW-GM.  Brand Camp University partnered with DAPCEP for the program to target 100-plus students from Detroit Public Schools and charter schools free of charge.

Each student who participated in the Student Ventures Startup Day + Tech Boot Camp was eligible to submit video pitches for the competition, which aims to get students more comfortable with the idea of communicating their ideas in an elevator-pitch style format.

Within the video pitch, students were required to discuss what they are passionate about, why they should win the Dell laptop, what they would do with the laptop, and a Business/Tech Idea they would like to work on.

“The reason that I launched Student Ventures is to expose African-American students and other unrepresented students to the opportunities in the start-up and technology space in Detroit and other cities,” said Hajj E. Flemings, Founder of Student Ventures and CEO/Founder of Brand Camp University.

In addition to winning the new laptop, Muhammad will also get to work with representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations to develop his own technology business through Student Ventures.

In his pitch, Muhammad stated he would like to pursue a career in computer programming at Compuware. The video pitch showcased an Entrepreneurship Website, created by Muhammad through weebly.com during his webpage design course at King under teacher Silas Williams.

Muhammad’s future company, MCFixing, where he fixes laptops, iPads, cracked iPhone screens and other Apple products are featured in the video pitch. His multi-media website also features games, photographs and the young entrepreneur’s future goals. To view Muhammad’s video pitch, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL-2dQKjaFA.

“Increasingly, tech entrepreneurship and start-up opportunities are becoming more prevalent in the metropolitan Detroit community,” said Jason D. Lee, Executive Director of DAPCEP. “When presented with the opportunity to work with Student Ventures on exposing students to the world of start-up, we felt it was critical that students and partners affiliated with DAPCEP have an opportunity to participate. Detroit Public Schools is clearly DAPCEP’s largest K-12 partner, and the level of participation was encouraging.”

About Student Ventures

Student Ventures is a program designed to address the technology gap that exists between underrepresented groups and mainstream America. The program focuses on STEM education, coding, and entrepreneurship for high school students in Detroit. The mission of Student Ventures is to help develop a technological problem-solving mindset in middle and high school students in economically depressed areas. The program’s long-term outcomes are:  (1) increasing the number of tech start-up entrepreneurs, (2) diversify the tech industry, (3) increase the number college-bound youth in technology, and (4) take students to Silicon Valley to experience the startup culture.

About Brand Camp University

Brand Camp University, a Michigan-based branding, entrepreneurship and technology company, runs a national conference series in Detroit, Boston and NYC and is now expanding to reach students about the opportunities in the technology and entrepreneurial space with its Student Ventures program. The first initiative of the Student Ventures project was launching the Student Ventures Startup Day + Tech Boot Camp in Detroit on October 23, 2012 as a follow-up to Brand Camp University’s CNN Black In America four-panel discussion last year that attracted 200 students. The Student Ventures Startup Day + Tech Boot Camp program was conducted as a pilot to validate the interest for this type of programming in the City of Detroit.
Source: www.brandcampu.com

About DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program)

DAPCEP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides both in-school and out-of-school educational experiences to over 4,000 youth per year in the Detroit area. DAPCEP students are between the ages of 5 and 18 and are in grades K-12. Generating excitement about STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) at a young age and increasing academic capacity is the key to growing the number of students who pursue STEMM degrees in college and ultimately fill the talent pipeline for Metropolitan Detroit and the nation.
Source: www.dapcep.org

About Detroit Public Schools STEM Programs

Detroit Public Schools is creating Centers of Excellence at the district’s 100 schools with the goal of educating students to perform at the highest academic levels. DPS offers a wide variety of educational advantages to students and parents including Individualized Learning Maps for all students and Academic Blueprints for all parents. DPS emphasizes the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects to strengthen its overall academic curriculum. All students in grades 6-12 have access to Netbook computers, and students in grades 8-12 enjoy take-home Netbooks. DPS also works with DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program) at the secondary level (grades 6-12). DAPCEP operates middle school-level programs in over 20 DPS schools. To learn more about Detroit Public Schools, visit www.detroitk12.org or call 313-240-4DPS.

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