Y4Y

The winning ideas range from sleeping mats to bath products

Nothing will make you regretful about the past (and hopeful for the future) quite like seeing the winners of Face of Today’s inaugural Youth Startup Challenge.

At the same age that you were trading Pokemon cards and slowly expanding your palate to include sushi, these young British Columbians have already established legitimate businesses, with each winner (six from grades 7-12) receiving $1,000 to put toward building their startup.

Earlier today, Dragons’ Den judge Jim Treliving congratulated the winners virtually.

“We know students have been at home, and may feel isolated and uncertain about what is to come,” says Face of Today founder Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf. “We wanted to provide students with the opportunity to be innovative and create meaningful solutions for their communities within these challenging times.”

Here’s some background on the winning ventures.

Grade 7 winner: Kailani Austin for Kailani’s Salta Essentials, a Vancouver homemade bath products supplier.

Grade 9 winners: Claudia Thompson’s Find Your Hobby, an online tool for seeking a custom hobby to keep busy at home during COVID-19; and Paige Cheng for Stick Together, which provides mobile hotspot sticks or mobile hotspot hubs for families and/or students who have financial challenges accessing the Internet.

Grade 10 winner: Eva Yueng for LetterHelp, a peer-to-peer digital letter system that helps people interact with each other around the globe.

Grade 11 winner: Bri Jackson’s Plarn Sleeping Mats, which uses recycled plastic bags to make sleeping mats for the vulnerable.

Grade 12 winner: ProjectY4Y, a digital resource hub led by Kabir Hundal and comprised of 15 other students from University Hill Secondary and Kitsilano Secondary School. It's intended to connect youth with allies who can support their mental health.

But hey, hopefully that limited edition Charizard came in handy down the road.

Face of Today’s next submission project is what it’s calling a Self-Investment Scholarship. Two multiyear $5,000 scholarships are available for youth about to enter or currently in post-secondary who submit an essay by August 4 on how they’ve invested in their mental health during this time of crisis. 

Register here