Want to Help Create the Next GoPro, Twitter or LinkedIn?

How BUILD is shaping the next generation of NYC entrepreneurs

August 18, 2016 9:00 am

Not to butter you up, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably very successful at what you do.

Which makes you an incredibly valuable resource. Time to use those resources to do some real good.

We suggest working with BUILD.

An innovative college preparatory program that helps high school students launch their own businesses, BUILD is the perfect place for successful New York professionals to pass along their vast expertise and provide guidance to the next generation of great entrepreneurs.

Their (unofficial) mantra: “You don’t have to be a venture capitalist to invest in the future.”

Targeting youth in under-resourced communities, BUILD connects high school students with like-minded professionals, who help the teens “take ideas and turn them into reality.”

Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro, is a fan. “If there had been a BUILD class during high school, that would have been my favorite class,” he says. Woodman is just one of the several bigwig CEOs and entrepreneurs backing the cause, which includes leaders from Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

And the program works: currently, BUILD serves hundreds of students and has already helped create more than 100 business plans. The students who participate go on to great things: 98% of these students get accepted to college (compare that to the national rates). The businesses the students have come up with are stuff you could use, too: shoe cleaning kits, duct tape wallets, customized apparel, organic lip balm and creative phone case designs are a few recent examples.

Mentors are usually placed with four or five students, and a typical mentorship would take place in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx, requiring about one to two hours per week from September through May (with winter and spring breaks).

Want to help? Fill out an online application here. After that, you’ll have a 20-30 minute phone call with a BUILD team member, get a reference and background check, and then take a two-and-a-half-hour training session.

Small commitment, big rewards.

Kind of the perfect investment.

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