Program launched businesses of eight high school students in Brickell area
Miami, Oct. 8, 2021 – Miami Dade College (MDC) has partnered to host a ceremony for the winner of The Underline’s Budding Entrepreneurs program, which facilitated eight teen created businesses in the Brickell Backyard, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Brickell Metrorail station. MDC collaborated with The Underline, who partnered with the Children’s Trust and the Beacon Council, to receive an $80,000 Innovation Grant from The Children’s Trust to foster innovation among high school students.
The winner, Delfina Incani, a junior at Law Enforcement Officers Memorial High School, will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Inspired by all the pollinators in The Underline, Incani created Bird Box, a small business inviting children to explore their creativity and connect with nature through the assembly of birdhouses. She plans to find new outdoor locations for Bird Box and create an online store.
“When we were in quarantine, there was so much use of technology, and we needed something creative to do,” Incani said. “Bird Box was the perfect idea to help both the environment and kids.”
Students in the program took a 16-week entrepreneurial class and then competed in a Shark Tank-style presentation to be selected as one of eight startups to kick-off their new business in the Brickell neighborhood this past June. The Budding Entrepreneur program established a formative foundation for innovation, engagement and collaboration for high school students in underserved schools. Participating students had a powerful platform to test and apply their creative vision and business concepts in the real world.
The program debuted in a small business incubator kiosk on The Underline near the Brickell Metrorail Station. The urban location has heavy foot traffic from the more than 1.9 million patrons who transit through the area, plus neighboring residents and numerous businesses.
About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others. MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences. It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs. MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system. MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit www.mdc.edu.
About Budding Entrepreneurs
Participants are selected through Miami-Dade College’s Dual Enrollment program and in most cases are rising high school juniors and seniors participating in a summer internship. Miami-Dade College Wolfson campus targets high school campuses within their feeder pattern, particularly those that serve low-income populations, including: Booker T. Washington Senior High School, Miami Jackson Senior High School, Miami Edison Senior High School, Miami Springs Senior High School, and Coral Gables Senior High School. Entrepreneurs begin the program with an entrepreneurship class in February, which enables them to address the start-to-finish creation and publication of a business plan framework. These students will be guided by Professors Desouvre, Recio and Hortensi. In addition, members of the Beacon Council, business leaders, and college students will serve as mentors to the teens throughout the creation of their business plans. The winning/selected businesses will be launched Summer 2021 after students complete their business plans and the 10 top proposals are awarded grant funds for supplies.
About The Children’s Trust
The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.
About The Underline
The Underline is a planned 10-mile urban trail, linear neighborhood park and public art destination that will span from the Miami River, north of Brickell Metrorail station, to Dadeland South. The Underline project will feature dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, amenities, art, programming, lighting, native vegetation, as well as safety features and improvements at road crossings. The Underline will be built in phases, the first of which will begin in the Brickell area. For more information, visit www.theunderline.org and/and @theunderlinemia on social media.