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VIDEO: Langley students put their entrepreneurial skills to the test

IDEA Summit has students create products and doing all phases from concept to marketing
About 100 students sold products they made and about 3,500 students toured through the IDEA Summit on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Raavee Singh has a budding entrepreneur in the family after her son, Arnav, discovered a penchant for business.

The Grade 5 student at Donna Gabriel Elementary was selling Key Buddies, key holder plaques that were among the diverse array of student-made items being sold at the IDEA Summit on May 7.

“I want to be a businessman,” the kidpreneur told the Langley Advance Times. “I’m going to expand this business.”

He was among the approximately 100 students in Grades 4 to 9 from various Langley School District schools earned the opportunity to be at the May 7 summit at the Langley Events Centre.

Now in its fourth year, the I.D.E.A. Summit (innovation, design, entrepreneurship and altruism) was a marketplace where students, showed off items they’ve created, and marketed them for sale to visiting students and community members.

This year, organizers threw a new challenge at participants – their products must use recycled or upcycled materials. As well, students had a cap on how much money they can spend creating and marketing their ideas.

Arnav made 64 of his key holder plaques and was glad they were selling well. He had no doubts but mom was another story.

His mom explained that she felt some pressure, unsure whether the items would sell after all his work making them, but her son wasn’t the only one who learned through this experience.

“What will happen if he doesn’t sell anything? That’s the kind of pressure I felt. But overall I really like this idea,” she said. “…I actually realized he’s actually got very good sales skills. He’s very outspoken… It’s actually helped me to know his abilities and what he’s good at.”

Throughout the summit, large groups of students from the various schools came through to check out the merchandise. The best summit sellers sold out of their stock in each of the rounds of selling. In all 3,500 Langley students toured through.

Abby at Abby’s Cuties made 60 stuffed dinos, leaving the event with her one demonstrator dino.

“I sold out about in the first 10 minutes of each round,” she said. “I didn’t know [how well they would sell].”

Judges selected five students to make pitches to experts during the summit.

Lynn Fripps Elementary student Adhiraj made 73 magnetic toys called Magnikars. Save for some stuff from the dollar store, all the components, including dead AA batteries and bottle caps, were recycled with dad scrounging through bins at the recycling depot for parts.

The students must allocate a portion of the money they make to charity. Adhiraj chose BC Children’s Hospital.

Another student, Hugh, said his favourite part of the summit was the selling. His battery operated boats (Hugh’s Dream Cruisers) were made with recycled materials and were popular with buyers. He devoted his donations to the Make a Wish Foundation.

“I wanted to use it for something valuable, something that helps people,” said Hugh.

Organizer Kendra Simonetta couldn’t resist the pull of the young entrepreneurs. The district principal couldn’t say how much she spent.

“Too much,” she chuckled. “It’s hard to say not to anybody, isn’t it?”

She noted that this event requires months of planning and the efforts of many departments within the district as well as business people in the community who act as mentors and volunteer to give their time and feedback.

“This project evolves and changes as every year goes by,” she explained. “It takes many hands to make this possible… to asking students about what we can do differently to make the project work better for them.”


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Magnikars were created by Adhiraj using dead batteries, magnets, bottle caps, and more. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Hugh’s Dream Cruisers are battery operated boats made from recycled materials. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Arnav created key holder plaques in various sizes as his product for IDEA Summit. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Students attending the IDEA Summitt could check out the Thinkology station, several activities, such as a team maze, that encouraged innovative thinking and problem solving. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Abby made stuffed dinosaurs and sold out each of the four rounds of selling at her booth, Abby’s Cuties. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Walnut Grove Secondary students were doing some multimedia work at the IDEA Summit on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Middle-school student Vivienne won the award for Top Business Plan, for her Botanical Blossoms project. (Langley School District)
Emma, whose business idea was Crazy 4 Crayons, won the I.D.E.A. Summit award for Outstanding Booth. (Langley School District)
Joanna, a middle-school student, won the I.D.E.A. Summit’s Middle School Top Pitch and Outstanding Idea Award, for her booth, Joanna’s Designs, which created maple leaf bookmarks using recycled materials. (Langley School District)
Ariella (right) won the Elementary Top Pitch and Outstanding Idea award for her booth, Dem Lucky Shoes, which sold horseshoe designs and housewares, while Yash (left) and Tyse (centre) won awards for Elementary Outstanding Pitch, for their projects, which was a Mini-ball Game and Emotional Stuffies, respectively. (Langley School District)
A team of D.W. Poppy Secondary students – left to right: Brooke, Sophia, and Avery, (not pictured: Alexandra) – won the award for Secondary Student Top Pitch and Outstanding Idea Award for their School Compass app concept. (Langley School District)
The Outstanding Innovation Award went to elementary student Nivian for his Web Shooters product. (Langley School District)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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