Centennial High senior and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) student Sierra Scott’s innovative business plan is earning her the opportunity to participate in the virtual Miami University (OH) Startup Weekend Challenge.
The Startup Weekend is an event that brings students, managers, marketing experts and more together to pitch ideas for new companies and develop those ideas for a demonstration at the end of the weekend. Sierra is one of only nine high school students selected from around the nation to attend.
“Participating in the Miami Startup Weekend will help me build a solid business model for the company,” Sierra said.
Sierra’s company, Bliss Box, creates care packages full of stress relievers, motivational stickers, inspiring stories and a list of resources and hotlines to contact during times of crisis.
“There is so much depression and anxiety among our generation, especially now that COVID-19 is isolating people,” she said. “I want to help show people that their life is worth living and that they have a purpose. There are many people who can’t afford counseling or are too afraid to reach out and ask for help when they are struggling. Creating these boxes will be an outlet for people to turn to. My main goal is for a person to have something to turn to for guidance, comfort and support in what could be their loneliest and darkest time of their life. It could even save a life or two, and that’s all that matters.”
While attending the Startup Weekend, Sierra will have the opportunity to meet new people and network with college students and mentors all while testing a startup idea and developing a business plan.
“I am excited to work with professional mentors and entrepreneurs, pitch them my idea and hear their feedback,” Sierra said. “I also am hoping they will have some connections of resources that could financially help me get the business up and running. I can’t wait to work on the business model and map out my action plan going forward.”
Sierra was nominated by her EIC teacher Stephanie Thomas because of her ideas addressing mental health among teens.
“I recommended Sierra for this opportunity because of her creativity and her entrepreneur mindset,” Thomas said. “Her ability to network with students and business and community leaders has stood out above her peers and has shown that she has the capability and desire to be a future business leader.”
As a high school senior, Sierra is thinking more and more about her future. She wants to pursue Bliss Box and turn it into a life-long business.
“I see myself waking up each day and working on making connections with partners, creating videos teaching mindfulness, opening up a shop filled with my care packages and hiring employees to help package the boxes, run the social media and ship out the packages,” Sierra said. “There are a lot of steps I have to accomplish before this becomes a career, but in the long run, I hope it is feasible and fulfilling and helps people who need it.”