Gilmour Academy Utilizing Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Grant
The Veale Foundation awarded Gilmour Academy, in Gates Mills, Ohio, a $10,000 grant for the 2017-2018 school year to help fund the planning and implementation of entrepreneurship activities for the current school year.
Gilmour Academy is a member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, which is funded by The Veale Foundation. The Veale Entrepreneurship Forum consists of 22 member high schools, and has reached more than 14,000 students since its founding in 2012.
Gilmour has been utilizing the grant money to provide experiential opportunities for its entrepreneurial students. During the first semester, students participated in Veale’s Thinkfest, which was for high school students who want to tap into their creative potential to come up with and learn how to act on their business ideas, and Pitchfest, a one-day elevator pitch contest. Jamey Polak, who oversees Gilmour’s entrepreneurship program, also used Veale funds to host a Shark Tank-style pitch competition at Gilmour with parents and entrepreneurs from the Gilmour community serving as judges. Most recently, students participated in ThinkBig, a unique one-day conference featuring panels of entrepreneurs, mini maker hackathon sessions, Final Four Challenge team pitches, awards, prizes, networking and more.
Additionally, Veale funds are being used for professional development and supporting materials to implement a specialized, entrepreneurial curriculum called The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.The curriculum has been utilized in Gilmour’s entrepreneurship program this year and will be fully implemented next year. Finally, the funds have been used to support students as they develop business plans and launch businesses. Gilmour has multiple students in the final stages of their business plans, with plans to launch their businesses later this spring or in the fall. One such business will raise awareness and funds for a nonprofit service club at Gilmour. Another aims to develop an onboarding program for future hockey players living in the dorm to help ease the transition for these students, most of whom are living away from home for the first time. Polak said of this particular effort, “While not intended to have any type of monetary component, the project is a great example of our students using the entrepreneurial mindset to identify problems and develop impactful solutions.”
Polak said of The Veale Foundation’s impact, “The support of the Veale Foundation is vital to our entrepreneurship program by providing professional development and curriculum resources for the teachers; funds to help our students start their own businesses; and allowing us to host experienced, successful entrepreneurs on campus to engage our students. Additionally, the programs put on by The Veale Foundation throughout the year enrich our students’ experiences and are a lot of fun.”