SparkOpportunity Winner: Justin Harris
JUSTIN HARRIS, 15 - DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD & YOUTH AWARD
A self-described a "webpreneuer," Justin Harris, 15, has big plans to expand the world of teenage business. The founder of Pentaplate, a consulting company run by teenagers, Harris is working with fellow teens to create Envision, the world's first professional social network for teenage entrepreneurs. Justin is the youngest winner of the SparkOpportunity Challenge.
What's your idea? When my friend Javier and I tried to join LinkedIn to find help for a business idea, we were deterred by the network's age minimum. We scavenged the internet for teenage entrepreneur networks, but found only informational sites and loosely managed forums. Since then, we've decided to build Envision—the world's first professional social network for teenage entrepreneurs.
Are you currently a student or working? I am a soon-to-be rising 11th grader at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I have been into business since I was eight years old.
Why did you submit an idea to the Challenge? In order to start the world's first teenage entrepreneur social network, I needed support from as many people as possible. I saw that the SparkOpportunity Challenge could provide me with an amazing opportunity to receive support from adults and teens all over the world.
What will you do with the grant money? We will use the grant money to continue development of the EnvisionWith.Me social network! We have several different designs that are in the process of being finalized and then we'll be in the development stages.
Why do you feel it is important to help other youth? It's important to help other youth because some are not educated about the opportunities that they have available for them. It's also important to help youth because that allows you to collaborate with others.
What are you hoping that your idea accomplishes? Envision will be the safe platform teens will use to find collaborators and information. With a population that is filled with untapped talent, Envision will grow the realm of teenage business.
Any fun talents or hobbies you would like to share? I am a huge Apple, Inc. fanatic! I enjoy wrestling, swimming, and watching sports. I enjoy meeting new people and public speaking. I have experience in many technology fields such as web development, computer trouble shooting, networking, etc. Overall, I love entrepreneurship!
The SparkOpportunity Challenge was a crowdsourcing competition for young people to share their ideas on how to create local jobs and opportunities for youth. The Challenge was developed by SparkAction and the Youth Leadership Institute and joined Jon Bon Jovi in support of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Learn more >>