Volunteer opportunity in SF next week: Help teens build websites and launch companies

tl;dr Come volunteer for 3 hours in SF next week. Become a NFTE Mentor and help aspiring teens from low income communities become entrepreneurs. 

Not available or not startup-savvy? Please share this with your SF friends that might be interested.


Over the past year, I've been volunteering in underserved high schools in South San Francisco through the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). I have 8 teens that are aspiring entrepreneurs and I'd like your help. We're doing a one-week startup bootcamp and I need start-up guys to come in and be mentors. Come meet with a group for a morning or afternoon and help them with whatever they currently need help on.

Who are some of the entrepreneurs and what are they making?

Crystal has made dark chocolate covered strawberry bouquets that are beautiful and delicious. She wants to learn how to sell them on the internet.

Deshawn has created a cheaper recording studio. He wants to help Bay Area indie artists record their own music.

Huong is an artist. She's made unique t-shirt designs and she wants to figure out how to produce them and sell them 

Tashayla is a dog lover. She's created a sparkly 'dog bracelet' that she wants to sell online to other girls that are crazy about their dogs.

Viviana is into piercing and stretching. She's wants to help people create their own body art products online.

Why I care about this and why you might too

Earlier this year, I watched Waiting for Superman—the documentary about our failing public schools. This is an opportunity to provide a solution in our own way. I can't fix the ridiculous teacher union problem, but I can work with high school students on the one thing I know: making something people want. We have a group of students that have the audacity to believe that they could start a company. They are starting with far fewer resources than most. They're severely lacking in computer skills. We can help them...

None of this is technical stuff. For most of these students, helping them sell a few thousand dollars worth of their products and then go to college would be a massive achievement. My interest is in starting a domino effect, wherein other students from their schools see that through hard work and some entrepreneurial spirit, they can make money and be successful.

What we're going to do next week

I'm running a 5 day bootcamp. The goal is to help these guys progress from having a product and an idea to actually selling their works online. We're going to help them set-up websites and marketplaces using Weebly, Foodoro, Etsy, etc. We're going to help them market their products with their own Posterous, Twitter, etc. We're going to help them set up payment processing and invoicing. We're going to help them learn about PR and teach them how to hustle.

How you can be involved

I'm looking for a group of startup-savvy people to be mentors next week. You'll need to commit to a morning or an afternoon. No preparation necessary. There's no structured plan. I believe that if we just surround these guys with some awesome people, we can help them massively accelerate.

Tuesday 9-12 and 1-4: Building a product, payment processing, setting up a website 1/2
Wed 9-12 and 2-5: Setting up a website 2/2, marketing
Thursday 1-4: Recording your pitch (we're having a videographer come in)
Thursday 5-7: NFTE donor happy hour 
Friday: 9-12 and 1-4: Building a roadmap, next steps

All mentors and their associated companies will be recognized on our website.


Can't Make it?  Other ways to help

PR help:  This is a story that needs to be told.  We need some help crafting a release and pitching the story to national journalists.  I would estimate 5-10 hours of PR assistance.

Videographer:   We're building a  website for the program with videos from each entrepreneur and one video about the program.  We need sometime to come film on Wednesday, July 20th.

Join the list:  Can't help now, but want to stay in the loop?  Contact me and I'll add you to the non-spammy list.


Contact me now and sign-up

Please contact me with a time next week that works for you and your phone number. Please also share this with anyone from your company that is interested in a volunteering a few hours.






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I'm Jason Freedman.  I co-founded FlightCaster.  
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6 responses
Are there any volunteer opportunities outside of the 9-5 window?

The idea of this sounds awesome and I know plenty of people and organiztions in the area that I'm sure would think likewise:
- Tech-savvy APO brothers
- Members of MIT computer club
- Members of MIT & Stanford's "Teach Highschoolers awesome things" club

I'd be happy to come by in the evening and help someone debug their Django site, but I'd be shocked if any of us can just drop what we're doing on 4 days notice to head up to SF and try to teach without having done any prep.

Heck, do you have an IRC channel, mailing list, or something that we can hang out on and answer questions?

Definitely interested. What are the dates? Feel free to shoot me an email. Thanks.
Cory: The post says this is running this week.
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