While on a book tour, children’s book author Lowey Bundy Sichol routinely found herself approached by young ones with great ideas. “So, it came to me,” Sichol explained. “That entrepreneurial lightning can strike at any age.”
Recognizing that, Sichol started The Kids Idea Tank, where kids up to age 13 can compete for a grand prize of $1,000. The “Shark Tank”-like finale for the top 20 submissions is scheduled for June 23. 2021. Sichol says any invention or business concept is eligible, from a germ of an idea to a product prototype. The grand prize will be awarded by a panel of judges, which includes some of the nation’s most successful executives and entrepreneurs.
“Because the audience doesn’t always agree with the judges, we have an audience favorite prize of $500 this year,” Sichol noted.
The event last year featured more than 20 children who presented their inventions remotely. Kierra Perkins, a 13-year-old from Tennessee, took home first prize for her “Kandle” business. Sichol said Kierra began her business, “Kandles By Kierra,” at the age of 11 after making a “kandle” for her dad for Father’s Day.
“She now has a thriving business,” Sichol noted. Sichol says that young ones from around the country, including in Baltimore, are encouraged to participate.
“You have got to have an idea, and it can be anything,” Sichol remarked. “We’re not looking for rocket ships and going to Mars, but something that can be a reality. We are looking for ideas that can become a business.”
Ultimately, Kids Idea Tank counts as a summer entrepreneurship competition for kids age 13 years or younger. It takes place over Zoom, and Sichol says the mission is to inspire, educate and support future entrepreneurs.
Judging this year’s competition are Alli Webb, the co-founder of DryBar and Squeeze, Nykia Wright, the CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Stacy Madison, the founder of Stacy’s Pita Chip Company and BeBOLD Bars.
“All you need is a phone or a computer and get online and pitch your ideas,” Sichol said. “The judges will assess and come back and announce the winner.” There’s no fee to enter, and teamwork is encouraged.
“The most successful business founders are those who had more than one person start the business,” Sichol stated.
For more information and to register, visit https://www.loweybundysichol.com/kids-idea-tank.