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Mt. Diablo High School’s 12th Annual Digital Safari Innovation Fair highlights entrepreneurial high school student projects emulating high-tech business and finance


Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / communications@mdusd.org / mobile: (760) 705-6919


Mt. Diablo High School’s 12th Annual Digital Safari Innovation Fair highlights entrepreneurial high school student projects emulating high-tech business and finance


WHAT:  The Digital Safari Institute for Innovation in Education 12th annual Digital Safari Innovation Fair – “Beyond the Edge” Technology and Next Generation Entrepreneurs – featuring students from the Digital Safari Academy (DSA) at Mt. Diablo High School, and Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce mixer.


WHEN:  Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • 5-7 p.m. – Tech Expo & Investors Fair
  • 7:30 – 9 p.m. – Business Plan Competition
  • 9 – 9:30 p.m. - Awards


WHERE:  Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord (925) 671-3382 (View map)  The event is free and open to the public.


BACKGROUND:  The Digital Safari Innovation Fair is the culminating event of the semester-long  Innovation Project  - an entrepreneurial training program for senior high school students based on the "Silicon Valley model" that emulates the real world of high-tech business and finance while integrating economics, English and multimedia curricula. The project has proven to be a highly successful way to motivate students to explore business, science and technology while empowering them with the skills that will last a lifetime.


Students form virtual companies then spend an entire semester developing their innovative "beyond the edge" products, developing their business plans and preparing to make their pitch for funding before a panel of real business consultants and investors. The premise: if it can be imagined, then it can be made, marketed and sold.


In addition to being innovative, the producers must adhere to a “green” philosophy that products must have an environmental, health/safety, or positive social benefit compared to current products and services performing the similar tasks. Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship and Creative Capitalism are primary themes for what are called “GreenBizz” projects. Each GreenBizz company's business plan must also include a lifecycle analysis that addresses both the social and environmental impacts of the product and offer solutions for mitigating negative factors.


Each GreenBizz company works with a Mentor throughout the semester. Mentors provide real-world guidance and insight into the process of building a successful company and raising money from investors. Many times, student presentations are equal to or better than those of real companies.   See the roster of 2017 companies by visiting http://www.innovationfair.org/ and viewing the 2017 companies list.


Winners in various Innovation Fair categories are recognized with scholarships awards.  Sponsors include the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Bank of Concord, John F. Kennedy University, Westwind Associations, and the Patrick and Sharon Campbell Foundation.


The point of contact at the event is Heather Fontanilla, Program Specialist, MDUSD Career Pathways and Linked Learning, fontanillah@mdusd.org, (925) 682-8000 ext. 4011


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Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at one of more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic groups, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We are proud of our award-winning staff and extensive honors and recognitions for our innovative programs in Career Technical Education; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is also pleased to have launched its first middle college program, College Now, and is planning to open its first International Baccalaureate program in 2017.  Extensive student support services help ensure an inclusive culture of excellence and achievement for all students to help them prepare for success in college, career, and life. Learn more at http://www.mdusd.org/.

Posted by: Joshua Wittman, District Admin, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Published:1/11/17
Audience: Homepage and Homepage