Lemonade Alley Marks Fifth Year
How many different ways are there to sell lemonade? If you can’t think of many, you’re probably not a kid.
Lemonade Alley is a fun and educational event for students that fosters creative, entrepreneurial thinking. Founder Steve Sue, who also created the BizGym business planning system, started with the basic lemonade stand, then infused it with the latest thinking in planning and pitching for startups.
In short, student teams need to sell their unique brand of lemonade. And secret ingredients are only a small part of the recipe. The lemonade stands are miniature expo booths, placing competitors side by side, and every tool and trick of the marketing trade can be tapped to make a sale.
The first Lemonade Alley was a small event in November 2011, held at ’Iolani School. But it was just a taste of what was possible, and by July 2012, not only was there a second, larger event in Waikiki, but there were satellite events in other cities.
I was one of several judges for the local event, and the creativity and energy of the kids were impressive. There were some unusual flavors, for sure, but it was everything else that stood out. Some booths had live music, others well-produced videos, some teams stressed health benefits while others talked about how a portion of their proceeds would go to charity. These kids took their lemonade business seriously.
Over the next couple of years, Lemonade Alley grew in both size and focus. Now framed as an “entrepreneurship meets philanthropy challenge,” the event is now just one part of a larger movement, now embodied in the over-arching BizGym Foundation. Just last year, Lemonade Alley teams donated over $15,000 to charities of their choosing… on top of learning valuable business skills.
Starting next week, team registration for the net Lemonade Alley, taking place on April 11, 2015, begins. Participants in grades K through 12 can form teams of two to five students, competing in three divisions (K through 4th grade, 5th through 8th grade, and high school). The winning team in each division wins $1,000 in cash, while the funds raised through lemonade sells get donated to charity.
Interested students, teachers, and parents can check out the registration page.
Meanwhile, charities interested in getting involved can register here.