Dear Business Owners,
Welcome to the I3 Competition! We founded this organization because we saw how detrimental the COVID pandemic was for the small business community, despite the critical role you play in our national economy. The I3 Competition was founded on the ideas of community, connectivity, and communication. We hope that the students will be introduced to the rich and vibrant community of local entrepreneurs, connect this experience to your future by providing you with a beneficial business tool, and stay in communication with you even after the competition, should you be open to it. The competition was also as a way for students to get guidance and give guidance; we have an advisor on our staffing team for this competition, but we hope you are able to impart some of your mentorship on these teams.
This page is all about YOU. Read through it to learn more about what role you play in the I3 Competition and what you'll receive if you participate.
Each business will be partnered with one student team made up of 3-4 high schoolers. These high schoolers will build out a tailored app, website, or social media marketing campaign for you.
In the registration form, we ask that you submit a presentation that gives and overview of you & your business, and explains why you need help building a specific piece of digital infrastructure. We will share this presentation with the student team you are paired with.
We primarily worked with business owners from underrepresented communities due to the historical lack of access to capital and resourced they've faced, as well as our personal connection to these communities. However, there is no restriction on who can apply to the I3 Competition. We work with business owners operating in any industry, from CPG to healthcare to education, technology, and more!
We do ask five things of business owners in exchanged for the services we provide:
Be established. We unfortunately do not work with businesses still in the concept stage. Our students need a bit of a headstart to jump into building a piece of infrastructure for you!
Be transparent. We ask that business owners come into this willing to be transparent about what they want, what they do, and what they can share. Please communicate with your students!
Be willing. We ask that business owners be willing to guide their student team. The students are trying to execute your vision, so be willing to share that with them. Please also be willing to write college/scholarship recommendations if asked.
Be committed. We ask that students and businesses commit 1-2 hours per week for the competition so that you can set up meetings. This will eventually be at your team's (students + business owners) discretion.
Be excited! The students definitely are!
The time commitment for the I3 Competition is 1-2 hours a week from mid-Jan to mid-April. We ask the business owners to make a time commitment so they can guide their student team, make sure their vision is actually executed the way they want, and so they can learn some of the skills that the students employ. The competition promotes longevity -- we want you to leave with the skills of a social media savvy teenage!
Business owners should plan to meet with each team about 3-4 times before the competition day. Team project managers will be in charge of facilitating communication between business owners and the full team.
In 2023, the winning students completely rebranded a CPG company's social media page...check out the results here!
The deliverables are customizable depending on what you and your team decide depending on the needs of your business. While these are not the only outcome, here are some types of deliverables you may expect:
Social Media Marketing: 5-6 new posts, introduction to new social media platforms, new templates and designs, marketing through paid social media advertisements. Teams will work with the business owner to discover which platforms need to either be improved on or added and make adjustments accordingly.
App Creation: Minimum of the skeleton of an app created. While we do not expect teams to completely finish the app in the allotted window for the competition, we expect teams to have coded at least a portion of the platform for the business owners to work with.
Website Creation: Teams will asses and identify which parts of the website need assistance and will add new features, redesign sections, and/or create an entirely new site.
All deliverables should be functional with the limited exception of the app during and after the competition. Student participant teams will give guidance and make sure you know how to use and maintain the final product!
All teams have signed confidentiality agreements and are bound to keep all information shared between you and them private.
If you have concerns about team performance, competition logistics, what's required vs optional, etc., please reach out to the I3 email (email@example.com) with questions or concerns.