On Valentine's Day, Lurye launched Kiss, the first app from his company, Social Synergy Media. The iOS app aims to help high school students determine whether their crush likes them back. The app allows users to semi-anonymously ask their crushes how much they like them by asking for their opinion on several different possible suitors. He said the project came to life in the summer of 2014 when he joined Endevvr, a student incubator program in which participants turned an idea into a company in five weeks.
The Chess Institute of Chicago is a nonprofit organization that provides a unique opportunity for aspiring youth to be paired with some of the city's best chess players in a mentoring program. We believe that any interested young person should have access to a free, quality chess education, to develop themselves and promote the game of Chess. Chess is proven to faster logical and critical thinking skills amidst all younger players. By providing real-world connections, we hope to make lasting, positive impacts on our community through the game of Chess.
Nina Boord and Alexis Ishmael: TEEN INSIDER MAGAZINE
Teen Insider is a student-run online magazine based in Chicago, Illinois. Our articles cover a variety of topics, but focus on advice and issues relevant to teens today. Because we are smaller than many other online magazines (such as Buzzfeed), we allow our readers to have a voice in what we post. If teens are talking about it, we’re talking about it too. Our readers come from over 60 countries and we have a writing team that comes from across the United States and the world.
The hype around special-edition sneakers can make it nearly impossible for collectors to get their hands on the latest products. That’s why Schwartz is working on Sole Robots, an add-to-cart service that uses automation to ensure customers get their latest sneakers, while having the freedom to change color and size at the last minute. Customers, mostly resellers looking to buy multiple pairs, pay for purchase slots on the day of a new release, and Sole Robots ensures they get their orders placed. Schwartz has previously developed add-to-cart site SoleSniper (now a part of SoleSnatcher) and predicts $50,000 per month in sales based off previous sneaker releases. Currently he has 50 beta testers on the site with 75 buyers interested in purchasing at least 10 slots per month.
We are an entirely youth led organization aimed towards easing the transition from middle school to high school for under served minority background students. Our scholars have access to an extensive network of mentors who facilitate their mentee’s progress through self-care, professional, and academic workshops. These workshops include assisting students with applying to top public high schools, and providing tools to help them become both successful scholars and professionals.
Boris Fedorov and Jerimiah Williams: Mooch Coupons
Mooch Coupons is an app that thrives on helping small businesses in proximity to high schools grow by providing a free and convenient coupon service to hard-working high school students.
NATALIE WEXLER: THOUGHTSWAP
Thoughtswap was an anonymous chat app that let users communicate with other users who shared their interests. They could talk about anything from pop culture to politics, fashion to family issues, music to movies, sports to science, and everything in between. Thoughtswap did not use any personal identifiers, or likes, friends, or followers, so users could chat without being distracted by the popularity of their post, or their digital image. Thoughtswap let users follow their own interests, not the lives of strangers and acquaintances!
The Basic Duo is a non-profit organization that sells chic and elegant chokers; donating 100% of profits to unique foundations that improve various issues. Choker necklaces are a trendy jewelry choice for teens these days, but Zervas sees the accessory as a vehicle for good. That’s the idea behind The Basic Duo, a line of handmade choker necklaces that cost $6 to $8. Proceeds go to a variety of charities that support self-esteem among girls, education in third-world countries, fighting homelessness, and global environmental issues. Zervas runs the company with Riya Matel, a high school senior from California she met at a summer program at Stanford. So far the duo have made 50 sales from their online store, and sell the chokers at flea markets. Next up, they’re working on a line of t-shirts.
Surviving Life After a Parent Dies (SLAP’D) was founded in 2013 by the then 13-year-old Genevieve Liu after the sudden loss of her father Donald C. Liu. SLAP’D exists as a social media site for teens 13 and older (or younger than 13 with adult supervision) who have lost a parent to find hope and connection through shared experiences, and aims to ensure that no teen ever has to experience their grief alone. SLAP’D offers our users articles, advice forums, an ask-an-expert column staffed by bereavement professionals, and connections to other resources for grieving kids and teens. SLAP’D has also built partnerships with grief and bereavement centers and organizations nationwide to expand our reach and ensure that our resources for support and healing are reaching those who need us most.
UScan Technologies specializes in creating cutting edge self-checkout systems, supplying retailers with the competitive advantage they deserve. Once installed, UScan allows shoppers to checkout items by simply walking onto a platform. Using RFID technology, the shoppers' items will be scanned by radio waves and show up on the payment screen in seconds; where they can pay and exit the store on the go. UScan aims to tap the potential in the RFID movement.
Chicago Youth Talks was founded in September 2014 as an entirely student-led organization. Twice a year, the Chicago Youth Talks team organizes a conference, which students from all over the city can attend and speak at. Speakers are chosen after a rigorous audition process, and present 15-minute speeches. Members of the organizational team and executive board come from various high schools and backgrounds.