Derin Yilmaz, a Grade 12 student at Assumption high school, poses for a professional portrait taken by his classmate Evan Piatkowski, left, during 6th Annual High School Entrepreneurship Summit held at The Accelerator Wednesday. NICK BRANCACCIO / WINDSOR STAR

Originally posted by The Windsor Star

A future wave of young entrepreneurs got to see  Wednesday how other like-minded people turned hopes and dreams into working enterprises.

Almost 150 high school business students from the public, Catholic and French-language boards took part in the 6th annual High School Entrepreneurship Summit held at the Accelerator.

“We’re really lucky,” Assumption student Deepashika Senaratne said as her group worked its way through six different workshops. “It is so interesting to see the theories we learn in class actually play out in real life. To hear the terminology being used, it’s so amazing.”

The students were tutored by 20 business owners from a wide range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, entertainment and the arts.

They got to learn about the recording industry for local musician Richy Nix while huddled inside an actual recording studio.

Another workshop delivered by the owners of The Shadowbox Theatre gave students some insight on all facets of operating a theatre from budget, to marketing to cost structure and more.

The Accelerator is a business incubation centre that hosts approximately 40 local companies.

“It’s interesting to see how different small businesses in Windsor find different ways of marketing and how they keep their business surviving,” said Assumption’s Derin Yilmaz, who was dressed for success with a blazer, dress pants and dress shoes.

Joseph’s high school students Marcelina Unold and Alina Baranava, right, tour an exhibit by famed artist Silvio Russo at the Accelerator during 6th Annual High School Entrepreneurship Summit Wednesday. NICK BRANCACCIO / WINDSOR STAR

Yilmaz is contemplating a future career in IT while Senaratne is giving some thought to the science field and perhaps owning a pharmaceutical consulting firm.

Fellow Assumption student Stephanie Dinescu is leaning towards working in medicine or science.

“I like that we’re learning about all the different skills these people have,” the 17-year-old Dinescu said. “Even if you’re not necessarily an entrepreneur, you’re going to need all these skills at some point.”

This marked the first time, the high school summit was held at the Accelerator.

“We always try to have different venues to give the kids a chance to interact with different kinds of business leaders,” said Jeremy Bracken, a business teacher at Assumption and a board member at the Accelerator.

The Accelerator initiated the high school summit six years ago with funding it received for community outreach projects.

“There’s a great range of educational value in an event like this,” Bracken said.

Three Assumption students who had received a summer company grant for their photography business were taking professional head shots of each of the participants and providing guidance on how to build a professional digital footprint through LinkedIn.

All the student participants were also going to receive a youth membership to the Accelerator, giving them access to the building and the ability to book boardroom, time among other things.

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