Siona Wadhawan, Saanika Gupta, Ritika Managuli , and Diya Mishra won the TYE Seattle annual competition for their startup service Volunticity. Courtesy Photo

Siona Wadhawan, Saanika Gupta, Ritika Managuli , and Diya Mishra won the TYE Seattle annual competition for their startup service Volunticity. Courtesy Photo

Volunteer connection service wins student start-up award

High school students compete with start up business ideas.

Taking a business idea off the page and putting it into practice is challenging, but high school students in Bellevue and around the region are getting the opportunity to try it themselves.

The TiE Young Entrepreneur (TYE) program is geared toward high school students exploring the creation of a product and the steps to start a business in order to make that product a reality.

Vinita Ananth, TYE Seattle program chair, said the program is part of an initiative to foster entrepreneurship in teenagers by teaching what it takes to run a business. The eight-month program begins with four months of classroom instruction where students learn the fundamentals of building a startup and ends with four months of hands-on project work building a product or service and pitching it as a startup company.

In the hands-on development stage, each group works with a mentor from the local business community to help answer questions and provide support for each step of the process. Students plan marketing, product validation, prototyping and final production.

The class ends with the annual regional competition between each of the student groups. On Sunday, April 28, the Seattle Chapter of TYE held its annual regional competition where students presented their products or services and the work they have done to bring it to reality.

This year’s winners were team Volunticity, a nonprofit whose online service connects high school students with volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Team members Siona Wadhawan, Saanika Gupta, Ritika Managuli and Diya Mishra won the competition and earned a prize of $2,500.

Gupta, a Bellevue resident and sophomore at Eastside Preparatory School, explained the process behind the development of Volunticity

Finding volunteer work in areas that students are interested in can be difficult, the team found, so the goal was to create a service that would allow an individual to search for volunteer opportunities based on their interests such as arts, athletics, animals or the environment.

“In order to validate the service, we went to four different schools and asked 80 students,” she said. “92 percent said that (finding a volunteer opportunity) was a problem for them.”

The team’s website,www.volunticity.org, has an inquiry form where students can fill out their interests, location and age, and within 24 hours they will receive an email with a list of volunteer opportunities.

By winning the TYE Seattle event, Volunticity can participate at the TYE Global competition this June.

According to Ananth, the program is open to all high school students. The TYE Seattle program leadership is currently discussing plans to expand the program to accommodate more students for the next session of classes beginning in September 2019.

For more information on the TYE program, go online to seattle.tie.org/tye.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was edited to correct spelling errors of names that were submitted by sources.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Carpenters union members peacefully strike on Sept. 16 in downtown Bellevue (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Carpenters union strike on pause after “illegal picketing activity”

Union spokesperson claims wildcat protestors harrassed and threatened violence.

t
Peter Rogoff to step down as Sound Transit CEO in 2022

Became CEO in 2016; search for replacement to begin

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Photos from Emma Artz Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/emma__artz/?hl=en
Juanita HS student is one of the best downhill mountain bike racers in the world

Emma Artz represented the US in one of the most difficult bike races, placing in top-15.

file photo
Housing and finance insiders call for subsidized housing families can own, instead of rent

Advocates say increasing homeownership will strengthen the community, build intergenerational wealth

Screenshot taken from Rosa Parks Elementary School website.
Eastside school wins National Blue Ribbon honor

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Redmond is the only Washington school to win.

Screenshot taken of a King County video showing Wilburton Trestle
King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
How a King County restaurant and farm work together to make a true farm-to-table experience

The Grange prepares sustainably produced meals pulled from the soil of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Most Read