i3 Young Entrepreneurs is University High School’s First Entrepreneurial Club, founded in January 2013 by Mehar Nangia (So.) and Emaan Hariri (So.). Meetings are held every other Tuesday in Ms. Wroblicky’s room, 1029. The club’s main focus is to encourage students to pursue interests beyond the classroom by providing an outlet for creativity where students can foster ingenuity and individuality. Hariri said, “i3’s goal is to empower people to take a different approach to entrepreneurship…and that is exactly what we are doing: allowing people to sprout new ideas without the fear of neglect.” The club is currently registering their organization “Investing in Imagination” as a non-profit in California. Investing in Imagination directs multiple branches including the i3 Young Entrepreneurs, the i3 Journal, and the soon to be i3 Music.
Nangia said, “Investing in Imagination was founded to empower the youth of the world… as our generation is becoming increasingly robotic.” Through workshops and speakers, i3 Young Entrepreneurs provides the opportunity for its members to expand on their skills and pursue what interests them. Speakers include David Keegan, Nikhil Goyal and Maneesh Raswan. Keegan, a developer and designer who has worked with Blizzard Entertainment, spoke about success in terms of doing what you love. Goyal, an education reformer who published two books by 18 years old and who has appeared on NBC and Fox, advocated the importance of creativity, passion, and hardwork. Raswan is currently scheduled to speak at an upcoming meeting to share his story of how starting his own business has led him to a happy and satisfying career. Joberto Lee (So.) said, “The club fosters creativity and it’s a great place to kindle your business ideas with other entrepreneurs.” While all three of i3 mentors have found different fields of passion, they all have a similar story of how success originates from creativity and passion—ideas actively promoted in the club.
Another partner of Investing in Imagination is the i3 Journal (http://www.i3journal.com), a blog written by UHS students on a number of topics ranging from technology to sports. Anyone can become a contributor to the journal by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. i3 Music is the last of the three branches of Investing in Imagination and it is soon to take off. In collaboration with Nikhil Mehrotra (Jr.), Mehar Nangia and Emaan Hariri will launch i3 Music in the near future, offering free courses taught by students on any instrument for little to no cost. It will also connect bands with venues, technical assistance, and representation. Mehrotra said, “i3 Music’s concept formed because of my passion for the art itself. As a whole, i3 is about youth empowerment, and i3 Music takes this idea and applies it to those who love music.”
i3 Young Entrepreneurs is currently finalizing the expansion of the club into Northwood High School, Irvine High School, and Aliso Niguel High School. Ryan Eid (So.) said, “Our main goal is to motivate all students to be innovative thinkers and to value being different.” While i3 Journal is still relatively new, the number of readers is steadily increasing, and articles are being continuously posted. Jein Park (So.) said, “i3 really explores so many aspects of society like technology, community service, current events, and of course, how to become a successful entrepreneur.”
I3 was recently selected as one of the top “pitches” in the National Student Initiative’s pitch contest, identifying it as in the top 2% of over eight thousand submissions. Mehar Nangia and Ryan Eid will be representing i3 as they travel to Washington DC on the 29th and 39th of March to compete in the semifinals for $25,000. To vote for i3’s pitch, visit http://www.nationalstudentinitiative.org/#!entrepreneur-fest-2/cpwe and click “i3 Young Entrepreneurs,” and send the email that pops up. You can also vote by sending an email to email@example.com with the exact subject “Vote for: i3 Young Entrepreneurs.” For more information, you can join the official UHS Facebook Page: Investing in Imagination.
By TAMARA LIN