“Hi, I am Levi Kline, a high school freshman at Calabasas High School. I’m probably too young to call myself a serial entrepreneur, but I have a passion for coming up with ideas for businesses – especially businesses that help solve social problems or which address important social issues.
I was in third grade when I had the idea for my first company, an online platform called Clubknowit. In third grade, lunchtime was very short, and my friends and I always had trouble organizing activities and coming up with teams in the time we had. I also noticed that certain kids often got left out of these games or got picked last to be on teams, which lowered their self-esteem. So, I created a website called Clubknowit (I bought the URL, built the website, even designed my own business cards) which allowed kids to sign up for lunchtime activities (handball, basketball, crafts, etc.) in advance and receive a message with a list of the kids on each team. I remember being dressed up as a purple dinosaur on Halloween that year handing out business cards for Clubknowit, asking neighbors for $20 investments so I could pay for the web hosting fees.
After sixth grade, I attended Camp Bizsmart which took place on the Stanford Campus – which was pretty cool. We were given different business cases to solve, and I was selected to be CEO for my team. Our team had to come up with an idea to productize and market a wearable device that would allow users to gather information as they played sports in the hopes of preventing injuries. We called our product Leap, an intelligent insole that would generate statistics which could be used to help prevent potential injuries and which also had potential social applications via an associated app. Our team won that competition and had the opportunity to deliver our presentation in front of 200+ investors at the Keiretsu Forum held at Microsoft’s offices in Northern California. That time I had to wear a suit and tie (no dinosaur outfits allowed).
More recently, I started a company called Charity Cloth. This non-profit company sold custom urban clothing (which I designed) targeted at teenagers, the proceeds of which went to the charity Pencils of Promise, which helps build schools for children in Africa.
Currently, I am working on an app called Compliments that attempts to solve social issues that are important to teenagers. In the app, classmates send daily compliments to each other, and each time a compliment is liked, the sender is rewarded with points that are converted into donations that go towards the current highlighted cause. The first social cause will be suicide prevention. Not many people know it, but suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers, and 1 in 5 teens considers suicide. My inspiration for Compliments came to me during club rush at school when I noticed how many clubs were related to social issues, suicide prevention among them. I just thought an app could be a better way of getting more people to participate, and an app has the potential to spread across campuses. The company’s motto is “Good Words Save Lives”, as there is a great deal of scientific evidence that the use of positive language, such as giving a compliment, improves brain activity and can help reduce stress and depression. My app allows kids to improve what I call their “civic selves”, giving them a stronger sense of community with the people around them, all the while raising money for important causes. Think of Facebook as the app for your social self and Compliments as the app for your civic self. At this moment, I am trying to raise my first round of funding in order to secure the engineering resources I need to get the app finalized and into beta, first at my high school, then at other local schools, and eventually other states. If you are interested in investing or want to learn more about Compliments, go to http://complimentsapp.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ”
Levi will be returning as a Camp BizSmart Alum to continue to hone his entrepreneurial skills in the BizSmart Global Alumni Accelerator this summer. If you would like to meet Levi, join us at one of these sessions at Santa Clara University this summer: July 22-August 4 at Camp BizSmart, or also running on the SCU campus on July 22-August 4th for Camp BizSmart Alums, the Alumni Accelerator. See our Camp BizSmart website for more details on these workshops and all others for ages 11-15, 12-16 and 16-19. Join us – we can’t wait to see what product innovation and go to market strategy you will come up with this summer!
Camp BizSmart was founded in 2007 and operates business and entrepreneur workshops and academy’s at premiere locations such as Santa Clara University and Stanford University in the Silicon Valley of California during the summer. Product Design and Biz Pitch Competitions are held at Microsoft and Alibaba for the summer sessions with the Grand Champion Team presenting at the Keiretsu Forum’s Angel Capital Expo. Students from all over the US and more than 30 countries attend Camp BizSmart and BizSmart Global’s hands-on entrepreneur experiences. Throughout the year BizSmart Global operates workshops around the world.