Kelley Austin Raises $14,000 for Dallas High School Students with Big Dreams of Starting their Own Businesses

Students at Marvin E. Robinson School of Business and Management received cash prizes after presenting their business idea to a panel of judges at the 2nd Annual SBM Startup Jam.
July 8, 2024

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Kelley Austin, a Dallas-based Salesforce consulting firm, successfully hosted the 2nd Annual SBM Startup Jam on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Building on the momentum from last year, this event once again showcased the commitment of Managing Partners Hunter Austin and Waylon Kelley to foster entrepreneurship among high school students in their local community.

Hunter and Waylon envisioned an initiative that would leverage their team's technology and consulting expertise to give back to the community. This vision materialized in the form of the first SBM Startup Jam in 2023, a “Shark Tank-style” entrepreneurship competition in partnership with Marvin E. Robinson School of Business and Management — a DISD high school dedicated to business education.

In preparation for the 2024 event, Kelley Austin consultants mentored and coached 22 students from eight teams. Over several weeks, these students developed business ideas from scratch, with guidance from Kelley Austin consultants on crafting business plans, identifying target customers, highlighting unique value propositions, and defining success metrics. Kelley Austin also arranged guest speaker sessions, where local business owners and entrepreneurs shared their experiences of starting their own businesses across industries.

The competition culminated on May 2 where students pitched their business ideas on stage before a panel of judges including:

The event awarded $14,000 in cash prizes to support the young entrepreneurs in bringing their businesses visions to life. Every participant received a cash prize, with 1st place awarded to the team behind "Vendigo," whose business plan proposed placing vending machines stocked with healthy and nutritious food throughout the Dallas metroplex and in office buildings.

The 1st Place Winners proudly hold up the winning trophy they received for their business plan for “Vendigo” — a company that would provide the city of Dallas with vending machines filled with healthy and nutritious food.

The 2024 SBM Startup Jam was more than just a competition; it was a powerful platform for Kelley Austin consultants to contribute their skills for the betterment of future business leaders.

"Supporting the growth of the Dallas community is something extremely important to our company,” said Austin. “What better way than to help future entrepreneurs by teaching them invaluable skills that will hopefully lead to job creation right here where we live."

The success of the 2nd Annual SBM Startup Jam not only highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of Dallas high school students but also underscored Kelley Austin's dedication to community development and youth empowerment. By providing mentorship, resources, and real-world business insights, Kelley Austin helped these aspiring entrepreneurs take significant steps towards achieving their dreams.

The event's impact extends beyond the competition, fostering a culture of innovation and resilience that will benefit the Dallas community for years to come. As Kelley Austin continues to champion initiatives like the SBM Startup Jam, they reaffirm their commitment to creating a brighter future through education and entrepreneurship.

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