Tag Archives: Mark T Wayne

THE JOB INTERVIEW WITH WILLIAM SHAKES

by Mark T Wayne

We’re here to interview some reprobate named William Shakes for the job of special correspondent. I do not know why I’m a part of this. No sir! Perhaps it’s the strange nature of the recruit. Perhaps it’s because Jonelis recommended this particular…person, and does not entirely trust the judgement of Jim Kren, his assistant editor. (Shakes bears an uncanny resemblance and must be related in some way—maybe) Perhaps it’s because that execrable Lonagan creature is the only other help Kren could muster. But we need more writers, so here I am, eager and helpful as always, ready to lend any assistance within my power.

Mark T Wayne

Kren consults a wrinkled scrap of paper. I believe he’s reading questions from a list. “So, uh…your name is William Shakes. Is that right? Tell me about yourself.”

What kind of softball question is Kren pitching? There sits Shakes in frilly regalia, looking like something out of an Elizabethan play. He probably came here straight from an all-night costume party, roaring drunk, and Kren asks a fool question like that. Wait, I believe the man is transparent enough to respond to such utter inanity.

  • “What’s in a name?” he says with dignity. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. We are such stuff as dreams are made on. But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive.” Spoken fluently and with aplomb! And in a well-modulated voice!
  • Loop Lonagan looks at the man slack jawed. After a moment I hear him whispering to Kren. “What didee say?” Kren fiddles with his paper and mutters to Lonagan, “Idiot! I was gonna ask you that!”
  • My value to the proceedings is now clear. Not to mention that I recognize the true and somewhat illustrious identity of this candidate. “Gentlemen, Mr. Shakes expresses the sentiment that his name and his fame do not matter; that he brings to the table a strong imagination and boundless creativity. He’s proud of his accomplishments and liable to brawl with anyone that displays the audacity to criticize his work. (Also, gentlemen, notice that the man carries a sword.)”

“Why,” Kren asks testily, “didn’t he just come out and say what he meant?”

I express the opinion that’s precisely what he did.

Lonagan shrugs and grins at his boss. “Ain’t got no problem with it.”

William Shakes

Kren reads the next question:

  • “What is your greatest accomplishment?”
  • Shakes sits there in that hot scratchy outfit, seeming at ease. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” He says. “The play’s the thing. Thirty Seven there be, wherein I catch the conscience of the king and posterity.” The man runs off these lines without breaking sweat.
  • More muttering and both Kren and Lonagan turn to me. I clear my throat. “He’s considered the supreme writer in the English language and highly respected throughout the known world. Among other things, he produced 37 highly prized major works of written material that have captured the attention of world leaders.” (Privately, I take violent exception to the widely-held belief regarding his supremacy as a writer.  Such accolade is more aptly applied to myself. But I refuse to squabble.  Honour is at stake. Yes sir! I will do nothing to lampoon this interview!)

A brief dumbfounded silence. Then the barely vocalized sounds of approval indicate that these two examples of lower life are suitably impressed by the response. I warm to the task! Kren scans his page of questions.

  • “What major problem have you had to deal with recently?”
  • Shakes: “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
  • I immediately translate: “He says he’s learning not to underrate himself. As a result, he never shirks a task, even if he feels inadequate. Because of that, he’s consistently surprised by hidden talents.”

Lonagan finally gets up the nerve to ask a question himself:

  • “Are you one o’ deeze team players?”
  • Shakes: “Prithee, it be thus. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
  • Me: “Ditto that.”

Loop’s dog Clamps. No known photograph of Lonagan exists, but they look a lot alike.

Lonagan again:

  • “What’s yer biggest weakness?”
  • Shakes: “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”
  • They both sit there stunned, so I venture another paraphrase: “He says he’s only human, subject to the same vices of body and character as you two.”

Kren throws up his hands, then with an obvious effort, composes himself, and manages to appear grave and somewhat skeptical. Then he plods on.

  • “How do you think you can add value to our magazine?”
  • Shakes: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our venture.”
  • Lonagan: “What didee say dat time?”
  • I happily translate: “He says the magazine could go on the rocks due to poor staff and lousy management. But we’re at a critical stage right now and must take full advantage of it while the opportunity is ripe.”

That last answer emits a bit of grumbling between the two louts. Those fellows have no idea who they’re dealing with. Lonagan asks what I can only assume expresses the issue that bears most tenderly on his feeble mind:

  • “How much money d’ya want fer dis gig?”
  • Shakes: “While I am a beggar, I will rail and say there is no sin but to be rich; and being rich, my virtue then shall be to say there is no vice but beggary. If money go before, all ways do lie open, but the comfort is, you shall fear no more tavern-bills.”
  • I immediately insinuate myself: “He says he doesn’t come cheap, but he never pads the expense account.”

Kren utters a deep sigh and hits him with what I am sure is his final payoff question:

  • “Why should I hire you?”
  • “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
  • I try not to bust out laughing. “He says, don’t be a ninny.”

Kren and Lonagan stare at each other. Face it—they botched the interview. There is nothing remaining to discuss. No sir! Jonelis wanted this relic on staff. These goons found no reason to reject the man.

Kren shrugs. “Show up tomorrow for work. Eight o’clock sharp.”

Shakes gives a bow and a flourish. “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

As William Shakes nobly marches out, I can barely contain my mirth.  But tomorrow, the man will stand on the sidewalk for hours.  Our office rents space in the back room of a fine establishment and Ludditis doesn’t open the bar till the potato pancake connoisseurs crowd in for lunch.  Kren’s revenge.

 

Read the first in this series – TO BE OR NOT TO BE HACKED.

Image Credits – John Jonelis, Public Domain
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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. Please perform your own due diligence. It’s not our fault if you lose money.
.Copyright © 2017 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved
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THROW THE BUM OUT

Mark T Wayne 1cTby John Jonelis

Mark T Wayne hurls his cigar to the barroom floor and grinds it under his heel. “Lonagan, you’re a consummate ass!”

“Shuttup ‘n’ have anudder whiskey.”

“You sir are heavily inebriated.” Wayne’s voice resonates above the noise of the crowded bar.  “I know better than to get tight oftener than once in three months.” He lifts his chin and peers down his nose at Loop Lonagan. “It sets a man back in the esteem of people whose opinions are worth having.”

“So whaddayuh think I should do?” His dog, Clamps, squirms in his arms and kicks wildly as Loop wrestles to gain a better hold on the 85 pound bull terrier.  He finally locks an arm around the animal’s thick neck.  Clamps immediately relaxes, bone in mouth. “Look Wayne—yer da one said I oughta take da guy in.  So you tell me how t’ get ‘im out.”

“Hmm…yes, I see your point. Options are a bit scarce at such times.  Your editor shows up at the door leaning on two canes, a bit unsteady on two new metal knees.  Never refuse to do a kindness, unless the act will work great injury to yourself—especially when it’s a close friend and your employer.” Wayne pauses a moment and inspects Lonagan more closely.  “But five months have elapsed since that day, and now I find myself sharing this fine bar with a sloppy drunk—a man utterly beyond reason or decorum, hugging a dangerous beast to his body like a rag doll.”

Loop plays with his dog’s ears.  “The police don’t want poor Clamps tied at da curb again.  Dey say he might eat a pedestrian.”

Therapy Dog

Therapy Dog

“Don’t blow smoke rings, Lonogan! There is only one course of action left to you! Claim back your domicile!  Throw the execrable bum out!”

“Throw out Jonelis?”

“That, sir, is precisely what I say.”

Loop Lonagan slowly wags his head. “He’ll throw me outa da magazine. Then where am I?  Gone, like a puff o’ smoke.”

“Where is your spine, sir? Can it be that abusive over-exposure to bitter hops has eroded it in total?  Look at you, stroking that hideous beast as if it were some lovely young woman.  Is that the proper posture for a grown man while seriously drinking?  Get ahold of yourself!  I say put the moocher out on the street!”

“Don’t ya think I tried? Sheesh, he moves right in with dat new therapy business.  Pavlovian PT he calls it.  Gals right outa some Hollywood movie swarmin’ all over da joint.  I can’t get no peace er sleep.  He fills my penthouse with exercise machines.  And busy? If he ain’t liftin’ weights, he’s gettin’ a Swedish massage or an ice pack or he’s loopy on pain killers, and then he’s asleep er somepin. Can’t hardly talk t’ da guy. When I do, I dunno what t’ say.”  Loop squeezes his eyes closed a moment.  “Today dis crew shows up t’ move da resta my furniture out da door—where to, I dunno.  More weight machines is comin’ in!  Yeah, Jonelis finally graduates therapy.  It’s strength trainin’ from now on!  So insteada my nice penthouse condo, I got a swank health club.”  Loop swallows a shot of scotch and immediately chases it with a slug of beer.  The pungent amber liquid dribbles down his jaw.

Mark T Wayne 1d Bold

Mark T Wayne

Wayne scowls at him. “You, sir, are mixing good medicine with poison. Give an Irishman lager for a month and he’s a dead man. An Irishman is lined with copper, and beer corrodes it. But whiskey polishes the copper and is the saving of him.  You’ll do well without that swill.”

“Dat’s da best idea you come up with since I knowed you. No wonder my belly’s naggin’ at me.  Bartender!”  Lonagan shifts his dog so it can lap beer from his mug.  Clamps knocks it over and yellow suds run down the counter.  The dog leaps onto the bar and voraciously polishes the wet varnished surface with a wide tongue.

Loop lifts the animal from the bar and hugs it close.  “Bartender! Gimme anudder scotch.  Make it a triple.  No more Blatz fer me!”

A muscular kid shows up with a towel and mops up the smelly mess while glaring at Loop under thick black eyebrows. He talks in a low voice with clenched teeth: “What’s with the dog?”

Loop makes an indignant expression. “It’s a therapy animal. You got a problem with that?” 

A long scar on the kid’s cheek flames red. “Hold down the noise, mister, or you and and your dog and the guy with the white suit are outa here. Y’ follah?

“Big talk—yadda yadda yadda.  Y’ gonna back it up?”

The bartender abruptly moves down the bar and serves another customer while Loop raises the fresh tumbler of whiskey.

Wayne’s finger idly traces the rim of his empty glass.  “Certainly the Drone’s Club is near at hand.  I believe they offer a gymnasium.  You might mention the possibility.”

“Yeah, yeah, but dey won’t let ‘im bring in his Pavlovian PT team. Same with East Bank, Union League, ‘n’ all da udders.  He’s too cheap t’ buy all them gals memberships.”

Both men stare into space. This goes on for a good two minutes as the noise of the crowd swells around them.

“Ah! A thought occurs to me…” Mark T Wayne draws himself erect, yanks his white lapels, and takes a step as if lecturing an audience, “Your domestic problem is transparently simple. Argue with the man!  Pick a fight!”

“How’s a guy gonna do that? Jonelis treats ever’body so nice—so polite.  No a harsh words, No foul language.  No nothin’”

“Shout him down! You need not be logical or coherent, nor do you require provocation.  Drown him in curses at high volume!  If that brings no response, I happen to know that you are skilled in the fine art of fisticuffs.  Pummel the man with blows!  Violence, sir!  That’s the ticket!  Beat him senseless!”

“C’mon Wayne, he’s just outa surgery ‘n’ all…”

“That man is gaining health by the day as you lose yours!”

Loop Lonagan goes suddenly quiet and rubs his chin with a blunt fingertip. He drops Clamps to the floor and the dog immediately strains the limit of a heavy leather lead, lashed to the stanchion of the barstool.  People immediately abandon the area adjacent to Lonagan and Wayne.  The dog pants with teeth fully exposed, tongue lolling outhis way of smiling but people shrink back, forming a big empty circle.

After a minute, Loop pulls out a cell phone.  “Hey Nick? It’s me.  Remember our talk?  Well, what about it?”  Loop rolls his eyes as he listens.  “Yeah…yeah. Okay! Done!”  He pockets the phone and grins a satisfied grin. “I’m takin’ yer advice.  If Jonelis fires me, you’ll find me right here.”  He moves his arm in a sweeping gesture.  “Dis whole place is mine now.”  

READ SERIES FROM BEGINNING

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2016 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, Characters, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, loop lonagan, Mark T Wayne, vc, venture capital

MIT WHITEBOARD CHALLENGE

Mark T Wayne BOTTOMJohn Jonelis

From special correspondent – Mark T Wayne

Five minutes, a marker, and a whiteboard. That’s all you get with this jaded crowd of critics, skeptics and swarming humanity.

You’ve come here to bare the greatest idea of your life and all the dreams that go with it. You competed for a chance at this grueling event against near a hundred early-stage teams. You’re one of only ten to make the finals.

Now they give the signal and you start like a runner off the blocks. And when your five minutes are up, it’s “NEXT!” No excuse will answer, sir! You are not permitted to utter another word so you sit down to bite your nails.

I can barely credit how fast ten contenders go by without a break in the action. .

Whiteboard Competitor

The Competition

This is the main event for the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. No tricked out slide show or video allowed here. You must draw while you talk. The whiteboard is blank and indeed frightening to behold.

You swallow your fear and draw stick figures, perhaps, with a fat electronic pen. AnotherMITEF logo device projects your illegible scrawl onto a big video monitor so the WHOLE crowd can watch you make a fool of yourself. And use it you must—oh yes, you can’t ignore the whiteboard. It’s the only tool you get to express your idea, besides flapping your jaw.

I see you fidget and turn pale like some of the other folk as you try to explain your complex technology to a disgruntled audience of frowning faces while under the gun of the timer. Was that a nervous tick I just saw? Control yourself, sir!

Mark T WayneThis ain’t the typical pitch contest. You competed with scores of other teams on the value and marketability of your idea. That means all ten of you show up here tonight with something worthwhile. Now you get judged again on merit, but also on communication and use of the whiteboard.

Why do you do it? It’s not the $3,000 first prize—that only amounts to party money. No, the real goal is exposure. A chance to round up some angel capital from those sitting among this distinguished crowd and maybe push your idea to the next level. That and the simple satisfaction of coming out on top.

MITEF Chicago has been putting on this competition for some time. I consider it a premier event. To give you the flavor of it, here is a wonderful short video created in a previous season:

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This Year’s Winners

SIRAGO— Deniz Alpay—First Place

MIT White Board ChallengeUnfortunate patients are going straight from Stage 1 to Stage 4 cancer right in the hospital as a direct result of an innocuous and ubiquitous procedure called the biopsy. The problem is rampant in some cancers.

Gentlemen take note: If the oncologist suspects testicular cancer, no biopsy will be done. No sir! The surgeon removes the offending testicles forthwith! This is execrable sir! I wince to hear such words!

Breast cancer is yet another prevalent victim to this culprit. But whatever the cancer, it happens in three ways:

  • When removing the biopsy needle, infected tissue gets dragged away from the site.
  • Sometimes infection spreads through the hole left by the needle.
  • At other times, the infection enters the bloodstream directly because of the needle wound.

Ugh! Horrible stuff! Ought not to be allowed! Could it be that a patient stands a chance of living longer without any test whatsoever?

Mark T Wayne

Pay close attention because the numbers do not favor you. 12.5 million Americans have cancer right now—and that’s expected to rise dramatically. During the span of a lifetime we are talking about one in every two men—one in every three women. I look around the room and wonder—does any man here still have the stones to remedy this injustice?

The young lady draws a clear picture on the whiteboard and presents a solution. It is a hollow needle. An agent is pumped into the needle to plug the opening. Then the biopsy needle follows. When the biopsy is extracted, any unwanted tissue cannot pass the plug.

Mark T WayneI let out a lungful of air. Whew! Such a simple solution. And having seen it described so well, there is no doubt in my mind that it will turn the trick. Something so easily incorporated into existing procedures will likely be widely adopted. In fact, hospitals already exhibit interest.

This young lady is articulate with an excellent command of the white board. I believe she well deserves her First Place finish. I vote for this one myself.

Later while writing my notes, it occurs to me to research the name Sirago. I find some USS Siragointeresting imagery here and wonder if it is intentional. Sirago is the namesake of a 1946 WWII American attack submarine that destroyed two German submarines. This is a boat that survived two major surgeries. It was modernized in 1949 and again in 1962, after which it continued operations until 1972—a good long life for a weapon of war. I see it lancing through the waves in triumph.  I let you draw your own mental image.

Sirago Check 2

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COUP $ITY— David Hazan—Second Place (It’s pronounce it “koop city.”)

This is a free mobile game concept where players generate coupons that increase in value based on game play. You must play the game to earn the reward. That is significant!

I am known to play a game of Whist or Poker. I imagine myself, ordinarily reluctant to Mark T Waynefool with coupons, now proudly presenting my prized ticket to the cashier with a flourish and a knowing smile. The coupon displays right on my smartphone and I keep that contraption in the pocket of my white vest.

There can be no doubt that a market exists. The Mobile App industry has grown from zero in 2007 to 25 billion today and game-based advertising is popular.

David came with his own enthusiastic cheering section, which never hurts.

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TRIBAL SCIENCE—Mike Vasquez—Third Place

Dr Mike VasquezThis PhD is an engineer as well as a sports nut. He calls the device a Rip Chip. It answers questions such as: “How fast? How high? How many revolutions?”

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you’re one of that peculiar brand of Tribal Sciencelunatic that lifts weights, hurdles down icy ski slopes, or performs tricks on a snowboard or skateboard. Now you can read precise statistics fed right to your smartphone. Why would you want to do that? It turns out there are a number of rational reasons:

  • You can improve your performance.
  • You can quantify what you did and compare it to other lunatics.
  • You can hold yourself accountable to another person—preferably your psychiatrist or surgeon.
  • You can directly compete with like-minded individuals in far-away places who also have Rip Chips installed on their devices of doom.

I have to admit, this may change the way athletes compete, play, share, and train. We are looking here at 50 million potential users. .

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EATERIA— Ola Ayeni—The Mark T Wayne Business Award

EateriaAll but one of the ten offerings have yet to go beyond the IDEA stage and form a REAL business. Therefore it is my duty to offer my own award. I hearby select Eateria, a company that helps restaurants induce people to come back and eat more food at their particular establishment. And they do it without weapons! Look at this ultra-professional video:

You will find six more videos posted on the Eateria website. They leave no doubt how Eateria Logothis offering works.

And they’re already generating press.

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GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

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Notes & Links

Judges – This is an intimidating bunch if I ever saw one:

Jed AbernethyJed Abernethy

Big Idea Forum

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David BrownDavid Brown

Ungeretti & Harris LLP

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Moises GoldmanMoises Goldman PhD

M&J Acquisitions Moises6@comcast.net

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Steve SmithSteve Smith

Global Strategy Implementation

(He flew in from Amsterdam for the event.)

The Nameless RabbleThe Nameless Rabble

Yes, the audience votes too.

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Nancy MunroMODERATOR – Nancy Munro of KnowledgeShift pulls off this event with her usual aplomb. She’s the Chapter President of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. And it ain’t at all boring for this old man to watch her erase the whiteboard ten times, either.

LOCATION – This is taking place at a hotbed of innovation, TechNexus, the home of the Illionois Technology Forum. The law firm of Ungaretti & Harris is also a sponsor.  Quartet IdeaShare makes the slick infrared and ultrasound whiteboard display tool that’s helping with all this suffering tonight.

MIT Enterprise Forum

THE TOP TEN COMBATANTS in alphabetical order:

The USS Sirago (SS-485) attack submarine from Wikipedia.

Photography Courtesy of: MITEF Chicago, Steve Smith, Moises Goldman, David Brown, Jed Abernethy, Nancy Munro, Mike Vasquez, Eateria, Wikipedia.

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GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money. .Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved . .

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Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, investor, Mark T Wayne, MIT, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Mobile, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, pitch, Software

THE TWO LAWS

IMSA Kids at MIT Enterprise Forum

From a special correspondent – Mark T. Wayne,

as told to John Jonelis

Mark T Wayne Frankly sir, I am flabbergasted! This is something beyond my experience! Think of it. High school students turned serious entrepreneurs. These are children in suit and tie—teams of them politely waiting to speak in turn without interrupting the others. Not so much as a spit wad—do you hear me? Not one! That in itself is cause for more than casual interest. And no fluff here, sir!  These kids seek equity funding without so much as a blush. And they do it with such aplomb.

One by one they each give a compelling presentation before a swarm of serious investors and businessmen. Each offers a new venture—a real venture with a plausible business plan. Yes, I witnessed it myself. Something astounding is taking place among those students and I want to put my finger on just what it is.

Let’s look at one example. Jason Lin is on stage to confront the audience at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago—

Jason Lin

Jason Lin – WikiRoster

This is a crowd of competitive peers, cynical investors, critical business people, and a panel of jaded judges. Young Jason stands before this daunting mob, tricked out in his tailored suit, relaxed, poised, and glib. He calmly and professionally convinces us that his company is number one. His is not a pipe dream.  NO – IT’S A FULLY OPERATING BUSINESS, SIR!  And remember, this is high school.

I talked to Kendrick Lau from his team while waiting for the judge’s decision. We traded letters after that. Every encounter tells me of sincerity, intelligence, and good breeding.

Judge Bob Geras

Judge Bob Geras

Does this surprise you? Everyone knows that our public schools are the laughing stock of the world. Today, a faithful teacher invests all her hopes and struggles to graduate just a few students that can read, write, and comprehend the rudiments of the English language.

And this has been the way of it for at least 150 years. Take the well-known example of a boy named Tom who I know from my own youth. Not a model student but not unusual, either. He hates school with his whole heart. In class he starts a quarrel with the first boy that comes handy. Then he pulls a boy’s hair in the next bench. Next he sticks a pin in another boy, in order to hear him say “Ouch!”

And Tom is not unique. No sir! His whole class is of a pattern—restless, noisy, and troublesome. Fidgetings and whisperings extend far and wide. Soon the classroom air is thick with paper wads.

Can you conceive of building a serious business venture in such chaos?

David Park

David Park – tunesketch

IMSA – the Illinois Math and Science Academy has teamed with other high schools in the region.  As a result, these children might very well be the best-of-the-best.  But can that explain this wonderful performance? Rubbage! That does not answer. Kids are kids wherever you go. There must be some fundamental law at work.

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Two Laws

As I cogitate on that a while, I actually come up with two fundamental laws:

  • Law #1—Misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. It does not matter if the enterprise is puckering the lips and successfully whistling for the first time or a more complex pursuit such as playing a tuba or starting a business. When the thing is achieved, exultation takes over.
  • Law #2—Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do. Play consists of whatever a body is NOT OBLIGED to do. Entrepreneurship—at the fundamental level—is pure play. Folks will work harder at play than at any other activity under the sun.

Mark T Wayne

I recall these same two laws driving a boy to engage in private enterprise about 150 years ago. Everybody here is familiar with Tom’s brush with whitewashing his Aunt Polly’s fence. The story has been around long enough to suggest universality.

For a boy, painting a fence is a daunting task and one sure to bring the scorn of other boys who are setting off on interesting Saturday expeditions. Permit me to dwell for a few moments upon the manner in which Tom turns a hated task into a profitable venture.

Kendrick Lau

Kendrick Lau – WikiRoster

With his bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush, he surveys the fence in genuine anguish. A quick accounting of the resources in his pockets makes it clear that he cannot hire boys to do the work—he must find other means. So he brushes on the whitewash and stands back critically, then dabs at the fence and again surveys his work. When his friend Ben comes by, Tom convinces him he’s having the time of his life (Law #2). After eager negotiation, Ben gives up a juicy apple for the honor of painting that fence and he sets to it with enthusiasm (Law #1).

Boys happen along to jeer but remain to whitewash. Tom trades the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite in good repair.

Ethan Gordon

Ethan Gordon – Bend

Then Johnny Miller buys in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with. When the middle of the afternoon comes, Tom is literally rolling in wealth. He has twelve marbles, a piece of blue bottle glass, a spool cannon, a key that won’t unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, the glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar, the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.

His enterprising spirit does not stop there.  The next day at Sunday School, he trades these treasures for yellow and blue tickets earned by diligent students that meticulously memorized Scripture. He turns in those tickets in one big pile and wins the honor of the faculty and a girl’s heart – at least until he is questioned more closely.  It seems the most boastful are the first to get found out.  We will draw the curtain on that scene.

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The Winners

Winners of the MITEF / IMSA Power Pitch with IMSA Faculty

The Winners

So what have these young folk at MITEF to offer? Here are the winners:

  • WikiRoster – Jason Lin, Jung Oh and Kendrick Lau operate a website that answers the question, “Who is in my class?” This is the first question a student asks. It’s already changing the way high schools interact and the way marketers do business. It facilitates collaboration on homework, notes, tutoring, sale of textbooks. There is almost no competition in the high school market. And it’s a going venture!
  • Bend – Ethan Gordon has developed a way to generate electricity from undersea currents. This is in the far depths and does not interfere with commerce or recreation. And it’s clean!
  • Tunesketch – David Park offers software that lets you write beautiful music by the simple act of making a rough sketch. I can think of many folks who will buy that!
Judges

Judges

And these are high school age children! All of them give us a peek at their business plans and answer the important questions: Why will folks buy it? How does the company make money? How does the investor make money? In my imagination, Tom and Billy Fisher and Johnny Miller and all the other fence painters want to buy in. And well they should. I do too!

powerpitch logoAllow me to bestow credit to Jim Gerry of IMSA and Moises Goldman of MITEF for bringing inspiration to us in in the midst of all the chaos we call education.  Tonight we have seen it as it never appeared in our fondest dreams.

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ContactsT MITEF

Moises Goldman PhD – MITEF – M&J Acquisitions –  Moises6@comcast.net

Jim Gerry – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director at IMSA – jgerry@imsa.edu

IMSA – Illinois Math and Science Academy – www.imsa.eduT IMSA

MITEF Chicagowww.mitefchicago.org

WikiRosterWikiRoster.com

tunesketchtunesketch.com

Photographs courtesy IMSA Student Productions  www.imsastudentproductions.com/view.php?id=128

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GO TO PART 2 – SIX KIDS PUT TECH COMMUNITY TO SHAME

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