It all started when my friends began an entrepreneurship program in Cambridge, this program encouraged them to think about problems that were negatively impacting our community and what we can do to stop them. This entrepreneurship program was the March-to-May Bootcamp created by Youth CITIES. Whether it was introducing a new program or creating a new product in order to tackle the problem, this program made my friends excited about creative problem solving. We were all middle school students at this time. After around the 7th class of this program, one of my friends, Jennifer Kim, came up to me to discuss about problems in society that she was brainstorming and the solutions that she had came up with. One of these problems was the shocking statistic of car thefts and carjackings in the U.S. and that there should be a way in the modern age to protect cars from being stolen.
That comment started to constantly linger in my mind and I decided to brainstorm potential ways in order to solve this problem. Although I did not participate within the March-to-May Bootcamp yet, I was allowed into the additional summer program, Skunkworks, in order to progress our ideas and to work on our ventures. Since I didn’t have a venture of my own yet, I helped my friends on their venture until I had came up with a solution to the problem that Jennifer had mentioned to me. This was the start of our venture, PACTS. (Protective Autonomous Car Technology System.)
During the last week of Skunkworks, I presented the idea to some of the mentors as well as the leader of Youth CITIES, Vicky Wu Davis. They all liked the idea and they encouraged me to do some research on my idea to see if there was anything like that created before. After my research, I noticed that there were no companies that had created the same product that I had envisioned and I decided to make it my main venture. I mentioned my solution to Jennifer and she decided that it was a really good idea and wanted to join me within our venture. This leads us to the next March-to-May Bootcamp where I had decided to participate in with my venture idea. Along with another one of my friends, Maddie Nifong, who had joined the PACTS team, we progressed PACTS constantly through the Bootcamp classes, learning about entrepreneurship and how to successfully create a venture and bring it to life. Eventually, during one of the final weeks of the class, I came into contact with one of the mentors, Kathleen Huber. After discussing some parts of my venture and my powerpoint that I was preparing for the semi-finals of the project, she had mentioned to both Vicky and my team that the venture was proprietary and that we should pursue a provisional patent before going any further. She put us in contact with some patent lawyers and with Vicky and her, we finished the Bootcamp in stealth mode order to right a provisional patent first.
That brings us to here. We had successfully filed our provisional patent last summer and now we are doing research on how we can successfully bring our venture forward into the world and to create our product. Through Vicky’s programs and her constant mentoring, we get a unique opportunity in the way that we can come up with a problem in the world, design a solution and still have the ability to make our solution a reality.
That’s how we got started, but this is just the beginning of our journey. Follow our entrepreneurial journey as we document our process, the emotions of excitement and frustration, our obstacles and how we will find ways to overcome them. We will be posting our journey on the Youth CITIES website approximately once or twice a month.