An app aimed at enhancing art lovers’ understanding of historic monuments has secured a second consecutive win for a Rome school in ORT’s leading entrepreneurial competition.
The ‘MyHistory’ app, created by students at the ORT Liceo Renzo Levi in Rome, assists users by finding data and information about monuments and important historical sites.
It was the winning project in last month’s World ORT Taub Young Entrepreneurship (YEP) Program for northern hemisphere schools.
Created by Rachel Anticoli and Yocheved Sessa, both 15, the app has been compared to Shazam – the music-identifying app first launched 20 years ago.
Targeted at travellers, art lovers and university students, ‘MyHistory’ provides information about specific monuments and quickly finds data about historically important places. The monetization will come from a paid premium version with discounts and free entrance to museums and events.
The YEP competition sees teams of students design a product or service which solves a social problem, with milestone presentations and pitches to judges throughout the course. Eight teams of ORT students from seven countries received a thorough introduction to the world of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship during this year’s program.
The year-long YEP course simulates the real-world process of developing an initial idea through market research, analyzing risks and opportunities, defining product specifications, selecting the optimum business model, designing a marketing strategy, manufacturing a product prototype, and finally presenting a business plan and sales pitch.
During the final, teams of students – aged 14 and 15 – gave four-minute presentations of their project before answering questions from the judges. The teams in this year’s final were all well prepared with excellent ideas to solve local and global problems, and demonstrated how the program contributes to their development.
Opening the event Robert Taub – an experienced entrepreneur who is the lead program sponsor and World ORT Secretary– told the students: “Go to bed with a dream and wake up with the purpose – it’s good advice. The thinking process is very important. ORT’s mission is to educate you, open your mind, and provide you with the skills you need for the future.”
Yocheved Sessa, one of the winners, said: “Working to create something that big in a group was a new thing. It helped me learn many things; we worked cohesively, and everyone felt important and gave something to our app. It helped me to be more enterprising and helped me to talk more.”
During the final the student teams exchanged ideas with experienced entrepreneurs who offered advice on their pitches, presentations and solutions. The judging panel included Eric Green from Toronto, a technology and consumer goods entrepreneur and executive; Marie-Helene Rheims, a brand strategy specialist and member of ORT Switzerland’s executive board; and Annette Kurer, a global leadership consultant and motivational speaker, who is Chair of ORT UK’s Board of Trustees.
The ORT Dimcho Debelianov team, from Sofia, Bulgaria, finished in second place. With an environmental focus, their project was based on creating eco-friendly biofuel from cheap and otherwise discarded cooking oil.
In addition to the prizes for first and second place, the ORT Kyiv team was congratulated for its work in the competition. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian students could not complete their participation due to the conflict. They will receive additional prizes for their endeavor.