Two successful entrepreneurs of ZinePak & ToastBack participated in a panel with 10 of our students from the Dual Language Middle School, engaging them in a great discussion, answering many of their questions and providing great advice for their future.
Kim Kaupe is Co-Founder of ZinePak, a company that creates promotional packages to connect brands and entertainers with their fans, which started in 2010. Seth Harlem is Co-Founder of ToastBack, a drink-gifting app that donates to Clean Water funds for every drink purchased.
During the discussion, Seth and Kim shared advice with our All-Stars that he learned from being on a basketball team as well as some things he would have done differently when he was in middle school. He explained the importance of meeting and talking with teachers, advisors, ans coaches, because adults are willing to help out, but it’s important to be proactive if you need assistance. Seth suggested that the students should learn how to network. Students could start off with selecting one teacher or adult per year and visit them once a week. Furthering the discussion, Kim mentioned that if she would have created and built those relationships, it would have made her time in middle school a lot easier in high school, applying for colleges and internships.
Seth encouraged our students to join clubs and meet new people because it is all about going outside of your comfort zone, interacting with people you normally would not and engaging in events and activities that you may not be exposed to.
When asking Kim who her biggest influence was, she shared her story of being an only child, however, she was inspired by a family friend in Florida who worked in marketing. Kim followed in her neighbor’s footsteps and was hired by her friend for her first job in New York City!
Our All-Stars were highly immersed in the panel and took some valuable advice along with them, teaching them that entrepreneurialism does not happen overnight. Along with having a dream and tackling tedious tasks to achieve your goals, developing and maintaining relationships are crucial to personal development and successful careers.