New event #BreakerBOI to highlight high-school entrepreneurs

newsroom@idahostatesman.comJune 17, 2014 

Design, social innovation and alternative learning collide at Breaker, an organization empowering young people to create design solutions for the world's most pressing problems. Teams of 18- to 24-year-olds create startups to meet the challenges presented and in the process, create their own entrepreneurship opportunities.


Editor's note: An incorrect address for the pitch event June 25 has been corrected below.

A new eight-day event at the Garro Building on 8th and Bannock streets in Downtown Boise will promote the intersection of education and entrepreneurship.

Fifteen Treasure Valley high school students, business and civic leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs and others will "research, design and test the viability and social impact of real world business applications," according to a press release announcing the event.

Project Breaker, which runs from June 18-25, poses a question to the participants: "What is the future of stuff?"

The project is a collaboration between Stanford University, Treasure Valley-based One Stone and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. The Boise Breaker event — dubbed #BreakerBOI — follows similar events in Detroit, New York City and Portland. But the Boise event is the first to involve high school students.

Breaker's mission is "to help solve the world's most pressing problems," the press release stated. "We connect our young people with global thought leaders and industry experts to answer challenges like literacy, urban agriculture and technology for civic engagement."

Breaker events result in actual products that are "ready to be stress-tested and developed," the release said.

"Project Breaker gets students engaged in real education and project-based learning," said Lisa Fisher, Albertson Foundation senior program officer in change management. "Entrepreneurship is a hot career path. This is a hands-on way to get that experience and create an entrepreneurial mindset."

Breaker founder and TED Senior Fellow Juliette LaMontagne praised Boise for the "entrepreneurial appetite" of its high school students.

Kate Simonds, a Timberline High School senior and One Stone board member, added, "High school students are natural makers and doers. ... This is a great opportunity for us to share our voice and talent."

A kick-off event starts at 5:30 p.m. June 18 at The Linen Building on 14th and Grove streets in Downtown Boise.

Students will showcase their work in a pitch event at 9 a.m. June 25 at Skaggs Hall in the Micron Business and Economics Building, on the corner of Capitol Boulevard and University Drive in Boise.

Both events are free and open to the public, but planners request RSVPs sent to Neva Geisler at

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