Future Founders & Ford Motor Company Award $15,000 in College Scholarships to Chicago Teens

For three weeks in July, Future Founders hosted our annual Summer Startup Program to teach Chicago high school students all the skills they need to create and pitch their own business ideas to investors. During the camp, students explored the Chicago startup ecosystem, developed entrepreneurial skills, created mobile app concepts, and most importantly, had fun!

At the end of camp, students pitched their businesses to a panel of “investors.” Thanks to the generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund, the winning teams received a combined $15,000 in college scholarships!

Congratulations to the future founders who created this year’s scholarship-winning apps:

Shadiya Ewing (Lindblom Math & Science Academy), Savannah Duke (George Westinghouse College Prep) & Diego Macias (Lindblom Math & Science Academy), Founders of Signal, a platform that enhances communication between landlords and renters.

Saanji Shah (Conant High School), Fatima Guzman (Solorio Academy High School) & Princess D. Alexander (St. Marks), Founders of Creatrip, an app that helps families and groups plan travel and activities with ease.

Dulce Medina (Chicago High School for the Arts), Abdul Adedje (Lane Tech College Prep) & Saul Garza (Chicago High School for the Arts), Founders of Cozy Booth, a platform that connects aspiring artists with local recording studios.

Kaylen Hartley (Lindblom Math & Science Academy), Diego Ramos (The Chicago High School for the Arts) & Jalen Gayles (Perspectives Charter Schools), Founders of Bike Track, an app that utilizes user-generated data to showcase safe bike routes in urban settings.

Thanks to all of the people who made the camp such a transformative experience for our students. A special shoutout to LEAP Innovations and 1871 for being so welcoming to our students and for hosting camp activities!


First Ascent, Dan Bartz 

Hogsalt Restaurant Group, Brendan Sodikoff + Alisa Roadcup + Becki Scholl

ICNC, Hannah Jones 

Spudnik, Angee Lennard 

The Polsky Exchange, Elizabeth Koprucki

Threadless, Shondi + Jake Nickell 


Quentin Allums, Urban Misfit Ventures (2019 Fellow)

Jeffrey Beckham, Chicago Scholars

Garry Cooper, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Chris Deutsch, Lofty Ventures 

Ryne Kirby, UBS Private Wealth Management

Alan Phung, Viet-Impact Coffee

Eric Williams, The Silver Room

Huge thanks to all of the “investors” and volunteers who listened to student pitches and provided meaningful feedback:

Brent Chase, Products for Autism Lifestyle (PAL) (2019 Fellow)

Carson Goodale, FanFood (2018 Fellow)

Lauren Graf, EY

Jesse Herr, Bank of America

Brianna Makaric, BRITE Bites (2019 Fellow)

Moe Mitchell, Moe Mow’s Lawn Care (2019 Fellow)

Jamie Kim, bumble & butter (2019 Fellow)

Bailey Paxton, AgileCare Solutions (2019 Fellow)

Gabriela Pedroza, Pun Dulce Studio (2019 Resident)

Lucas Phillips, BrewBike (2019 Fellow)

Tony Reinhart, Ford Motor Company Fund

Ram Ramanan, EY (Board Member)

Kat Samardzija, LockerLifestyle (2018 Fellow)

Kristen Sanders, HALT Co. (2019 Resident)

Danielle Tubbs, Tubby’s Taste (2019 Fellow)

Ashley Villarreal, HearSpace (2019 Resident)

Greg Wilson, GEMS World Academy


We look forward to inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs with you!