Northeast Ohio is Brimming With Innovation-Ready High School Entrepreneurs
entrepreneurship, Jeffrey Stamp, ideation, Thinkfest, creativity, innovation, youth entrepreneurship, Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, high school, startup, entrepreneur

Northeast Ohio is Brimming With Innovation-Ready High School Entrepreneurs

Cynthia Bailie
The Veale Foundation
Phone: (216) 255-3179
Email: cbailie@vealefound.org
30195 Chagrin Blvd., 310
Pepper Pike, OH 44124

Press Release

Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum and John Carroll University team up with award-winning creative professional, Dr. Jeffrey Stamp, to introduce high school entrepreneurs to creativity and innovation at the second annual Thinkfest.

Cleveland, September 28, 2016: Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum convened students and educators from eighteen Cleveland-area high schools, September 28, 2016, for the second annual Thinkfest at John Carroll University. Led by award-winning creative professional, Dr. Jeffrey Stamp, students spent the day “unlearning” how they’ve been taught to catalog the world around them and having their untapped creative abilities awakened through a series of entertaining and fun activities.

“The best ideas come from being aware of the world around us,” remarked Dr. Jeffrey Stamp. “At Thinkfest, I asked students to examine a photograph of a paper airplane and write down everything they see in the picture. It’s interesting how few students write down words like “fly” or “soar” to describe what they see in the picture, opting instead for words like “airplane” or “sky.” Once students are jolted out of simply cataloging what they’ve memorized, the ideas start flowing.”

Thinkfest culminated into a problem-solving session taken from the real world of business. Students and teachers were tasked with developing a new line of business using a warehouse full of empty cardboard canisters, which were sourced for a product no longer being manufactured. Product ideas ranged from Smart Charge, a simple, elegant solution for charging your iWatch, to Edible Express, a take-out container that replaces bags and secures food more effectively, to Mouse Morgue, a fully biodegradable, sticky mousetrap.

Dr. Stamp knows his stuff. “I learned what it really means to think outside the box. In some ways, you have to forget everything you’ve learned inside the box in order to be creative,” said Deondra Gibson from Harvey High School. “It was fun to form a Thinkfest team with such diverse individuals from so many different schools for the day. Thank you so much for this experience. I now know I have to believe in what I am making and myself in order to be successful.”

Creativity and innovation are essential to the entrepreneurial mindset. “We’re committed to providing students and educators with first-class experiences for flexing creative muscles and learning a process for exploring ideas that are ambiguous and lack well-defined outcomes,” said Cynthia Bailie, executive director of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum. “This is the space where game-changing innovations lurk. Through programs like Thinkfest, students and educators are increasing their comfort with ambiguity, freeing themselves to think creatively, and sharpening their ideation skills.”

John Carroll University’s entrepreneurship Minor powers Thinkfest. “Dr. Stamp epitomizes what the entrepreneurship minor is all about at John Carroll University,” remarked Dr. Jackie Schmidt, director of the program. “We look at entrepreneurship as a way of thinking and teach students how to recognize and act on opportunities.”


Dr. Jeffrey Stamp
Dr. Jeffrey Stamp is the creator of Baked! Lays Potato Chips for PepsiCo’s snack division, Frito Lay, and leader of seven successful startups. He was awarded the prestigious student-nominated Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the Acton Foundation and shared his talents through Eureka! Ranch and University of North Dakota, where he was a chaired assistant professor of entrepreneurship. Dr. Stamp helps entrepreneurs and students worldwide awaken their untapped creative abilities and accelerate discovery thinking.

John Carroll University, Entrepreneurship Minor
John Carroll University’s interdisciplinary entrepreneurship program is ranked in the top 25 best undergraduate programs in the nation by U.S News and World Report. The program is grounded in the University’s values-based Jesuit education, which emphasizes critical thinking, ethical, global issues, reflection, and service to others. Students gain knowledge and skills from business and liberal arts faculty and through hands-on learning via the Entrepreneurs Association housed in the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship.

Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum
The Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, funded by The Veale Foundation, is a growing network of high schools in Northeast Ohio that equips students with an entrepreneurial mindset and essential skills through exceptional education and real-world experiences in entrepreneurship.

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