Written by Brandon Lomax, LITE Participant
Brandon is a participant in “Let’s Innovate Through Education,” a Memphis youth program that empowers African-American/Latino high school students to launch entrepreneurial ideas in their own communities. This six-month incubator offers weekly check-ins to develop an idea using a customer feedback process. Then the students learn how to market, pitch, budget and launch their ideas with limited seed investments of $750. The program culminates with a live pitch night to a community audience to win extra funding.
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My name is Brandon Lomax, a student at White Station High School in Memphis. It’s an amazing city with interesting things to do, and my favorite thing to do here is making movies. I love creating, watching and talking about films. At a youth leadership conference, I heard about “LITE,” where I could learn how to start my own business in Memphis with any idea I wanted, and of course, I chose to create something centered around my favorite art form.
Before joining LITE, I tried to start my own production company but didn’t find much success. I had no idea what I was doing at the time – the paperwork, the employees, the planning – it was all too much. I was in way over my head.
Fortunately, I was one of the lucky few to be chosen as a finalist for LITE Memphis this fall. I was excited because they had everything I needed to get started, none of which I had before, including startup capital, partners to network with and a solid plan to get my idea off the ground.
After a few weeks of developing my idea and understanding the different approaches I could take to bring it to life, things started to feel more real. I decided to combine my love of film and my passion for helping the community to launch “Film for Good”. Through this business I’m able to create revenue, help the community and have an insane amount of fun. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share it with everyone on Thursday, Dec. 7 at LITE Pitch Night!
Pitch Night is the culmination of LITE’s six-month incubator. I, along with 33 other young, innovative Memphians, will be unveiling the ideas we’ve been working so hard on for the last several weeks. You don’t want to miss it! Oh, and huge thanks to our friends at Launch Tennessee for sponsoring the event! We couldn’t have gotten this far without you!
The LITE Program has been an incredible opportunity. I’ve learned how to build a business from the ground up, how to make something valuable and how to be a more confident entrepreneur.