TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With Scion’s help, young entrepreneurs are moving from the “hot seat” to the front seat and driving their businesses forward. Industry trendsetters including fashion designer Christian Siriano, Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, and Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes (among others), recently listened to business pitches inside a Scion xB and helped Scion select which entrepreneurs to support with funding, mentorship or a vehicle.
Video crews captured those journeys, hosted by comedian and writer Baratunde Thurston. The stories can be seen online and during a five-city Scion tour where the Motivatour events will gather together hundreds of local entrepreneurs to network and attend seminars with successful area leaders.
Featuring keynote speakers such as David Butler, VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Coca-Cola, and Jake Nickell, Co-founder and CEO of Threadless, the Motivatour events will be held in the following cities:
- Atlanta -- April 9
- Chicago -- April 15
- Philadelphia -- April 22
- Las Vegas -- April 28
- Los Angeles -- April 30
“Scion tapped industry all-stars to help us support young entrepreneurs who are at a tipping point with an idea or business,” said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha. “This journey around the country allows us to meet people who are forging their own path, which is what Scion is all about.”
In 2013, Scion launched its first Motivate program aimed at promoting career success. That program brought 50 young entrepreneurs to a three-day workshop with industry leaders to improve essential business skills. This year’s five events will be open to those with invitations from partner organizations and community groups.
Celebrity Mentorship in a Scion xB
For featured entrepreneurs, a 20-minute ride in a Scion xB presented a life-changing opportunity. Each individual had the length of the car ride to convince the car full of celebrity mentors that he or she had a viable business plan. If the mentors didn’t like what they heard, they asked to be dropped off and they left the car. If the entrepreneur made it to the end of the ride with a mentor still in the car, Scion committed to provide acceleration tools such as mentorship, connections, cash or a car. The captured video content shown at events and on Scion.com/motivatour will help local entrepreneurs learn from the pitching experiences.
The celebrity mentors were as follows:
- Philadelphia: Christian Siriano of Christian Siriano; Ken Austin of Tequila Avión; Natasha Case and Freya Estreller of Coolhaus
- Chicago: Jake Nickell of Threadless; Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter; Billy Dec of Rockit Ranch Productions
- Los Angeles: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy of Joyus; Heidi Ganahl of Camp Bow Wow; Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes
The competing entrepreneurs were:
- Philadelphia: Melissa Greenblatt and Caroline Calle of Frackit; Jason Browne and David Hunt of Spor; Ofo Ezeugwu and Felix Addison of Whoseyourlandlord; Grant Mellon and Michael McClung of Piqua
- Chicago: John Cifelli of Gigscout; Alex Clifford of Entourage App; Chris Lindsey and Owen Meyer of Liquorlab; Sarah Chalos of iheartkeenwah; Daniel Tobon and Nick Chapleau of StarchUp
- Los Angeles: Benji Miller of Allo; Brandon Maier of Jozii; Alicia Murphy of Edge Training; Stephen Chen of Petnostics; Dominika Juillet of Provoke
Scion continues to be the test laboratory division for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. From its start in 2003, Scion’s goal was to offer products and processes that stand apart from the crowd. Scion offers distinctive vehicles that reflect owners’ passions with a model line-up that includes the iconic xB urban utility vehicle, the tC sports coupe, the FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car, and the premium micro-subcompact iQ. The all-new Scion iM 5-door hatchback and the all-new iA sedan will arrive this fall. Scion also appeals to a youthful audience by offering a simple, no-haggle buying experience and by engaging with potential customers in meaningful and creative ways. For more information, visit www.scion.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photography and digital assets can be found at www.ScionNewsroom.com.