PROJECT ECHO (Entrepreneurial Concepts Hands On!)

Support, Inspire, Motivate

aka Project ECHO   |   Santa Monica, CA   |  www.projectecho.org

Mission

Project ECHO empowers students with entrepreneurial and leadership skills so that they can thrive in college, their careers and in their community as change-makers.

Ruling year info

1996

Executive Director

Diane Quast

Main address

P.O. Box 2410

Santa Monica, CA 90407 USA

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EIN

95-4580212

NTEE code info

Secondary/High School (B25)

Business, Youth Development (O53)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

High School Entrepreneurs' Business Academy

Project ECHO’s High School Entrepreneur’s Business Academy is a semester long class that combines hands on activities coupled with a formal curriculum to help students learn the fundamentals of creating a business. ECHO gives each school the latitude to implement the program anyway it chooses; from a formal class to an after school club, there is no right or wrong way to teach the program.
The formal curriculum teaches:
Introduction to business plans
Ideation and creating a business description
Completing an industry and market analysis
Developing a marketing plan
Constructing an operations plan
Identifying the management team and creating an organizational structure complete with titles and reporting relationships
Creating a financial and funding plan, which also includes learning about financial reporting and how to read financial statements.
Excel, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
The informal curriculum teaches:
Team work
Interpersonal communication
Business etiquette
How to network in social settings
Self-promotion
Dress for success
Time management
This interactive program is designed to introduce teens to relevant business school fields of study. It’s intended to help prepare students to graduate from high school motivated to enter a two- or four-year college or university, vocational training or an apprenticeship.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Project ECHO’s High School Entrepreneurs Business Boot Camps launch the program year in the Fall. Taught by entrepreneurs, business executives and industry leaders, the Boot Camps are an integral part of the ECHO program and serves as a starting point for students to initiate their business ideas and supports the formal Entrepreneurial curriculum taught in the Spring. There are two Boot Camps and session one covers ideation and marketing and session two covers finance and pitch. Throughout the morning-long events, MBA candidates from UCLA help facilitate small group discussions among the teens and provide mentorship to help students complete preliminary exercises. The goal of Boot Camp is to help students from the same high school form initial business teams, commit to a business idea, and introduce students to initial business concepts.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

As new schools enroll in Project ECHO, our Teacher Boot Camp offers new teachers and school administrators the opportunity to learn about the program and the formal entrepreneurship curriculum. Taught by experienced ECHO teachers who have risen to master teacher status, the Teacher Boot Camp breaks down the curriculum by chapter, and offers best practices in teaching the curriculum. It’s an open forum for teachers to share their experiences, get great ideas from each other and network while their students are attending the Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ECHOnomics aims to provide students the opportunity to continue their exploration into entrepreneurship, business and self-discovery. Breakout sessions will span from ideation, marketing, finance, technology, public speaking, as well as more general professional skills, such as networking, personal branding, developing LinkedIn profiles, writing a first resume, interviewing techniques, and more!

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Project ECHO utilizes our long-standing relationships with prestigious business and law schools in Southern California to provide high school students the best mentorship available. MBA and JD mentors travel to schools and/or Skype with teachers and their students on a weekly basis. This effort is to provide the high school students one-on-one guidance, support and peer-like tutoring. Research has identified that most of our high school students live in single parent homes, or in homes where both parents work varied work schedules including evening and weekend shifts. MBA mentors offer personal, career and technical support that may be absent or unavailable in their homes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

The program culminates in the spring with a formal business plan competition that considers both the written business plan along with the oral presentation. The event day competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms. The judges function as venture capital investors deciding on which business venture they would most likely fund. The quality of the idea, the strength of the management team, and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written plan and oral presentation, all influence the judges’ decisions. Ultimately, the winning teams are selected based on where the judges would most likely invest their money.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. To engage low-achieving 11th grade students enrolled in Title 1 schools with an exciting 12-part interdisciplinary curriculum based on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) at no cost to high schools, teachers or students
2. To recruit, train and provide positive role models to our high school students through graduate level mentors who are currently enrolled in MBA programs at top universities
3. To provide students a competitive education for college entrance and career development
4. To unite the business community around these students and show their support through multiple opportunities, and to give of their time, talent and resources
5.. To teach youth the value of teamwork towards achieving success

Project ECHO is a year-long program that combines multiple one-day entrepreneurship boot camps followed by a semester long entrepreneurship academy. Boot camps are offered in the fall and bring the high school students onto campus at UCLA where they are offered seminar style courses taught by industry executives. It's a very dynamic experience which is achieved by organizing the high school students into small groups after each seminar and MBA mentors engage the students into active learning. In the spring, the semester long entrepreneurship academy takes place and is taught by high school teachers in their classrooms. MBA students visit the classrooms and mentor the students as they develop their businesses.

Students are taught a multi-part entrepreneurship/ business curriculum. Each segment builds upon the last and by the end of the Program, student teams present their formal business plan to judges and an audience of 500+.

The formal curriculum teaches:
• Introduction to business plans
• Ideation and creating a business description
• Completing an industry and market analysis
• Developing a marketing plan
• Construct an operations plan
• Identifying the management team and creating an organizational structure complete with titles and reporting relationships
• Creating a financial and funding plan, which also includes learning about financial reporting and how to read financial statements.
• Excel, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

The informal curriculum teaches:
• Team work
• Interpersonal communication
• Business etiquette
• How to network in social settings
• Self-promotion
• Dress for success
• Time management

This interactive program is designed to help prepare students to graduate from high school well prepared to enter a two- or four-year college or university, vocational training or an apprenticeship.

After completing Project ECHO, students will have completed two Boot Camps, a 12-week Entrepreneur’s Business Academy, written a formal business plan that averages 25 pages, and presented at a Business Plan Competition against students from over 20 schools in Southern California. These are accomplishments which provide them a competitive edge for successful self-employment, college admissions and career opportunities. Students will also build several professional relationships which will be useful in self-employment ventures, college applications and resume preparation.

Financials

PROJECT ECHO (Entrepreneurial Concepts Hands On!)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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PROJECT ECHO (Entrepreneurial Concepts Hands On!)

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Lee Fox

Peerspring

Term: 2018 - 2020


Board co-chair

Mr. Dustin Gale

Kayne Anderson Rudnick

Term: 2018 - 2020

Chip Goodman

No Affiliation

Scott Fennel

No Affiliation

Jeff Kravitz

No Affiliation

David Tokofsky

No Affiliation

Jason Meugniot

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes