Blog Post 10 – Tom Tom Event

Today, I had the opportunity to attend the Youth Summit at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Although this event was geared towards younger individuals (high school) I was able to hear two young innovative speakers, Nikhil Goyal and Leilei Secor.

Nikhil is a 20-year-old activist who wanted to speak on the subject of educational malpractice. From his own experiences in high school in Long Island, he found that many people were not only bored and disengaged but also there was a mental health crisis. Along with this mental health crisis came the pressures of succeeding in school, sleep deprivation, and possibly prescription drugs. Nikhil wanted answers and reached out to many educational reformers and is still working on his solution to a better education system. He urged the youth to find something, to inform themselves, and to get involved.

Leilei is a second year from UVA and started her own Etsy company, Designed by Lei, the summer before her Junior year of high school. She was unable to find a job and decided to start making her own jewelry and to sell it online. She began looking for trending ideas and different things that she could easily change to what she believed was better and then sold them at a competitive price. By doing so, Leilei was able to purchase her own car and raised over $100K dollars in revenue last year. Her message was that many things can be taught, but passion cannot be and she urged the youth to find something they were passionate about and to pursue it.

Both Nikhil and Leilei provided great information on how they became such successful entrepreneurs at a young age and their talks were very useful. I enjoyed the event and took many things away from it.

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Blog Post 10 – Tom Tom Event

Blog Post 9

As we head into the third week of the existence of our hydroponics system let’s discuss week two results as well as the expectations for week 3. The kale in our hydroponics system looked healthy and we added water and nutrients to maintain the levels. After walking HackCville on Tuesday however, I was worried that the plants might be in too cold of an environment.

Conducting more research, I found that Kale (when being grown hydroponically) produces the best results in 75 to 85 degrees weather. This does not mean our kale will not survive (as it can grow in temperatures as low as 40 degrees), but I do wonder if it will stunt the growth as well as the overall nutrients of the plant.

Additionally, we have not been able to check the pH levels of our reservoir. Kale needs between a 5.5 and 6.5 pH level in order to grow healthily. Low levels may result in the plant slowly dying. More so, sources say that the Kale can take up to 4 months to fully grow, however since we did not use seeds, I believe we will be able to harvest our plants within the next two weeks (baby kale can be harvested 20-30 days after being places in a hydroponics system).

It will be interesting to see whether or not our Kale can grow successfully and become harvestable before classes end. I believe we will be successful in harvesting, however I hope we can monitor our pH level in the upcoming two weeks. More so, I believe it is not crucial for our kale to grown in 75 to 85 degrees whether because if it can grow in worse than suggested conditions and remain nutrition then that could broaden the scope of our customer base and target areas.

Blog Post 9