Mount St. Mary Academy juniors Arianna Marzello and Caroline Wood participated in the Y2 Entrepreneurship Labs program in Toronto for two Saturdays in a row in late February and early March, and their team was named as one of the winners of the competition.

Caroline was one of about two dozen students who was interested in developing a business concept and had the courage to stand in the front of the room of about 60 teens, plus a variety of entrepreneurs and executives, and pitched her idea. She pitched the idea of developing a filter that would fit on the exhaust pipe of a vehicle and decrease its carbon emissions. The entire room voted on each idea. The top 10 were selected, and Caroline’s was one of those that made the cut. Arianna joined Caroline’s team, as did four students from the Toronto area.

Arianna and Caroline consulted with former Congressman Jack Quinn on what it would take from a legislative standpoint to make their technology a reality in the United States.

The teams reconvened in Toronto, finalized their extended pitches, and presented to a panel of three executives/entrepreneurs who served as judges. Caroline, Arianna and their full team were “amazing,” not only in the pitch itself, but on both days and throughout the process. One of the judges complimented their team of mostly women for reinforcing to her that young women are eager to dive into high-tech and manufacturing as leaders. “You inspire me,” she said, both during the presentation and when she brought them forward later in the afternoon as one of two winning teams.

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