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Creating Community Connections for Youth in Colorado
BizWorld is excited to feature creative and determined, young entrepreneur Itzel Delgado and her business idea of creating BaZoink. Her company would offer a safe and fun space for the youth in her home mountain resort town in Colorado to spend their time and connect through engaging activities. Though she hasn’t launched BaZoint yet, read about her vision and strong desire to create community connections for youth to help level the playing field for young people living there and those folks that are visiting.
1) What has interested you in starting BaZoink?
I actually have not launched BaZoink yet. I am still in the works of planning, logistics, and finalizing the design. But the inspiration for BaZoink came from growing up in an expensive mountain resort town in Colorado. I noticed that there is a big wealth gap between the local residents and those that come as tourists. Our community caters to those second homeowners and tourists and much of the local population is ignored or sidelined in the picture. There are many amazing recreational opportunities to take advantage of but the majority of local teens and youth cannot afford to participate in them. Various studies done within the county demonstrated the deep impact this lack of community connection has on our local youth such as unstable housing, higher rates of mental health struggles, higher substance abuse, and such.
My goal with BaZoink is to create a safe and fun space for the youth of the county to spend their time and connect. This shall be achieved through the love for comic books, boba, and coffee. Additionally, I want to offer illustration and graphic design, and comic art classes within my space at an affordable rate. My hope is that by combining comics, food, and engaging activities, BaZoink will become the center hub for the local youth and community.
2) What do you hope to learn and get out of the YES! Program?
My goal for participating in YES! is to receive feedback and have some sort of guide as I design and finalize the details of my business. I want to launch, but I want my business to be successful. With that, learning from others and hopefully gleaning feedback from others entrepreneurial mistakes.
3) What do you feel has helped you with launching BaZoink?
As mentioned, I have not launched yet (mostly financial reasons) but being in the YES! program and participating in the workshops has given me new ideas and ways to slowly build up BaZoink. My dream is to have it as a brick-and-mortar place for people to hang out, take classes, or shop. But before I can do that I might have to take smaller steps towards that and start fully online.
4) What is your superpower? And how has it guided you in developing your business?
I am very determined and I never give up. I always try to challenge myself, push myself to my limits and learn from that. My personal motto is "if you start something, you HAVE TO finish!" This is a philosophy that I have always had and guides me through every aspect of my life.
5) Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I am nonbinary and I'm pronoun indifferent, but if I have to chose I prefer they/them or she/her pronouns. I also speak both English and Spanish, and am currently learning Korean.
Itzel, we are thrilled you are going through YES! Program with your fellow cohort members. Through a combination of rigorous business planning concepts, mentorship, introductions to other businesses and access to capital, we look forward to seeing BaZoink truly come to life.
The YES! Winter Cohort opened on January 25th, and is scheduled to run until April 8th, 2021. The summer cohort application deadline is May 14th, and is scheduled to run until August 27th, 2021. Both cohorts will have the opportunity to participate in the YES! Demo Day and pitch for start-up investment scheduled on September 17, 2021.