About Lemonade Alley
At its core, Lemonade Alley is just a lemonade stand contest. Kids build stands. They sell lemonade. But the “twist” is that they do it for a charity of their choice. Which makes Lemonade Alley an all-in-one innovation challenge, entrepreneurial contest and charitable giving program. For the kids, it’s about empowerment and finding the hero within. For adults, it’s a chance to play like a kid again and build family, professional and community relationships.
Over the years, Lemonade Alley has matured into a movement complete with rich traditions including The Yellow Carpet Walk (judges & team introductions), Start Your Lemons (Start of “Sales”), B-Plan, Booth, Taste & Sales Pitch Judging, and Raising of the Umbrellas (a “Profit to Share!” shout-out to the world).
Bottomline, Lemonade Alley is about creating champions. Heroes. Smart kids. Giving kids. Great parents. Engaged teachers. Generous sponsors. And a stronger community for all.
Lemonade Alley began in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2011 where 21 world leaders, including American President Barrack Obama, convened for the International Asian Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Summit. At the same time, the American economy was hard hit by a economic recession. At the same time, the demand for business and entrepreneurial programs in schools was beginning to trend. So we set about “killing two birds with one stone” by creating Lemonade Alley as a way for kids to learn that business is fun as well as for them to show the world how to save the economy through entrepreneurship. Since the contest was to be a financial challenge, we decided to have all money raised to be donated to charities of the kids’ choices.
The inaugural event was planned in the two months leading up to APEC and was held on Iolani School’s baseball field in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the time, Iolani administrators liked the idea, but were dubious that the event could be pulled off in a month’s planning. The pitch at the time was that the event would be small with 5-10 lemonade stands in the middle of the outfield as a publicity stunt for visiting APEC press. In the end, 69 teams applied for the challenge, but due to space limitations, entries were paired down to 32 Finalist teams who competed head-to-head eventually selling thousands of dollars of lemonade for charity.
Lemonade Alley is a testament to the power of a good idea and a ton of elbow grease. From the very start corporate sponsors, judges, mentors and volunteers showed up to make a truly unique and picturesque event.
In succeeding years, Lemonade Alley has become more clearly defined as an entrepreneurship meets philanthropy challenge. This unique position was captured in our 2013 slogan, “Profit to Share” which has stuck as the event’s permanent slogan. Through this theme, our goal is to communicate that the world is bountiful enough for innovators to support themselves yet also be able to give back to the community at the same time.
On behalf of the entire Lemon Crew and BizGym Foundation, thanks for helping empower the idea of Profit to Share!
Love, Lemons & Aloha,
Steve Sue, Chief Lemon Head