Lemonade Alley is a hands-on innovation challenge that helps K-12 students learn entrepreneurship, financial literacy and charitable giving. Teams of 2-5 students create lemonade recipes, design lemonade stands and raise money for their favorite charities. Contest formats of Lemonade Alley are judged per the following Rules ». The Lemonade Alley® System is available to organizations by license. Register License »
Traditions at Lemonade Alley
- Opening Ceremonies & Yellow Carpet Walk: Teams, judges and VIPs “vogue” down a yellow carpet as they’re introduced at Opening Ceremonies.
- Start Your Lemons: Count-down for teams on Yellow Carpet to go into action.
- Main Stage Judging: Judging segments include crowd-pleasing Taste-Test (Emcee interviews team presidents as judges taste recipes) and Sales Pitch (Teams are given 1-minute to do a song, rap, dance, skit of any other kind of pitch).
- Booth Judging: Judging segments include Booth & “StoryTree” Business Plan Judging at booths.
- Lemon Bank: Teams make income deposits at an on-site bank run by a bank sponsor.
- Closing Ceremonies & Raising of the Umbrellas: The rain plan for the first Lemonade Alley was the sale of yellow umbrellas, which also served to create personal shade. Umbrellas were worked into the inaugural show as youth sent a Profit to Share shout out to the world. Closing Ceremonies include a Yellow Carpet reprise and prize awards.
While local events vary, general full-contest guidelines include:
- Teams: any K-12 students in teams of 2-5. A president as primary speaker and a treasurer as primary accounting member are required for each team.
- Divisions: generally 3 divisions for full-judged contests. Divisions include grades K-4, 5-8, 9-12. Teams with students from different age divisions must compete in the oldest student’s age division.
- Prizes: Lemonade Alleys are known to provide as much as $1,000 grand prizes per division. Additional runner-up cash and in-kind prizes as well as special appearance prizes for recipes to be featured in restaurants and other foodservice operations are often offered. At the main event in Honolulu, winning teams receive scholarships to Camp BizGym, a 5- 1/2day video pitch workshop for youth entrepreneurs.
- Locations, Dates & Times: Look for a Lemonade Alley near you See Events »
Lemonade Alley is designed as a project-based learning challenge that readies students for real life success. Built-in success themes include:
Financial Literacy. Lemonade Alley includes specific financial literacy components including:
- Micro-Lending Program where students may take small seed funding loans to start their businesses.
- Financial Forecasting Exercise where teams estimate supply costs and sales as part of the competition.
- Bank Literacy Program where teams are required to deposit their sales proceeds into an on-site bank.
Innovation & Creativity. lemonade stands have historically been the prototypical student business because they invite innovation in all areas of business including team-building, product development, sales environment, branding, marketing, sales, customer service and business modeling.
People Skills. Lemonade Alley is formulated to require teamwork, leadership development, communication, collaboration and sales skills.
STEM Skills. Science, technology, engineering and math skills are all key parts of creating a business at Lemonade Alley. Recipe development is clearly science and typically includes technological tools. Stand design also includes leveraging technology and technological tools as well as centers on engineering skills. Finally, financial literacy in the context of business is clearly applied math.
Lemonade Alley® System
- System License: the Lemonade Alley® System is available by license to organizations that wish to raise funds for charity. The license allows for a 20% “Lemonade Tax” to be deducted and split by the host organization and BizGym Foundation to defray costs. Licenses also include use of Lemonade Alley event forms, artwork and systems. See Register a License »
- 3 Challenge Levels: The Lemonade Alley® System is packaged in three levels of complexity. Level 1 Simplest Event is packaged for new producers who don’t need to run an actual judged contest. Level 2 Semi-Contest is packaged for a simple audience ballot and optional entertainment stage. Level 3 Full Competition is Lemonade Alley in all it’s glory of judging, pitch stage, tabulation and stage show traditions. Producers are encouraged to pick a starting package and add their own twists from there. See Start a Lemonade Alley »
- System Forms: The Lemonade Alley® System includes all the forms and systems necessary to make an awesome event. Once a license registration is approved, system content is made available for download. See System Forms »
- Free Use Media: Lemonade Alley makes graphic, photo and video content available for press and event organizer use. See Free Use »
- Corporate & Nonprofit Teams: Lemonade Alley encouraged businesses and organizations to mount teams from employee ranks to build teamwork, morale, organization awareness and ties with other organizations within the community. In fact, Level 1 Simplest Lemonade Alley format is squarely focused on having organizations take booths which reduces outreach complexity and ensures focus on nonprofits.
- Street-Legal Program: In recent years, a rash of police departments having to close lemonade stands has torn at hearts. But it’s important for youth to learn that laws exist for good reason. Foodservice is risky business and laws exist to keep us all safe and healthy. Lemonade Alley is committed to helping students launch food-safe and business-smart lemonade stand businesses. In this spirit, we provide a free workbook entitled, “Street-Legal Lemonade: How to Run a Lemonade Stand” for anyone to download and distribute so we can all Profit to Share! See Street-Legal Lemonade »
- Teacher & Schools Program: Academics can run Lemonade Alley as an entrepreneurial challenge, contest, with lemonade, in combination with non-lemonade products/services, in the classroom or as an after-school program. See Entrepreneurial Curriculum & After School Programs »
- Camp BizGym: the BizGym Foundation also produces a 5 1/2-day video pitch workshop for youth entrepreneurs in Honolulu, Hawaii, during the summer. This program was first created as a prize for Lemonade Alley winners. See Camp BizGym »
Needs & Opportunities
Lemonade Alley is a fun way to support our next generation of business leaders as they learn innovation, entrepreneurship and charitable giving. Here’s how to get involved:
- Local Events
- Cash Sponsors: various levels of support with varying degrees of recognition
- “Lemon Bank” Sponsors: local banks that collect team deposits before, during and after Competition Day
- Media Sponsors: TV, radio and print media for stories, interviews and PSAs
- In-kind Sponsors: product, service and venue sponsors
- Volunteers: steering committee and competition day volunteers
To sponsor, contact a Lemonade Alley event near you through our Event Listings »
- Street-Legal Program: We invite anyone to download and distribute “Street-Legal Lemonade: How to Run a Lemonade Stand,” including:
- Law Enforcement (Police, Health Departments, City Governments)
- Business Organizations (Chambers of Commece, Bar Associations, Foodservice Organizations)
- Youth Organizations (Childcare, Activity Organizations, Schools)
To learn more about how to implement this free program, see Street-Legal Lemonade »
- National Sponsors: With Lemonade Alley’s introduction to the mainland U.S. from Hawaii, we’re seeking national sponsors to take our programs to a higher level. If interested in helping, Contact Us »
- Donate: Cash donations are greatly appreciated. Donated funds are used to continually improve the Lemonade Alley® System and make it available around the world. Donations are U.S. tax deductible.
- By Check: Payable to “Lemonade Alley, BizGym Foundation” Send to: BizGym Foundation, 1012 18th Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816.
- Online: Donate by credit card or PayPal:
- 2011 Started at ‘Iolani School, Honolulu: Lemonade Alley grew out of the BizGym.com entrepreneur’s growth system being used at ‘Iolani. At the time, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was being held in Honolulu. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders were present but few local companies were getting international press coverage. In response, BizGym author Steve Sue created Lemonade Alley as a press opportunity to capture international coverage by mounting a lemonade stand contest on ‘Iolani’s baseball field.
- 2011 Continuation Grant by Capital One 360 Bank: Capital One 360 offered a grant to make the program a permanent event. BizGym Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was created to accept and manage the grant.
- 2012 Pre-Event Workshops Added: primer workshops where teams work with chefs, retail designers and pitch experts were added to the Lemonade Alley System.
- 2011-2015 Various Hawaii Site Hosts: Aside from ‘Iolani School, site hosts have included ING Direct Bank, Capital One 360, Hyatt Regency Waikiki and Pearlridge Center.
- 2015, First Off-Island Lemonade Alley: produced by NBC and YMCA in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Fremont Festival of the Arts, an event that attracts over 400,000 visitors over a weekend.
- 2015, System & Trademark License Introduced: Lemonade Alley was built into three levels of complexity from a simple sales event to fully-judged contest event.
- 2015, Significant Numbers Reached: In the first 5 years of operations, 100 team competed, 35 charities were benefited and over $40,000 raised by students for their favorite charities.
- 2015, 5th Anniversary: See the 5th Anniversary Video »
- 2016, 6th Anniversary
- 2017, 7th Anniversary
Free Use Media
Lemonade Alley makes graphic, photo and video content available for press and event organizer use. See Free Use Media »
About the BizGym Foundation
BizGym Foundation is a Honolulu-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower the attainment of legacy through business. BGF’s flagship program is Lemonade Alley, a youth entrepreneurial challenge that combines innovation and charitable. Lemonade Alley also brings many community organizations to build a strong and sustainable future for all. BGF’s core values are embodied in it’s mantra: Profit to Share!
Lemonade Alley and BizGym Foundation were created and founded by Steve Sue, author/founder of the BizGym.com entrepreneur’s growth app and owner of StoryManager, Inc. a strategic consulting firm; and Myron Nakata, an angel investor of BizGym.com. Steve’s background includes experience as a conceptualist and creator of new business enterprises in a number of industries. Myron has decades of experience in a variety of businesses as an owner, investor and operator. One of his more recent plays is the LeiHut.com online mall of Hawaii products.
BizGym Foundation has been recognized by the Hawaii Better Business Bureau as the 2014 Charity of the Year, by Pacific Business News as 2015 Charity of the Year Finalist, by Hawaii Venture Capital Association as 2015 Social Charity of the Year Finalist and by Chaminade University as a 2013 Nonprofit Business Plan of the Year Finalist.
Steve Sue, Chief Lemon Head | steve[at]bizgym.org
Official Website: lemonadealley.com