Recapping Scion Motivate

Last week, 50 of the country’s brightest young entrepreneurs gathered in Los Angeles to take part in Scion Motivate – a three-day series of workshops headlined by some of the biggest names in the creative community.  During their time there, each of the semi-finalists had the chance to share ideas, learn from one another and integrate new knowledge into their existing businesses.

While they were ultimately there to compete against one another for a chance at mentorship from industry experts, $10,000, and a new Scion, we hope that they relationships they built and the insight they gained from Motivate prove to be catalysts for turning their passions into their professions.

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from the event:

Scion VP Doug Murtha was the first person to take the stage, as he welcomed all of the semi-finalists to Los Angeles on behalf of everyone here at Scion.


Despite being up bright and early in the morning, everyone in the room was at full attention and eager to get things started.


After finishing up his welcome speech, Doug handed the mic over to the first keynote speaker of the event – Melanie Campbell of Asia Dog. Joining her on stage to conduct the interview was Steven Leckart, a writer and editor for Wired magazine.


After the morning events on each day of Motivate were wrapped up, the 50 semi-finalists broke into groups of 10, and made their way to the workshop sessions. During Day 1, the workshops covered Client Relationships, Expansions, Marketing/Promotion, Raising Funds, and Establishing a Physical Presence. The topics for Day 2 included Creating a Visual Identity, Legal Issues, Online Development, Partnerships, and Growing Sales.

The workshops began with a video featuring the panelists, in which they explained both their background, as well as some of the ins and outs of their particular area of expertise. The video above is from the session on Online Development.


The contestants took detailed notes on some of the things they learned from viewing the videos.


Once those were finished, the panelists opened up their workshops and began to take questions from the contestants. Here, Ted Vadakan of Poketo (at left) and Mahssa Taghinia from Mount Analog (at right) listen to Eric Nakamura discuss the Giant Robot storefront.


After finishing up the first two sessions, the semi-finalists broke for lunch, where they were treated to another group of keynote speakers. Day 2’s session was headlined by Harley Finkelstein, CPO of Shopify.


The breaks from the workshops also served as the contestants’ best opportunity to get acquainted with the people outside of their own groups.


From there, it was back to the workshops for another three sessions of learning and questions, before finishing up the day.


The contestants’ dinner was accompanied by another keynote speaker – director Doug Pray on Day 2, along with a generally open atmosphere that allowed them to further get to know and speak with each other.


When the last day finally came around, it was time to get to work. The contestants would spend the final day of Scion Motivate revising their submissions, would determine the winners of the event.


They scattered around the area, staking out areas in which they’d be able to get their work done. A few of the semi-finalists gathered together to work in the groups.


While others found a quiet place to revise their submissions in private.


After several hours working, the semi-finalists began filing back in to submit their revised business plans.


While the tension in the air was palpable, the contestants had the chance to relax for a few hours to help dissipate some of the anxiety from preparing their submissions.


When the winners were finally chosen, Doug Murtha stepped back on stage to begin making the announcement. Before doing so, however, he announced to a delighted crowd that each of them would be receiving $1000, plus a free three month stint on Shopify, courtesy of keynote speaker Harley Finkelstein.


And finally, after three days of hard work and long hours, the names of the 10 winners were called out. As each winner’s name was announced, they made their way to the stage behind a loud ovation from each of the other contestants.


We could ultimately select only 10 winners, but if there’s one thing that all 50 of the semi-finalists showed us during their time at Scion Motivate, it’s that they’re all serious about taking their businesses to the next level, and we’re sure to be hearing from some of them again soon.

Visit the link below for a full list of all the winners and semi-finalists, and check out our YouTube playlist from the event to see the same videos they had the chance to watch during their panels. Thanks to everyone who helped make Scion Motivate a success!


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