The Lemonade Day Seed Fund: I Wish I Had This When I Was a Kid

Posted November 6, 2012

Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

Life didn’t give me lemons. I grew up in a lower-middle class home and never once worried if I’d have food to eat or clothes to wear to school. But we never had an excess of cash loads of toys or exotic vacations.

So how’s a wide-eyed, enterprising kid supposed to get a new Game Boy? (yes, I’m dating myself here)

Seems as though there wasn’t a business model I didn’t try:

  • Holiday wreaths (every winter)
  • Car wash (every summer)
  • Magic store (failed weekend project)
  • Paper route (every morning for 6 years)

The one I always wish I’d figured out: lemonade stand.

My cul-de-sac didn’t exactly have a parade of foot traffic. Picture me at my lemonade stand whilst a tumble weed breezes by. But don’t feel sorry for me.

I should have realized that, for my business, I hadn’t picked the right place (one of the four P’s: Price, Product, Place, Profit). That’s a lesson I didn’t learn until business school. What a shame. Did I really have to wait so long to understand the concept of “location, location, location?”

Hell no.

There’s all kinds of ways to help out a first-time entrepreneur, even if they’re just nine years old. With all the tech and startup blog advice out on the web, I sometimes forget that grade-schoolers need business mentors too. That’s why one amazing organization is helping thousands of young lemonade stand entrepreneurs startup and run profitable businesses with this nation-wide movement.

It’s called Lemonade Day, and there’s probably one in or near the city where you live.

Lemonade Day has two components:

  1. A month-long learning experience when each kid is paired with an adult mentor and coached through a step-by-step business-building process.
  2. The actual day of Lemonade Day, when each participant opens shop to sell lemonade at stands across the country. Over 65,000 kids in over 30 U.S. cities participated last year.

For those of you in the Midwest, near Indianapolis, you can come see what it’s all about next week. There’s a Seed Fund event being held at the Speak Easy on November 12 where all proceeds will be given to help kids start and grow their lemonade stand businesses. Local food and beer sponsors are making the event tasty, and Pete the Planner is hosting, so you know it’s going to be a blast.

Even if you can’t attend, there’s an option to donate to the cause on the event info page. Life may not give you lemons, but why not give a young, enterprising kid 20 bucks to start their lemonade stand?

Lemonade Day


Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

Matt is the founder and CEO of Powderkeg, a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent. Powderkeg entrepreneurs have collectively raised more than $500 million in capital and are disrupting industries, creating wealth, and changing the world from areas beyond Silicon Valley. Hunckler has led successful teams with his own ventures, as well as Inc. 500 companies and venture-funded tech startups. He's been named an Under 30 CEO Entrepreneur to Watch and an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree for his entrepreneurial endeavors. @hunckler