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Mar-29, 2016, 03:57 PM
Mentorship Profile: Emily Naing, Co-creator, SWAVE

SWAVE and YELL Mentorship.jpg

According to the Mayo Clinic, the average teenager needs about nine or more hours of sleep, but few are achieving this. Emily Naing wants to help.

17-year-old Naing participated with the Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL): a hands-on, experiential accelerator and mentorship for high school students interested in entrepreneurship. Naing and her classmates attended weekly meetings with guest speakers and workshops preparing them to find a solution to solve a real world problem.

Naing and her group, SWAVE, chose to solve teen sleep deprivation: “As stressed out and sleep-less teenagers ourselves, it was easy to find a problem that we wanted to solve. This problem was very relatable and we were very passionate about the one thing we loved the most in the world - sleep.” Naing recollects.

Learning To Accept Failure With Mentorship

SWAVE’s mentor helped them come up with a viable business plan for their concept. Their mentor made an immense impact on Naing’s perception of entrepreneurship. She remembers: “Our mentor with YELL was a very realistic person. Blunt at times, he would tell us exactly what was good and bad about our idea and pitch.”

She found having a mentor changed her relationship with fear: “Our mentor acknowledged my group’s failures so many times that they became a part of the learning process. I learned to stop looking at failures as roadblocks and began looking at them as opportunities for improvement.”

A Sleepy Solution

SWAVE spent a lot of time coming up with different ideas to solve teen sleep deprivation: “After going from idea to idea, we settled on a pillow that uses binaural beat technology as the solution to getting more deep and restorative sleep.”

The pillow, called SWAVE, is in product development, and the team are planning on pitching the product at upcoming competitions. Naing is optimistic about their idea: “My hope would be that we get far enough with this idea that we can sell it, but it is just as nice if this only becomes a learning experience for us.”

The YELL Learning Experience

YELL is an extremely valuable experience for budding entrepreneurs who want to experience life-like business situations. Naing says: “YELL helped me understand the importance of failure, pivoting, and success. Redefining these terms changed the way I saw the world, how I set my goals, and how I work to achieve them.”

As for next steps for Naing, she would like to go to post-secondary school and study either business and/or sciences. She would also like to continue with her involvement with entrepreneurship and YELL. She says: “I like knowing that my creativity is helping power the world forward and entrepreneurship acts as my lens to seeing the world in terms of problems, potential, and possibilities.”

If you or someone you know would like to work with YELL, contact the program today.​