Kx Gives Back: 2022 Suit Up Case Competition
Last month, Kx Advisors was thrilled to partner with SuitUp Incorporated for the second time to host a local middle school at our D.C. office for a SuitUp case competition. Kx’s participation is a reflection of our commitment to our core values of mentorship, growth, and personal development while investing in the future of our surrounding community in Washington, D.C.
SuitUp Story and Kx Connection
SuitUp Incorporated is an education nonprofit founded in 2014 by a young professional working on Wall Street who was looking for a more meaningful service opportunity and was inspired by his work with local students. The organization increases career awareness for low-income students through virtual and in-person business competitions. In these competitions, students are now “CEOs” that partner with corporate volunteers to take on a realistic business challenge, such as designing a new product for Apple or solving a community problem through Snapchat. Since its founding, SuitUp had hosted more than 200 business competitions, impacting over 8,500 students. SuitUp has worked with a range of corporate partners from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, and Kx Advisors is proud to be among them.
Kx was introduced to SuitUp through an unlikely connection to its founder. Our own VP, Chris Waybill, was classmates with SuitUp Co-founder and Chairman Zach Graumann at Duke University. Once Kx learned about the inspiring work Zach and the SuitUp team were doing, we were excited to get involved. This is Kx’s second year participating in a SuitUp competition, but our first year participating in-person and hosting local middle school students in our D.C. office. It was especially impactful to engage the students in-person to help them feel comfortable and empowered in a real corporate environment.
Kx Advisors welcomed 30 local middle schoolers and their teachers to spend the day in our D.C. office for the competition. Six Kx employees volunteered as coaches, leading three teams of students in coaching pairs. The business problem to solve was to create and pitch a new product or service for Nike. Kx coaches met with their teams in Kx conference rooms and led their students through exercises and materials provided by the SuitUp team.
These activities included research on Nike and competitors, brainstorming a new product, and designing a pitch. The students were asked to think through marketing, strategy, and financials as well as design for their chosen product. Through these exercises, Kx coaches introduced their students to roles like Director of Marketing and Business Development Manager, and to concepts like return on investment and profit margins. The student CEOs were able to both work as a team as well as identify their individual skills and contributions throughout the process.
The day’s activities culminated in the students designing and presenting a product pitch to three members of Kx leadership acting as judges. During the presentations, the students came alive describing their products and demonstrating their hard work to the judges. The Kx Advisors judges then deliberated and gave each team specific feedback before crowning a winning team.
Throughout the day, Kx coaches saw the impact of SuitUp firsthand. Participating Kx coach Krislyn Porter remarked “It was a joy to see these students work as a team and bounce off one another while working throughout the day. What started as a shy group of middle schoolers became a true team of CEOs. You could see their confidence and pride shine through especially while presenting their hard work. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a step away from my day-to-day and make an impact on students’ confidence and their understanding of what is possible.”
Kx is proud to partner with SuitUp and grateful for the opportunity to work with local students and support the future of our D.C. community. The Kx Giving Committee is continuing to identify and work with meaningful organizations such as SuitUp to further connect Kx employees with impactful opportunities.