Amity High senior spreads word on entrepreneurship



WOODBRIDGE >> A senior at Amity Regional High School, who gained an experience on entrepreneurship over the summer at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology incubator start-up program, is partnering with Yale Entrepreneurial Institute to bring out the entrepreneur in teenagers in Greater New Haven.

Julia Nadelmann of Woodbridge, whose own interests are focused on public health, is also looking for mentors who have established successful entrepreneurial endeavors.

Nadelmann is starting an MIT Launch Club so other young people can help society and themselves, she said.

Nadelmann said while some people think of entrepreneurship as being for the experienced in life who get an idea and run with it, it’s actually perfect for teenagers because they don’t have obligations such as mortgage payments, they have a great capacity to think creatively and are the best with technology.

“I think entrepreneurship is an incredibly important skill set. I want to help them find that skill set so they can make an impact on the world,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize what it takes between ideation phase and bringing it (a product) to market.”

Those who join the club will learn how to develop an idea and form a business, learning all the steps in between, including market research, establishing partnerships and running a product test, she said.

They will actually work on a real company and, in the spring, she’ll submit materials to MIT faculty, and top ones will be chosen to pitch business ideas to mentors and, ideally, investors.

The details, such as meeting times and places, have not been finalized, by Nadelmann said anyone interested in being a student or mentor should email her at

Nadelmann’s summer program project at MIT, which involved three high school team members from Uruguay, Indonesia and Hungary, focused on creating activities for the elderly through social networking. She said they operated on the premise that human connections are essential for good health — and that good health is everything.

Her team project name at MIT was Vivere, Latin for “Remember to Live.”

As part of that entrepreneurial venture in the Boston area, she met with older adults and manually matched up two seniors with an interest in art, then brought them to art gallery together. When Nadelmann went back for feedback, both women said they had made a new friend.

“I want to work on expanding that to the New Haven area,” Nadelmann said.

Nadelmann hopes to someday create a public health research company.

Her interest in public health has been influenced by family, she said, as there are a lot of doctors in the family, including her father, Jeremy Nadelmann, a cardiologist, and two sisters in medical school. Her mother, Nancy Nadelmann, is a lawyer.

Julia Nadelmann said she grew up with her father talking about patients and health initiatives.

“I think health is the essential thing,” she said. “Dad always says, ‘If you have your health, you have everything.’”

With health you can live life to the fullest, she said, and it’s her goal to form a company to make sure that all happens.

She is interested in many areas, but especially geriatric care, a growing field as baby-boomers age, she said, adding it often is a neglected area. She’s also interested in helping low-income people to find ways to live healthfully — a challenge, she said, because of the high cost of heathful foods. Nadelmann wants “to make a healthy lifestyle accessible to all people,” she said.

Part of her interest in geriatric care comes from having three living grandparents who are strong role models, although she sees the struggles, Nadelmann said.

Which brings her back to entrepreneurship that can be either for profit or nonprofit.

“Establishing an entrepreneurial mindset is extremely important,” she said, and can help take people out of poverty. She said entrepreneurship is not taught in most high school classrooms.

“There’s so much you can do to make an impact,” she said.