Own the Room – Review
Own the Room is the newest National Geographic documentary giving us an inspiring look into how 5 student entrepreneurs overcome adversity in a quest to change the world.
Own the Room follows these 5 students through their backstory: a glimpse at their lives, their business idea, their inspiration, and finally, the pitch in Macau, China, host of one of the most prestigious entrepreneurship competitions in the world, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
While each of their business ideas is vastly different, at the core of each of their ideas is the inspiration to make their communities—and the world—a better place to live.
Who is Competing in Own the Room
Santosh is from a small farming town in Nepal and his goal is simple and from the heart: he wants to make people happy. His business idea, Offering Happiness, creates special moments for people to add a little joy to their lives, whether through celebrations or small moments. It's now Nepal's largest gifting platform.
Alondra works the register at her family’s bakery in Puerto Rico and recognized the need for overall better communication. Her app UnderstHand was developed to help those in the deaf community communicate more effectively and privately with their doctors.
Henry is a programming wiz from Nairobi. When Henry was attending university in Kenya, he was unable to secure housing at one point. After discovering this wasn't an isolated problem, Henry created a website called Roometo to ensure every student at Kenya's universities is be able to find adequate housing more easily.
Jason is a marketing machine from Greece. Family is a huge part of his culture. His app idea ICry2Talk is designed to help new parents understand and discern what their baby's cries actually mean, whether they are hungry, distressed, bored, need a diaper change, etc. Essentially, a recording of the baby's cry is analyzed by a series of acoustic parameters based on time-frequency and extracted to be used as features for the classification algorithms and compared to other samples, and suggestions are given based on similar data.
Daniela is an immigrant escaping the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, taking on the chemical industry from her lab at NYU. Focusing on using solar energy and artificial materials to create a more sustainable, renewable, and cheaper solution for products like nylon, Daniela's company Sunthetics is working to combat the detrimental impact humans leave on the environment.
Why You Should Watch Own the Room
It's nearly impossible to not feel something for these 5 entrepreneurs while watching the documentary. Between the adversity they face, their champions along the way, and the passion for their idea, you find yourself cheering along the way.
Each of the 5 entrepreneurs is excited. They know that winning the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) could mean not only big steps for themselves but also big steps for their companies and big steps toward their goals and missions.
Alas, this is a competition and there can be only one winner (no spoilers here). Despite there being only one winner, these dreamers view not winning as another opportunity to pursue their goal of making a difference and knowing that they have spread the message of their passion.
About Own the Room
From National Geographic Documentary Films and the Emmy Award-Winning Team Behind “Science Fair,” Own the Room follows five young star students on their journey to win one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for student entrepreneurs. From disparate corners of the planet, the competitors take their big ideas to Macau, China, host of one of the most prestigious entrepreneurship competitions in the world, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Santosh is from a small farming town in Nepal; Alondra works the register at her family’s bakery in Puerto Rico; Henry is a programming wiz from Nairobi; Jason is a marketing machine from Greece; and Daniela is an immigrant escaping the crisis in Venezuela, taking on the chemical industry from her lab at NYU. They’ve each overcome immense obstacles in pursuit of their dreams, from hurricanes to poverty to civil unrest. Their ideas have already changed their own lives, but are they ready to change the world?
Runtime: 90 mins.
Directors: Cristina Costantini & Darren Foster
Documentary Film: Premiering Friday, March 12 on Disney+
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