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What to know: Inspiring and revealing.
Recommended age 12-18
93 minutes
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GENERATION STARTUP cover image Click to play video trailer
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you started a business from scratch? Or, are you thinking of starting a new business? If so, this is the film for you. The startups in this film are being built in Detroit which is a tough town to either make or break it. This film shows how hard people have to work to succeed and make their dream of owning a business come to life.

Award winners Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser filmed this adventure over a period of 17 months. A lot happens within this short time period. Susan Margolin is the executive producer with mega experience in film distribution. Lauren Zalaznick is also the executive producer and has an resume having worked at NBC Universal, Sundance, Cannes and many more companies. These four women definitely comprise a power house and are great role models.

Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America which has placed college graduates at startups in 15 different cities over 2 years. He is also an adviser though out this film. Will they have the guts, determination and drive to succeed? That is what this film is about. The ups and downs and mistakes you go through to make it. Pamela Lewis is the director of the New Economy Initiative and she is another adviser to this film.

The storyline is very interesting and told in documentary style. I love watching films with real people about real lives. This film follows six people trying to open new startup businesses from scratch. Brian Rudolph, Avery Hairston, Labib Rahman, Dextina Brooker, Kate Catlin and Max Nussenbaum are the six people that we follow on their journey. Will they make it? We are always on the edge of our seats wondering if they will make it because it could go either way. I think that this documentary really captures all the hard work, determination and perspiration you have to put into making your dreams come true. It takes a lot to start a new business. There is a ton of effort that goes into a little thing such as paste that I love to eat. No sugar coating here, they have many failures and successes.

All six people have different goals and different obstacles they have to overcome. No spoilers, but not all of them make it and some decide to take another path. They are all exceptional students. People like this hold the world's future in their hands. This is a small sample of the people who will be creating jobs, products and inventions for our future.

My favorite scene is when Max Nussenbaum and a bunch of his friends are in a house that has no heat, poor insulation and it is in the dead of winter so they have blankets, tents and space heaters all around them. I love this scene. It is hilarious as they all try to find warmth in the little establishment that they set up. Indoor camping, yeah! They said that, as difficult as this was, they miss this part the most. They have come a long way since then.

One of the great ideas I like is a spoon is covered with cereal that you dip into peanut butter and eat. You can do it while sitting in a car. I am going to try this. Other companies I found interesting were a chickpea noodle company, an on-line property management company, a website to encourages women mentors and more.

I recommend this film to ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this too. Kids will be inspired and will want to start their own business. Children are creating and starting businesses when they are very young, so who knows what this might inspire? Adults will think that the story is informational and intrigued to see who will make it. You should know that there is mild profanity but, it is story of determination and what it takes to accomplish your dreams. I give this 4 � out of 5 startup rising stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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Generation Startup takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it's an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action-with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country's economic future is at stake.
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