Branksome Hall News

Noodle: Future-Proofing Tomorrow’s Problem Solvers and Entrepreneurs

Since May 2020, the Noodle accelerator program has inspired and developed the business ideas of Branksome Hall’s young entrepreneurs. The 38-week accelerator program is the first of its kind in a Canadian school—and ever evolving! Noodle has grown from eight students to 36, and this year Branksome also launched Noodle Junior for students in Grades 5 and 6, with 32 students participating. Guided by niche experts and mentors, students work towards sustainable solutions to real-world problems. 
The student companies were formed in October, and since then, Noodle participants have been exploring and creating in all aspects of business development. This includes deciding on a business name, conducting market research, advertising, budgeting, projections, selling at pop-ups and much more. They have a chance to succeed and to fail—learning from the challenges they face and building strong businesses as they move through the development cycle. This year, Noodlers were challenged with a new pitch format where they presented their companies to a panel of investors for a chance to get a portion of the impressive $10,000 available to them to kickstart their entrepreneurial ventures. “It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to refine their presentation skills, and to pitch to our expert judges, who included alum and publicist Lisa Simone RICHARDS'02, Tanya LOW Aird'98, vice-president of development at Insight Productions, and Jason Steel, president of Steel Family Holdings,” remarked Heather McDonald, Senior and Middle School Business Specialist. ”It’s been such an incredible experience to work with our Noodlers this year, in this exciting non-traditional way of learning, and I look forward to seeing where their businesses go from here!”

From travel-proof shampoo pods to eco-friendly fashion and self-extinguishing candles, the remarkable creativity of the Senior & Middle School “Noodlers” was evident this year. In the fall, students from Grades 5–12 applied to Noodle, sharing their ideas for sustainable businesses and showcasing the outstanding innovation of Branksome’s students. “By positioning ourselves within the Toronto and Canadian market as a leader in innovation, we’re preparing the next generation of girls who will transform the current male-dominated STEM and entrepreneurial landscapes,” said Branksome’s Michael Ianni-Palarchio, Head, Innovation & Strategic Projects.

Branksome’s new Noodle Junior accelerator program took off running with 32 students in Grades 5 and 6 joining the club in its inaugural year. “By scaling up our access to the Junior School, we are giving younger students a sense of what launching a business is all about and how it’s really all about dreaming up solutions to real-world problems,” noted Ianni-Palarchio. “We’re taking traditional learning a step further and exploring how we can apply what we know and develop a skill-set to create hands-on solutions for real change in the world.” In June 2023, our Junior Noodlers will have the opportunity to share their budding business ideas with the community at their very own tradeshow.

Noodle and Noodle Junior have given students the platform to create innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Whether that is providing services to those in need, supporting women’s health through education or simply providing ways to boost one’s confidence, our Noodlers’ creativity is bound to change the world. The experience and growth these 68 students have gained in the past 38 weeks will future-proof and inspire tomorrow’s problem solvers and entrepreneurs. 

The 2023 Senior & Middle School Noodle Companies:

All Aesthetic: Caroline M., Monife O.
Women and girls are supported to find their true self in fashion by sourcing outfits that allow individuals to express themselves.

Anna’s Company: Anna Z.
Shampoo pods with a dissolvable outer layer are perfect for travellers, swimmers, environmentalists and even children, an easy alternative to heavy and bulky shampoo.

The Bloom Initiative: Karen L., Lillian X., Sylvia Z.
Partnered with Let’s Grow—a Toronto day program catering to medically complex adults with physical disabilities—this fundraising merchandise and events include flower-grams, sweaters and more. 

Firestone: Bella B., Cara F.
Homemade, made-to-order authentic and affordable pizzas for our school community will be served at pop-ups, school events and more.  

Flobox: Jade G., Hazel T., Ruhani M.
Promoting comfortable menstrual experiences in global, impoverished communities is the mission. By selling boxes of period-care products, profits are funneled to local women’s shelters and eventually global partners. 

Fruity Candies: Vita H., Surina S., Emma B., Zoe C.
Western fruit choices and Asian cooking methods are fused to bring Asian-inspired desserts and flavours to Branksome Hall. 

Glow: Chloe C., Olivia B.
More than 23,000 houses a year burn down due to candle negligence, causing injury and millions in direct property loss. This is a self-extinguishing candle lid on an automatic timer. 

Green Jewels: Ariana L., Jordin J., Apple M., Emma C.
Fast fashion and microtrends? Green jewels combat these straight-to-landfill products by creating unique and sustainable jewelry using upcycled fishing line, novelty gems and more. 

LiliStickers: Phoebe L., Amy Z.
Water bottles and laptops don’t have unique personalities. LiliStickers offers creative and colourful vinyl sticker designs and commissions to make everyday belongings unique and fun. 

MaterialBank: Megan K., Katherine M.
To support newcomers and marginalized communities, Material Bank provides “non-essential essentials” such as stationary to dismantle barriers to academic success.

Picture Perfect: Aryana K., Arya P., Maddie B., Alana L., Carina F.
These canvas tiles of student art can be wall-mounted without nails, promoting art, gratitude and the healing power of being surrounded by positive images. 

Positivity Beads: Kaitlyn B., Isa R., Carrie Y.
Self-expression is vital for well-being! Bracelets with unique designs and affirmations encourage and remind wearers to be their best selves.

ReachOut: Madee N., Selma R.
This women’s health app provides access to essential pregnancy resources such as exercise, food and mental health, while also having a clear focus on miscarriage. 

Snack Shack: Sunny S. and Sheri Z.
An “UberEats-style” initiative for Grades 7 to 12, offering customized snacks for Advisor, clubs, after-school co-curriculars and more.

Land Acknowledgement

We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.
Branksome Hall
10 Elm Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada
M4W 1N4

Toronto's leading independent International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls. Study abroad in Grade 9.