We immerse teens in local startup communities to create the next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers.
Startup High summer sessions run 3-5 days and are usually located in a chamber of commerce or co-working space. During the experience teens engage entrepreneurs, develop a pitch, launch a service business, learn rejection therapy, and perform service in the community.
We measure success based on young people increasing their social capital (see research), entrepreneurial mindset, and confidence to create economic opportunities for themselves.
"It's not about money or connections. It's the willingness to outwork and outlearn when it comes to your business."
FROM THE FOUNDER
Logo from first program in 2012
I've seen the power of connecting teens and entrepreneurs. Even if young people never start their own business, developing an entrepreneurial mindset will help them in any career they chose.
In 2012, I led the first Startup High programs out of Bull City Forward Co-working in Durham, North Carolina. Since then, programs have been organized in several other cities around North Carolina. I'm excited to work with educators and business leaders across the country to bridge the skills gaps. Today, more than ever, students need to get out of the building.
Rejection Therapy - No one enjoys rejection, but it will happen. Students will experience the sting of rejection and learn to recover.
Community Service - Think beautifying a park or working on a city farm.
Engaging Entrepreneurs - Every day students will ask questions of someone who is on a startup journey.
Confidence to Launch - All students will leave with the confidence that they can launch something now. It will likely be a service business like hair braiding, shoe cleaning, landscaping, or car detailing.
Coffee Chats - Each student will interview one one one with each of their classmates in a coffee style chat. Isn't most business done at the coffee shop?
Company Visits - Likely most students have driven by buildings in their area with no knowledge of what is happening inside. They will find out during Startup High.