High School Startup: Build your own innovative product.
High School Startup is a fun, hands-on program where young people learn the fundamentals of startups. Our goal is to teach students how to design, build and launch new products. Successful teams will actually launch products and some will generate sales.
Students form teams and meet to work closely with mentors to actually build, iterate and launch their own products.
We have three specific goals: teaching students about the Lean Startup process, giving students the real-world experience of building a new product, and finally launching their product.
Before the program: High school students apply for admission to the program. Admission is first-come, first-served. When students are notified of admission, we ask them to begin thinking about possible product or service ideas. One of the best ways to do this is for the student to keep a journal of opportunities or problems that they encounter.
Who is this for?
Passionate students from any school with an entrepreneurial drive, ages 14-19. Students with skills including programming, robotics, graphic design, film-making, CAD, wood working or metal working are encouraged to apply.
What should students bring with them to the High School Startup events?
Students don’t need to bring anything–we will supply all program materials. However, you may want to consider bringing these things:
I don’t know how to use CAD programs, and I don’t know how to write software. Should I even consider applying
The short answer is: yes. You don’t need to have those skills to participate. What you do need is a passion for learning about entrepreneurship and ways to build new products that people want.
What skills are required?
For the physical products track, no special skills are required. However, experience with CAD or building physical objects (such as wood working) will be beneficial. For the software track, the students are encouraged to posses skills required to build the product which they would like to pursue.
Do I need to have a product or startup idea before I apply?
No, you don’t need an idea right now. In fact, one of the things we hope to teach you is how to identify good opportunities for new products. One way to get started right now would be to keep a journal of things in your life that you think take too long, are bothersome, or could be better.
Do I need to have a team before I apply?
No, you don’t need a team right now. However, if you apply with a friend or team, you can definitely work together during High School Startup.
I’ve already graduated from high school. Can I still participate?
Yes. You just need to be 19 or younger on the first day of your event.
When will I be notified as to whether I have been accepted?
Admission is rolling, so we admit students as they apply. It is also first-come, first served. If accepted, you will receive an email stating “you have been accepted.” The final acceptances will be sent out no later than one week after you apply.
Do you offer scholarships?
A small number of scholarships have been generously donated to the program. The scholarships are merit-based and reduce the price. Winners will be chosen based upon the passion and interest shown in their essays. The application for the scholarship is included in the camp application. Scholarship winners will be notified by within one week of the first day of camp.
What if my Kickstarter project is not approved by Kickstarter?
It’s not a big deal–entrepreneurs face lots of setbacks like these. The good entrepreneurs overcome them. Kickstarter is just one of thousands of different ways to promote your product. If your project is not accepted we will help you to figure out why it was not accepted, and what the next steps for launching your product should be.