VentureLab Spark
Program

The VentureLab Spark is a 3-month program that provides youth mentoring and seed funding in the form of resources to help youth develop their business ideas alongside their entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.

How It Works

Lend a spark, ignite a future

Have a business idea_

Once selected for the program, youth request resources to support their business (physical materials, software, etc.) and work to make it a reality.

 

At VentureLab, we know entrepreneurship is more than starting a business. It’s a way of thinking and doing.

 

Youth will also work with VentureLab educators to identify their entrepreneurial strengths as well as areas they’d like to improve. Along with working on their business idea, youth will complete activities, self reflection, and even talk with a real entrepreneur about how to grow their mindsets and skills!

Our Process

Step one: Complete online application

Be sure you meet the eligibility requirements, then record a pitch video and complete the online application!

Step two: First mentor session

Once you’re selected, take part in your first mentor session! Talk about ways you’d like to grow as an entrepreneur and resources to help your business grow, too. Then make a business model!

materials

Step three: Receive materials and get started

Receive up to $500 in materials to support your business and get started on turning your idea into a reality!

growing

Step four: Second mentoring session

Talk with your mentor about how you’re growing your business and entrepreneurial mindsets with the help of your new resources.

Step five: Third mentor session

Meet with a real entrepreneur to discuss your business! Reflect back on how much you’ve grown as an entrepreneur yourself and ways to continue your learning.

Step six: VentureLab Spark Alum

You’ll have the opportunity to connect with, advise, and inspire future VentureLab Spark participants!

Eligibility

This program is best for youth who have an existing business idea and are looking for the guidance and resources to grow as a young entrepreneur. To take part in the VentureLab Spark Program, youth must:

• Be between the ages of 8-18

• Have signed parent/legal guardian forms

• Have a youth adviser (details below)

• Have an idea for a product or service

• Upload a pitch video for their idea

A youth adviser is an adult who can facilitate the VentureLab Spark Program process by committing to participate in mentoring sessions, receive and store materials, secure a space for the youth to work on their business, and more. The youth adviser might be a legal guardian, teacher, or other educator.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can groups or teams apply?

At this time, only individual youth can apply, allowing their mentor to fully focus on that individual youth’s growth as an entrepreneur.

2. Does my pitch video have to look professional?

Pitch videos are not graded on lighting, video or sound quality, professional setup, or other similar factors! All that matters is that we can see and hear you pitching your business idea.

3. Who fills out the online VentureLab Spark Application?

The youth with the assistance of their parent/guardian or youth advisor.

4. What is a youth advisor? Do I have to have one?

A youth adviser is an adult who can facilitate the VentureLab Spark Program process by committing to participate in mentoring sessions, receive and store materials, secure a space for the youth to work on their business, and more. The youth adviser might be a legal guardian, teacher, personal mentor, or other educator.

To participate, you must have a youth advisor who can receive materials, be with you on the mentor session calls, and work with you between mentor sessions.

5. Can a youth advisor work with more than one youth at the same time?

A youth advisor can work with only one youth at a time. Once the youth they’re working with completes the program, that youth advisor can work with another student.

6. When will I know if I'm accepted?

Currently, applications are accepted on a rolling basis. A schedule of when VentureLab Spark Cohorts begin will be posted soon.

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