Applications open for IDEA Bank’s annual High School Entrepreneurship Camp

Entrepreneur Camp focuses on teaching high schoolers what they need to know for successful business launches.

Entrepreneur Camp focuses on teaching high schoolers what they need to know for successful business launches.

Applications for Troy University’s IDEA Bank summer entrepreneurship camp “Just Start!” are open, and just 10 seats are available.

The one-week program, now in its third year, is designed for high school-aged students who have an idea for a new business or who have entrepreneurial aspirations.

Lynne Firmin George
Lynne Firmin George

The program kicks off Monday, July 15 and students will reside on campus throughout the week, spending the days learning about the building blocks of starting a business, meeting entrepreneurs, and developing their own ideas into realistic business plans. The camp culminates in a Pitch Competition on Saturday, July 20, where each student will give a short pitch presentation on their idea and how it has been developed throughout the week. One standout presenter will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Troy University. 

“Entrepreneurship has no age limit. It is so inspiring to meet young people with an entrepreneurial spirit and hear their ideas,” said Dr. Charla Brown, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the Sorrell College of Business. “At the Entrepreneurship Summer Camp, we help young entrepreneurs focus their business vision through practical, financial, and target market feasibility and encourage their creativity in branding design.”

Sponsored by Wiregrass RC&D Council, the 2024 camp will expand upon its first two years, adding a formalized mentor-matching component, additional Pitch Competition awards, new speakers, an entrepreneurship simulation, games, and so much more. Space is limited to allow staff to provide the most personalized experience possible. The only requirement is that prospective campers be rising 9th-12th graders with a business idea or interest already in mind. 

“Over the last two years, we have seen truly incredible transformations in just five days. Students start the week with a vague idea and by the time they stand up to present, they are fully confident in themselves as they speak with both professionalism and enthusiasm,” said Lynne George, IDEA Bank Director. “After a week, they have a much clearer idea of what they want to do and how they can do it,” said George, “and that is truly empowering!”

The goal of the program is to provide students with the training and tools they need to build businesses, enhance their confidence, creativity, and innovation, and promote networking by exposing them to various types of entrepreneurs. The IDEA Bank camp environment is fun, high-energy, and encouraging. The theme of the week is “Just Start!”, pushing high schoolers to start working towards their dreams, even if it seems scary. 

Daily session themes include: 

  • Entrepreneurial mindset and idea development
  • Defining your business services and needs
  • Brand development
  • Communication and distribution
  • Preparing to launch
  • Public speaking & pitching

Past winners of the Just Start! High School Pitch Competition include Emily Stokes in 2022 for Blackbird Paper Co. which offered handmade paper products from 100 percent recycled materials and Madelyn Vieira in 2023 for Exquisite Mindset Apparel, a unique women’s clothing brand with handmade designs. The program welcomes all business ideas from any industry, with the focus of the pitch competition being on the students’ ability to communicate their idea and why it has the potential to be impactful. 

Registration is $150 and includes all meals, lodging, and materials for the week. Need-based scholarships are available for those who find the $150 fee to be a hardship. Apply at https://www.troy.edu/community-outreach/idea-bank/entrepreneurship-summer-camp.html or contact Lynne George for more information at 334-808-6794 or lfirmin@troy.edu

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