Tufts Thinks Big, Bringing Entrepreneurship to Students from Across the World
Pre-college students learned about new venture creation and solving big problems through entrepreneurship in a two-week program.
To teach entrepreneurship you need to be willing to experiment, and this summer the Derby Entrepreneurship Center (DEC) , part of the Tufts Gordon Institute, experimented in a big way! Over 60 pre-college students from around the world were invited to join an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp hosted at Tufts University.
The Tufts Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp is a two-week-long intensive experience for high school students interested in learning how to solve big societal problems through new venture creation. Students learned how to build a new venture from the ground up, whether as a startup, small business, or non-profit.
Students formed teams, brainstormed problems worth solving, performed primary market research to understand customer needs, and then came up with ideas to solve their problems. The process culminated in a pitch on Demo Day, during which they demonstrated the entrepreneurial skills and mindsets they had learned through meeting with real life entrepreneurs. During the program, students also learned about innovation and entrepreneurship education opportunities at Tufts and went on a field trip to MassChallenge to check out the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem. All of this was done via an in-person and hybrid format with speakers and students who were unable to be in-person joining remotely via Zoom.
The Tufts Pre-College Intensive: Entrepreneurship & Innovation Bootcamp is run in partnership with the Derby Entrepreneurship Center and Tufts University College. The Derby Entrepreneurship Center helps develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset among Tufts students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. The Center empowers them to embrace their purpose and become impactful leaders through an innovative and entrepreneurial approach via academic courses and co-curricular programming. The program was led by faculty member Tina Weber and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Idicula Mathew, and supported by Carol Denning, Assistant Director of DEC, along with a large team of guest speakers, judges and teaching assistants.
Commenting on the success of the program, Elaine Chen, Director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, said, “We are so proud to see what the students learned in just two weeks. Thanks to their passion and excitement, as well as the insights of our faculty and guest speakers, these students have gained a new appreciation of their own creativity and a new understanding of their ability to innovate. We hope to see some of them return as first-year students in the future!”