Who says learning stops in the summer? High school students from across Arizona recently completed a dynamic week-long Summer Entrepreneurship Academy designed for aspiring teen entrepreneurs. This immersive program, sponsored by the University of Arizona’s Freedom Center and the McGuire Entrepreneurship Center, offered a unique blend of education and hands-on experience.

Throughout the week, participants delved into Intuit Education’s “Design for Delight” methodology, met with State Legislator Nguyen, visited local businesses, and learned directly from successful entrepreneurs about their ventures, challenges, and triumphs. The program emphasized enhancing teamwork and communication skills through collaborative activities that simulated real-world entrepreneurial decisions.

Guided by current University of Arizona students also exploring entrepreneurship, the high schoolers received mentorship and support. The Academy culminated in an exciting Shark Tank-style pitch competition, where teams presented their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges. Volunteers from the Arizona Council on Economic Education, the UA Freedom Center, and the UA McGuire Entrepreneurship Center evaluated the pitches, posed insightful questions, and awarded prize money to the top two teams.

Congratulations to all the participants for their hard work and innovative ideas. You are the future innovators of our state, and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.

Watch some of the highlights here!