For seven years, Penn State Lehigh Valley’s LaunchBox has hosted a summer business training camp, the Teen Entrepreneur Challenge, for high school students, culminating in a “Shark Tank” competition.

The program takes on a new theme each year; last year, the camp was held for experienced cryptocurrency speakers, and this year, young people will hear about the economy after the epidemic. The theme for 2022 is “The Future of Work: The Gig Economy, Creator Economy and Remote Tasks.”

The program has been online for two years during the epidemic, and is now back on its own, advising a growing group of 13 businesses on how to manage social events such as the Great Depression and 9-5 job reviews.

It started Tuesday, and continued Sunday at Perkiomen School in Pennsburg.

Each year, the program selects the slate of speakers and events appropriate for the economic and cultural period, Rhonda Walker-Footman’s head of education said.

The content of this chapter adds advanced training in economics, practicality and business design. During the week, students also work, as part of a given group, on their business ideas. The camp concludes with a competition to showcase the best business and model. Winners receive $ 50 gift cards from Amazon.

Devin Lu, a senior senior from Marlboro High School in New Jersey, is making an idea for the music programming business with his band.

“It can be used to extract your favorite words from a variety of artists and easily transfer them to other programs; for example, cutting or isolating another tool,” Lu said. “It can download easily and small, to make it a program.”

Many of the business ideas created in the Teen Entrepreneur Challenge were not introduced in the real world, although some camp builders choose to make their own design after the program.

Joshua Dawson, a Teen Entrepreneur Challenge student and resident facilitator, showcased his camp business in a business that grossed $ 13,000 last month. Now a second-year student at the University of Delaware, Dawson runs the business, Capital Payments, and its partners in the program. Capital Payments is an ATM distribution company.

“Going to this camp is one of the best things I have ever done; it really helped me to shape myself and my interests, ”said Dawson. “It’s time for me to come back and help kids who want to do business, like I did.”

Walker-Footman, who led the program and mentored the people living in the camps, had a long career in the business before changing education. He worked for companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, and shared his experiences with companies and students.

In addition to learning the basics of business, campers learn about humanity and have less time to connect with each other. Lu says that the key to the program is to “remain humble, regardless of who is around you,” and to see the importance of business diversity.

Walker-Footman said he was happy to witness how each team communicated within a few days, a statement that Lu shared.

“In the end, the thing I love is being with these people,” he said. “They’re a very amazing team.”

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