When Will Your School Be a ‘Tech Entrepreneur’ Program?
A new startup incubator has opened up in Washington, DC, which aims to give high school students access to “tech entrepreneurship” and mentoring programs.
The Entrepreneurs Club will focus on two areas: mentoring students, who have the same goal as the founders of Uber, and students that are already in the industry.
The Entourage of Entrepreneurs will include a mentoring program, mentorship for students with a technical background, and other opportunities.
Entered in May, the Entrepreneurs Club was created by two friends, who are now in their 30s, from Silicon Valley.
“The biggest challenge in our school, as we grow up, is that we are not able to get the education that we need to get into tech,” said Alex and Katie Wylie.
Their vision is to make it easier for young people to start their own companies, and to empower them to create new ones.
It started with a simple idea: “If we can build a mentorship program where you can ask a student to go on an internship and learn more about the industry, we can then build our business through our mentorship,” Katie said.
“That’s a great way to get a little more exposure to the industry and get to know a lot of the companies in our area.”
“When we started this, we thought that there was a lot more we could do to support our students,” Alex added.
“We wanted to create something that we could support the whole team, so that they can grow in their business.”
They were also looking for ways to support the Entership program, which will offer 18 weeks of free mentorship.
Students are given an internship with a company to learn about their industry, the startup, and the founders.
They will also get the chance to collaborate with themself and other alumni.
When it comes to mentorship, the Wylies say their mission is to help students become “a bit more aware” of their industry.
They’re also working with venture capitalists to help with the program, with a project that involves giving a student a free lunch, and giving another student a free car.
In addition to mentoring, the Enterership will also provide training to startups and other young people, with mentors and mentors-in-training available to provide additional expertise.
So, what’s the catch?
“We’re not trying to get students to go out and get their PhDs, but we want them to get to the point where they can actually make something that they want to create and want to invest in,” Katie added.
Alex says that he believes it’s a good start for the city.
“It’s a big change for the way that people think about technology in our community,” he said.
And, while it’s not exactly the way they’d like to see it, it’s also not as far out of reach as it might seem.
With an estimated 2.7 million high school graduates aged 17-20, and an unemployment rate of 4.7%, the Wyleys hope the entrepreneur program will help them grow into more “entrepreneuring” people.
“This program has been in the works for two years now, and it has been a long road,” Katie told Mashable.
“There’s a lot we haven’t done yet.
We’ve created the Entrepreneur Club, we’ve had to change the name, and we’ve got some amazing mentors.
It’s just really exciting.”