In 2011, NFTE launched the first Start Up Summer, a new program for students who want to launch their business ideas and learn from the experience of executing a business plan.
All NFTE students complete a business plan: the experience is the hallmark of our program. But then what? For the students who grow to see themselves as entrepreneurs, the next step is to go from "ideas" to "operations" - a transition that is easier said than done. Start Up Summer was designed to jumpstart the business launch process by providing students with access to capital; volunteer business coaches; and a platform to set clear goals and deliverables and share their progress. Current high school students ages 16 and over who are ready to implement the business plans they completed through NFTE's program will be eligible to apply.
Each Start Up Summer student receives an investment grant, a stipend, and the opportunity to work with dedicated business coaches, in addition to relevant tools and resources. After an "Ignition Week" at the beginning of the summer, in which students will set individual goals, create marketing materials, and other initial steps, students will meet twice a week for the next 5-6 weeks. Participants will present on their progress at the end of the summer, and then continue to meet with NFTE staff and volunteer business coaches during the school year.