FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, a residential summer program where 72 Kentucky teens focus on product innovation and business model design, has opened applications for its summer 2020 program. The 2020 GSE session will take place June 7-27, 2020 at Northern Kentucky University. Students currently in 9th, 10th and 11th grade can apply at www.KentuckyGSE.com.
Applications are due by Jan. 20, 2020 and selections will be announced in April 2020. Students who attend GSE can earn high school class credits, scholarships to Kentucky colleges and universities and receive access to the tools necessary to start their own businesses.
The Kentucky Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs is a relative newcomer on the list of Kentucky Governor’s Schools, having opened to its first group of teen entrepreneurs in 2013. GSE brings students from across the state into a three-week residential program, immerses them in a creative space and equips them with the tools needed to unleash their innate entrepreneurial spirits for the betterment of Kentucky. During the program, teams of high school students develop a business model, design a prototype and pitch their startup to a large audience and a panel of judges. GSE teaches the opportunities, benefits and pitfalls of taking a business concept from the idea phase to pitching it to potential investors. Several GSE alums subsequently launched their own small businesses in Kentucky.
“Calling all tinkerers, innovators, inventors, creatives, and builders! The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs is a unique, life-changing opportunity to find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” said Koleman Karleski, GSE chairman. “It is our vision that the next generation of game-changing Kentucky entrepreneurs, like the late David Jones Sr., founder of Humana, will emerge from this important program. Will it be you, or your child or student?”
“GSE is a life changing experience,” said Natasha Sams, GSE’s executive director. “We know that when our entrepreneurs leave the program, they are ready to launch a business. In fact, several already have! We want to invest in the entrepreneurial journey of Kentucky teens. This upcoming summer will be the entrepreneurial experience of a lifetime- and we absolutely cannot wait!”
While building a startup, students will tour numerous businesses, and learn from a broad range of successful and active entrepreneurs. Students create fully realized business materials and prototypes, and confidently deliver sophisticated pitches by the end of the program. Businesses from across the state welcome the young entrepreneurs and share trials, tribulations and successes in candid conversations, while allowing unparalleled access to the inner workings of their businesses. The challenging program encourages risk taking and addresses failure as a positive lesson on the path to success.
Entrepreneurs leave the program with not only the real world tools to start a business, but a network of contacts from around the state, which includes other students, entrepreneurs and community stakeholders. GSE seeks the innovative thinkers, the collaborators, the students with a drive that is undeniable. They are Kentucky’s future business creators.
Parents, educators, entrepreneurs and teens who believe grit, a growth mindset, and creativity in problem solving tell as much about a young person as good grades and test scores, can learn more about the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurs at www.KentuckyGSE.com. Because of strong partnerships with entities like the Kentucky Workforce and Education Development Cabinet, The Cabinet for Economic Development, TMMK, and numerous public and private supporters, like The Marksbury Family Foundation and The Parker Family Fund, GSE is completely free for selected entrepreneurs. Alumni of GSE gain access to a host of scholarship opportunities, high school class credit, and a statewide network of entrepreneurial support.