Youth Creating Impact Through Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability
Youth CITIES offers a platform for cultivating youth entrepreneurship through its award-winning programs, tools, and direct immersion within our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Youth CITIES inspires and prepares middle/high school students to become leaders (whether as founder or part of an innovative team) to identify, launch, and execute solutions for socio-and-economic benefit.
This rigorous bootcamp inspires, educates, and equips youth to take action and make a difference. We move beyond the academics of building businesses, framing real-life problems, real-life constraints, and real-life criteria as the launch pad for students to create a value-driven, sustainable solution to a real-life market opportunity. Grants are awarded to top student ventures, and continued support via CITIES Skunkworks is provided for all YC scholars (everyone who completes the Bootcamp requirements).
CITIES Skunkworks is a community and platform that brings together early-stage innovators/entrepreneurs, and those who want to support them. Through a combination of online and in-person support, CITIES Skunkworks provides a micro-resource exchange of ideas, expertise, development resources, and prototyping funding to become “investment-ready”. An internal venture fund simulation demystifies the venture capital process. All YC Scholars have unlimited access to Skunkworks.
Using tools such as a modified business model canvas, directed graph theory, and a variety of decision-making styles, Mini-Hacks are creative problem-solving sessions done through the lens of an entrepreneur. As an intergenerational peer collaborative, each month we tackle 1 topic (presented by a member of our community) to figure out issues such as “who should care”, “why”, and “what resources are within reach?” in a moderated brainstorming session.
In partnership with many great organizations, we are leveraging healthcare’s convergence of engineering, computer and life sciences for a unique hands-on project experience to design/prototype solutions to unmet needs. We use pain points in healthcare as context for illustration on how entrepreneurial principles are applied within a larger organization, and how understanding “who should care” and “why” will impact every phase of innovation solution – from development, implementation, and acceptance – regardless of industry.
For schools interested in providing on-campus opportunities to expose youth to entrepreneurship, Youth CITIES has a variety of curriculum and program scaffolding options. On-campus activities could include full entrepreneurship course/workshop, entrepreneurial creative problem-solving woven into an existing STEAM class, or as an afterschool club. All on-campus options can be connected to Youth CITIES off-campus programs described above.