Guest Contributor: Chirag Gupta
Area high school students are participating in local startup community events now more than ever these days and they are not just coming to observe. Over the past few years Dallas has seen several young entrepreneurs start successful businesses while still in high school. NoD Coworking aims to build on that trend by offering a summer entrepreneurship bootcamp to local high school students who are serious about developing themselves as entrepreneurs.
The program will be led by hackathon organizer and Duke University alumnus, Scotty Shaw. In 2014, Scotty co-organized HackDuke, and then in 2017, Scotty successfully launched the first 24-hour hackathon at the University of Texas at Arlington. The name of his 2018 summer program is SKYSMVP which stands for “Successfully Kick-off Your Startup’s Minimum Viable Product”. The program website is accessible at skysmvp.com.
The program curriculum will be heavily focused on teaching the same lean startup approach to business which has been championed at top business schools like Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. Here’s what Scotty had to say about his new program and when I asked him why he decided to launch it in Dallas:
“After graduating from Duke University and Harvard Business School’s HBX with High Honors, as well as years of living and working in places like New York City, Taipei, San Francisco, and Australia, I decided to come back to Texas and create opportunities that are lacking in our part of the US. The [SKYSMVP.com] bootcamp will demystify entrepreneurship and mentor high schoolers through the processes of creating their own start-ups, one by themselves and one with a team. Each student will also learn how to keep their businesses running by attending talks from experienced entrepreneurs and touring successful businesses throughout the DFW area. Along the way, they will develop important life skills for succeeding in the real world, expand their horizons, gain confidence in their own abilities, and build camaraderie within a team working towards achieving their goals. In addition, each student will become even more competitive applicants for internships, jobs, and elite universities. Most importantly, they will have their own experiences to pass on to others.”
Bobby Thakkar is just one example of a successful serial entrepreneur here who launched his first startup as a teenager. Learn more about his journey by watching his IgniteDFW talk. He made his first app at age thirteen which he talks about here in his TEDxSMU talk.
Another successful young entrepreneur in the Dallas startup community is Gautam Bhargava. He presented his first startup at Dallas New Tech in December 2015 when he was eighteen years old. Check out the video of his pitch here. He then also launched an entrepreneurship education program for local high school students called SATUS which was featured in the Dallas Morning News.
So if you’re a high school student in Dallas who is on the fence about entrepreneurship, I say go for it! And don’t forget to inform LaunchDFW about each new startup that you launch.