The Eight Weeks
Entrepreneurship/Maker Skills Boot CampWeeks 1-3; takes place daily, 9am-5pm
Full-time entrepreneurship and maker skills boot camp in which participants acquire the skills to get their business off the ground.
- Undergo an intensive design thinking process to come up with a product
- Gain skills such as lasercutting, woodworking, welding, sewing, screenprinting, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Fusion 360, VCarve, 3D Printing, Arduinos and e-textiles from TechShop.
- Learn principles of entrepreneurship and business ownership from entrepreneurs and AlphaLab Gear mentors and staff.
- Pitch businesses for "investment" from the program.
Business AcceleratorWeeks 4-8; takes place three days a week (M+F and T, W, or R) 9am-5pm
Intensive but flexible work period dedicated to building business and products.
- Use "investment" money from pitches to build products that are then marketed and sold through retail partners.
- Attend seminars dedicated to production, sales and other skills to help grow product lines.
- Attend office hours on an assigned day (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) and work one-on-one with mentors to achieve individualized goals.
- Flexible work time with access to TechShop and AlphaLab Gear.
Final Community EventTakes place the final evening of the program
All students participate in the final event, where they share their products in a pop-up market and community celebration. Selected students also pitch their businesses on stage for cash prizes.
- Upon satisfactorily completing the program, students can receive a stipend for up to $500.
- The program gives each student up to $250 in "investment" for their businesses
- Students keep the profits earned through the sale of their products.
Requirements for Participation
- Must be 16-18 years old. (Exceptions for 15 and 19 year olds occasionally made at staff's discretion)
- Must have the ability to get to and from AlphaLab Gear and TechShop, located in East Liberty, as well as travel to nearby retailers, suppliers and partners.
- Must be available to participate in the entire eight weeks of the program.