Penn State Lehigh Valley announces 2020 Teen Entrepreneur Challenge

This unique program is for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors
camper standing in matching t-shirts around lion statue

Campers from Teen Entrepreneur Challenge 2019 visited University Park to tour the Millennium Science Complex.

Credit: Elaine Thode

Editor's Note: TEC is moving to a virtual format for 2020 due to the pandemic.

Creative collaboration fuels innovation, and the Teen Entrepreneur Challenge (TEC) is poised to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. Penn State Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, and Perkiomen School offer a 10-day summer camp for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in developing the foundation for a successful business or product idea. The program runs from July 6-15, 2020.

Students will learn key strategies for launching a startup and developing an entrepreneurial spirit from Penn State professors, Perkiomen School teachers, local business leaders.  Field trips and hands-on, real-world exercises expose them to the confidence and knowledge required to consider their own entrepreneurial journey.

high school students and adults posing with certificate awards

TEC 2019 winners of the pitch competition posed with the judges after the program held at the Lehigh Valley campus on July 17.

Credit: Elaine Thode

Students attend programs at Penn State Lehigh Valley during the day and at Perkiomen School in the evening. They will reside at Perkiomen School, which sits on a 165-acre campus with residential, athletic and academic facilities. Their Innovation Center offers programming in modern technologies, 3-D virtual reality, additive manufacturing, computer design and rapid prototyping.

“My daughter had an incredible experience during TEC in 2019 and she made lasting friendships,” said Heather Russo, parent of TEC attendee. “TEC is a tremendous opportunity and was very well done.”

The TEC culminates in a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition where students present their plans for a business or product idea to a panel of judges who choose a winning team based on pre-determined criteria. This gives TEC students the opportunity to develop different perspectives, build a personal brand, work as a team, connect to future employers and explore STEM educational programming.

“The camp was worth the experience. You get a taste of what entrepreneurship is like, you learn a lot of skills and information. You also get to make amazing connections and meet amazing people." 

-- Vanina Quiroga, 2019 TEC attendee

The cost per student is $1,595 and includes housing, activities, meals and transportation. An early-bird registration fee of $1,495 is available for those who register before April 15, 2020. Limited scholarships may be available based on financial need. Dual enrollment is available for an additional amount of approximately $1,000, which includes three college credits transferable to the college or university of the student’s choice.

For more information about the Teen Entrepreneur Challenge or to register, visit the Teen Entrepreneur Challenge website, call 610-285-5111 or email [email protected]


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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