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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

9 Days

Innovation and Startup Culture – San Francisco

On CampusAge Range 14-18Course Time Morning, Afternoon

Wharton Innovation and Startup Culture introduces hands-on experiences in all aspects of the venture creation process. Working in teams, students will generate a new business idea, assess its profit potential, build an innovative model, and test and iterate as they drive toward product-market fit. The program culminates in “pitch day,” where teams will have the opportunity to present their venture to investors and entrepreneurs who are active in the South Bay startup scene.

Throughout a 9-day schedule filled with lectures, activities, and company visits across Silicon Valley, students will develop a new appreciation of the joys and challenges that come with building a world-changing startup.   

View more about this program on the Wharton Website

Academic classes are held Monday-Friday of week one, and Monday through Thursday of week two within the Wharton San Francisco academic campus. Extracurricular and social activities are available in the evenings and on weekends. Students move in on Sunday pre-program, and move out the final Friday of the program. For more information on campus life, visit our residential experience page.

While each day varies in format, a typical day includes:

8:15-8:45 – Shuttle from university dorms to Wharton San Francisco academic campus

9:00-10:30am – Topics lecture

10:30-10:45am – Mid-morning break

10:45-12:00pm – Recitation/small-group activity

12:00-1:30pm – Lunch & student team meetings

1:30-2:30 – Topics lecture/startup venture guest speaker

2:30-4:30pm – Simulation or small group activity/site visit to startup venture in Bay Area

4:30-5:15 – Shuttle back to university dorms

Session topics include:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Hybrid Ventures
  • Business Model Generation
  • Commercial and Social Innovation
  • Venture Implementation
Who Should Take This Course? High school students currently enrolled in grades 9-11 looking to explore innovation and startup culture. No formal business background is required. International applicants are welcome. Admission to Wharton Essentials of Innovation is selective. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence and a genuine interest in bringing an idea/product, service, or business to life. Interested students are strongly encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.
Highlights •Attend lectures and presentations from Wharton faculty, alumni, and entrepreneurs on Wharton’s San Francisco campus, using the same classrooms as Wharton Executive MBA students. •Learn idea generation strategies, including ways to create value for both people and the planet. •Implement strategies and research to analyze profit potential, develop innovative business models, and achieve product-market fit. •Work in teams to generate and test new business ideas that will be presented to investors and entrepreneurs. •Explore the vibrant city of San Francisco, including visits to local startups.
Courses & Academies All participants who successfully complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.
Dates & Tuition
  • 1, 2, 3, or 7 Week Programs: On Campus, Online, or Location Based -
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