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Launching a Start-Up? It’s All Business at Exploration Summer Programs

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NORWOOD, Mass., Jan. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Since when have 15-year-old kids spent the summer learning how to launch their very own start-up business? Since the world of summer camp moved beyond campfires and friendship bracelets. Learning to think like entrepreneurs is what 13- to 15-year-olds do when they attend the Exploration Business + Entrepreneurship Focus Program outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

According to Moira Kelly, Executive Director of Exploration Summer Programs, “Lots of kids think they might want to go into the world of business, but they really aren’t aware of what entrepreneurs do on a daily basis. Our business program exposes students to myriad ways they could work in business, from launching a start-up or socially responsible business to working for a Fortune 500 company.”

One thing that makes Exploration’s Focus Program unique is the emphasis placed on real-world applications. Students are treated as budding professionals, and aren’t sitting through hours of lectures. Instead, it’s learning by doing. Students will gain expert tips from successful Boston companies and entrepreneurs – from choosing valid and viable ideas to making them a success. Professionals, such as best-selling author and case expert Marc Cosentino, will teach them how to investigate market-sizing questions, work through real case interviews, and perform cost/benefit analyses on entering new markets. And by the end of the two weeks, students will team up to transform an idea into a viable business plan, and “sell” their idea to a panel of expert judges at MassChallenge.

A start-up competition designed by founders John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam, MassChallenge is an independent non-profit which helps innovators and entrepreneurs transform exceptional ideas into exceptionally successful businesses. Every year, entrepreneurs the world over come to compete for a three-month incubation period – where top mentors help them nurture their ideas and businesses – and cash awards.

This summer, MassChallenge will partner with Exploration to invest that same level of mentorship, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation into our students. At the conclusion of the two weeks, our students will participate in a competition that simulates the original, working in teams to present the panel with a business plan, and investor and video pitches of their making. They may enter this Focus Program as students, but they will leave as innovators and entrepreneurs.

Founded in 1976, “Explo” is a series of academic summer enrichment courses far different from a traditional summer camp. Students entering grades 4 – 12 participate in fun and exciting projects in visual and performing arts, science, politics, government, business, technology and more. It is run on the campuses of Wellesley College, Yale University, and St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA.

Students come to Explo from New England, across the United States and from 60 countries, including Brazil, China, India, Israel, Nigeria and Russia. The year-round staff works closely with professionals throughout the year, carefully mapping out the summer’s plans, goals, and curriculum so that each student’s summer experience is as fun, educational, and inspiring as possible.

About Exploration Summer Programs

Exploration Summer Programs (http://www.explo.org) creates a dynamic environment of intellectual inquiry, responsible decision making and spirited adventure. Based in Norwood, MA, the Exploration curriculum allows students to investigate subjects they are not likely to encounter during the school year. Courses are not for credit and ungraded. More than 400 courses and mini-courses are offered each session. Exploration has more than 50,000 alumni. Exploration Summer Programs is operated by Exploration School, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization.

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