Essentials of Entrepreneurship
Essentials of Entrepreneurship is an intensive two-week summer program for a select group of high school students currently enrolled in 9th to 11th grades. This immersive experience challenges students to engage with peers, use innovative thinking, and learn the basics of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
With a two-week schedule filled with lectures, recitations, and activities, students will walk away with a better understanding of how to design a creative and useful product from scratch and what it takes to truly be an entrepreneur.
Each summer, Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship students:
- Attend lectures and presentations from notable Wharton faculty, lecturers and PhD students
- Learn design thinking theories and practice researching, prototyping and testing skills to bring a product concept to life
- Work in teams to design an original product prototype to be showcased to a panel of judges during our end of program Design Fair
- Explore historic Philadelphia and experience college life on Penn’s Ivy League campus
All participants who successfully complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.
Academic classes are held Monday-Friday with extracurricular activities available in the evenings and on the weekends. Students move in on Sunday pre-program, and move out the final Saturday of the program. For more information on campus life, visit our residential experience page.
While each day varies in format, a typical day includes:
- 9:00-10:30am – Topics lecture/guest speaker
- 10:30-10:45am – Mid-morning break
- 10:45-12:00pm – Recitation/small-group activity
- 12:00-1:30pm – Lunch
- 1:30-2:30 – Topics lecture
- 2:30-4:30pm – Product design work in the student makerspace
Session topics may include:
- Innovation and Opportunity
- Design Thinking
- Consumer Behavior
- Business Model Generation
- Tech Entrepreneurship
- Social Entrepreneurship
In the evening, students will have a number of extracurricular activities to choose from. Students can also opt to work on their final project with their group, meet with the program TAs, and/or relax at the dorm.
Please note, some days may not follow this schedule as there could be a site visit off campus or a simulation in lieu of lecture/recitation schedule.
High school students currently enrolled in grades 9-11 looking to advance their entrepreneurial mindset. No formal business background is required. International applicants are welcome.
Admission to Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship is selective. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence and a genuine interest in developing entrepreneurship skills. Interested students are strongly encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.
Please note that participation in the Essentials of Entrepreneurship program does not guarantee admission into Penn.
Program Leader: Taylor Caputo
Taylor Caputo is a product designer, artist, and academic with a background in fine arts, crafts, and 3D modeling. As an alum of the Integrated Product Design Program at Penn, she now teaches the interdisciplinary Product Design course (OIDD/MEAM 415, IPD 515) and created the courses The Design of Connected Objects and Experiences (IPD 529) and Advanced Tools & Methods for Product Design (OIDD 659). She has offered design consulting to various companies such as Away Travel, Puma, and BioMeme, and has exhibited her work internationally, notably at the 2016 Vienna Design Week and 2018 Milan Design Week. A proud lifelong Philadelphian, Taylor also enjoys indulging in the city’s vegetarian delights and is an avid ceramics artist when not teaching.
Instructor: Nikita Khandelwal
Niki can usually be found making things at Tangen Hall. She is passionate about material innovation and sustainable product design and loves to learn. She has a Master of Integrated Product Design from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering with a minor in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech. Niki has worked as a technology consultant and as a user experience researcher to design digital products for energy and utility providers, defense contractors, financial services, and consumer goods companies.
Teaching Assistants consist of both undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. TAs facilitate small-group discussions, ensure student understanding, assist with final project development, and hold office hours to answer student questions and share their Penn and Wharton experiences.
- Jun 5 - Jun 18, 2022
- Jun 19 - Jul 2, 2022
- Jul 10 - Jul 23, 2022
- Jul 24 - Aug 6, 2022
Philadelphia, USA (on campus)
Summer 2022 applications are now closed
Summer 2022 applications are now closed
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.516.414.5555.
Please note that participation in Wharton Global Youth Programs does not guarantee admission to Penn.
“This program gave me my first insight into college, and it made me incredibly passionate about pursuing a career in business. Be sure to get to know your professors and peers, and keep building your network throughout the program." - Richa S., Manila, Philippines