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Founded by industry professionals and entrepreneurs, BETA Camp is a virtual enrichment program designed for ambitious high school students. It challenges teens to take action, broaden their horizons, and to engage and connect with others.
Students are able to learn these skills and mindsets through building their own revenue-generating startup over the course of the program. Because we are fully virtual, students can participate from anywhere in the world.
BETA Camp uses digital tools like Slack, Miro and Zoom to stay connected with students. Over one cohort of BETA Camp, more than 100,000 messages are exchanged between students and staff. The program is synchronous, with regular checkins, group discussions, and face-to-face Zoom meetings, workshops, and calls.
Each part of the curriculum is taught by a team of industry professionals trained on BETA Camp's content and bringing in their own unique experiences working at the forefront of innovation or as founders. The ratio of student to staff is 1:12.
BETA Camp Summer is a 6-week program that runs from July 5 - August 13, 2021.
BETA Camp School Year is a 12-week program that runs from September - December.
We accept students on a rolling basis at the end of each calendar month with a final application deadline of Monday, May 31st, 2021 for the Summer Cohort.
This means that if you apply anytime within a calendar month, you will hear back within the month.
We use entrepreneurship as a means to teach skills and mindsets that will help you be successful in life. Our alumni include those who are keen on becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, and investment bankers.
A founder must wear many hats and know the basics of how to build a product, how to conduct customer research, sales, marketing, negotiations, design, and data analysis. Through the role of a founder, you get to learn all these hard skills.
A founder must also be able to lead, work on a team, handle stress, make good decisions, manage time, and practice creative thinking. Through the role of a founder, you get to learn all these soft skills.
Most importantly, an entrepreneurial mindset means that when you see a problem in the world, you see it as an opportunity to create a solution.
Every career you go into will require the skills that you will build as a young founder - leadership, teamwork, action-orientation, and problem solving.
The hands-on aspect of BETA Camp is unmatched else-where - according to our alumni.
1. You get to create a real-world company. This is not a hackathon project where you build a product but don't get customers. This is not a business plan or a design project where it's all theory and no execution. We believe that you will only learn by doing. Instead of writing "use influencer marketing" we challenge you to actually reach out to influencers and partner with them to promote a real solution you have built.
You'll see all your ideas come to life and overcome challenges like a real entrepreneur.
2. We provide holistic learning and support. Our structured learning has proven success. Unlike other programs, we teach you the skills and concepts you need in the format fit for teens. We then train you through workshops and allow you to practice your skills on real companies with feedback from that company's executives. Finally, you will implement all learnings on your startup with weekly startup guidance.
While other enrichment programs only provide one of the three steps, such as startup guidance but you're left on your own for fundamental concepts and workshops for practice, we offer all three.
We do not require business or technical skills before joining.
You do not need a startup, startup idea, or a team before joining.
Teams will be formed in Week 2-3 of the program from the students in the cohort. Teams are formed based on your own selection of teammates and those matched based on personality, skillset, and interest by BETA Camp staff.
Only after a team is formed do you go into ideation and using design thinking principles to narrow down the opportunity area and problem you want to tackle as a team.
Our priority is to prepare students for success in the real world, beyond university.
Since all students will get to work in teams to launch a startup, a unique experience that few teens have, our alumni have used this experience in university applications in personal essays and scholarship applications.
Our staff come from top universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Queen's University, The University of Waterloo, and Western University and have written alumni reference letters for their alma maters.
Some BETA Camp students have gone on to attend world-class universities and many have received scholarships. These universities include:
- The University of Pennsylvania
- NC State University
- Western University
- University of Waterloo
Certifications are available upon request to all students who successfully complete the program.
‘Accreditation’ or 'Certification' is just a line on your resume. BETA Camp offers more than that.
What you learn at BETA Camp, speaking up in discussion groups, talking to customers, and building something that gets real users will show up in the way you walk into a room, in the way you make decisions, and in the way you notice opportunities others miss. These things can't be captured on paper.
The application process includes 5 short answer questions and the required submission of your transcript and resume.
You must create an account in order to start your application.
We accept students on a rolling basis at the end of each calendar month with a final application deadline of Monday, May 31st, 2021 for the Summer Cohort.
Check our our blog for more details on what makes a good application!
Our ideal candidate is a high school student or rising high school student who is ambitious, driven and curious. They are forever learning and keen on taking action within their circle of influence.
We do not require any previous knowledge in business, technology, or entrepreneurship - only an open mind and demonstrated passion.
For Summer 2021, we are trying to run 2 cohorts:
Monday - Thursday from 1:00 - 4:00 PM EST
Monday - Thursday from 6:30 - 9:30 PM SGT
Yes you can! For everyone not accepted in our program, we provide feedback on how the application can be improved. We have accepted multiple students who were previously declined in a prior cohort.
At BETA Camp, the only competition you have is yourself. Admission is selective but we don't have an enrolment cap. All qualified students will be accepted and accommodated for without losing on personalized attention and experience. We prioritize two things: your ability to contribute on a team, and your go-getter attitude.
Often times education is designed to be "one size fits all." This is not true at BETA Camp.
Students will personalized encouragement and feedback from:
One Community Builder who is an alumni still in high school tasked to host socials for students. They serve as peer support.
One Learning Leader who is a senior in university with founder experience or internship experience in early-stage startups. Each Learning Leader is responsible for 6-15 students and serve as a personal and weekly startup mentor.
One Industry Mentor who is an founder, early employee at a startup, or an investor in early stage startups. Each Industry Mentor is responsible for 6-12 students and meets with students bi-weekly for startup guidance.
Through these touch points, we receive a holistic view of how students are engaging socially with the rest of the cohort, understanding the concepts being taught, and progressing on their startups.
Beyond this, students get access to our Slack Channel where they can communicate with the founders, other industry mentors, and camp counselors.
BETA Camp offers curriculum not taught in schools and go far beyond the high school curriculum.
The core curriculum of lessons are based on MBA and Silicon Valley incubator curriculums. The emotional development and soft skill workshop concepts come from executive coaching for CEOs.
You learn by doing. In school, you don't "do".
School teaches you theories and strategies. There's always a gap between what's taught and what it really takes to succeed in the wreal world.
Here are some things that we teach at BETA Camp that school doesn't:
1. The only way to find out what you really like is to go and try a lot of different things!
In school, sometimes we take easier classes to get good grades. We take classes we think we are supposed to instead of classes to satisfy our intellectual curiosity.
In real life, "failing" just means figuring out what doesn't work so that you're closer to finding something that does work.
2. Measure yourself by your growth
In school we are use to getting graded based on how good we are at understanding knowledge, often compared to our peers.
In real life, it's about putting that knowledge to use and building something of value in the world.
GPA and grades don't measure growth. Being a straight-A student looks great at school, but as a student, how do you know you have grown and improved?
In the real world, startups look at how many MORE users they get month over month and how much MORE revenue they have made year over year.
Doing the same thing each year might still get you good grades, but it doesn't show growth in the real world.
3. Some answers you will only get by trying it out, not planning or strategizing
In school, we learn about concepts proven to be true. We sit at our desks and draft business plans, project proposals, or pitch decks.
Yet until we take that first step, we don't know if anything will go according to plan.
It never goes according to plan.
The only way to get answers is to "just do it".
BETA Camp covers the following topics (and more):
1. Intro to Business (3 lessons)
2. Intro to Tech (4 lessons)
3. Intro to Entrepreneurship (2 lessons)
4. Business Strategies (2 lessons)
5. Business Models (2 lessons)
6. Intro to Industries (7 lessons)
7. Sustainable Businesses (3 lessons)
8. Choosing your Customer (3 lessons)
9. Insights for Ideation (2 lessons)
10. Hypothesis Testing (1 lesson)
11. Customer and User Research (3 lessons)
12. Finding Product Market Fit (3 lessons)
13. How to build an MVP (2 lessons)
14. Decision Making using Data (2 lessons)
15. Intro to Design (1 lesson)
16. Art of the Cold Email (1 lesson)
17. Growth Funnels (2 lessons)
18. Sales (3 lessons)
19. Negotiations (1 lesson)
20. Growth (1 lesson)
21. Scaling (2 lessons)
22. Elements of a Pitch (1 lesson)
1. Creativity Workshop
2. Theory of Change Workshop
3. MBTI Workshop
4. Design Thinking Workshop
5. Customer Research & Hypothesis Testing Challenge
6. Testing Ideas Workshop
7. Building an MVP Workshop
8. Negotiations Workshop
9. Sales & Objections Workshop
10. Growth & Scaling Challenge
11. Presentation Skills Workshop
12. Data Analysis Workshop
Panels (subject to change based on cohort preference):
1. Business vs. Tech Panel
2. Social Impact Panel
3. Higher Education Panel
4. Digital Nomads Panel
5. Disruptive Tech Panel
Every cohort has at least 3-4 founder fireside chats with successful founders (outside of founders leading the workshops). The founders will be selected to offer a diverse view into B2B vs. B2C, service vs. product based, and software vs. hardware. Check out past founders that have joined us.
Time commitment is based on how much you are willing to put into your startup. The more that you put in, the more network, success in your startup, and growth you will get out.
Live sessions are Monday through Thursday every day and each session is 2.5-3 hours long. Beyond this time for live sessions, each week students typically spend 1-2 hours on the student portal going through on-demand lectures of the week and 15-20 hours working on their startups.
School Year Cohort
Live sessions are help once a week and are 3.5 hours long. Beyond this time for live sessions, each week students typically spend 1 hour on the student portal going through on-demand lectures of the week, 3-10 hours working on their startups, and 1 hour at BETA Camp socials.
We don’t allow students to participate by session or by week. BETA Camp's designed program is built to bring students the full of experience of starting their first business and learning the skills and mindset it takes to get there. Each week’s programming builds on top of each other and seeing the program as a whole instead of several parts will provide students with the best concrete results.
BETA Camp currently runs 3 cohorts a year.
The curriculum is the same across cohorts. The summer cohort will learn 2 weeks of material in one week and live workshops will take place Monday through Thursday on weekdays instead of weekends for the school year cohorts.
12-week Spring Cohort from February - April
6-week Summer Cohort from July - August
12-week Fall Cohort from September - December
Class size has varied from 30 students to 75 students.
We don't have a set number of students that we must take in order to run the program or a cap on the maximum number of students. We take all students who are qualified and only students who meet our selection bar.
Typically we see larger class sizes for the Summer and Fall cohorts and a smaller class size for the Spring cohort.
BETA Camp creates the content and curriculum in house and trains industry professionals on delivering the content while adding in their own experiences and examples.
You will be learning from experts at world-class companies like Google, IKEA, Airbnb, and more.
After BETA Camp, students are added to our community of alumni to stay connected. Our staff host bi-monthly events for networking across cohorts to build a strong lifelong network.
Beyond BETA Camp, students can choose to continue with their startups - BETA Camp takes no equity or ownership of campers' startups. Some students choose to continue with the startup built at BETA Camp, others move on to build new startups or non-profits with the same teams, their friends, or by themselves.
We also see many students land internships through the network they built at BETA Camp with the Camp Counselors.
The tuition for BETA Camp is:
$250/week ($1500 USD total) for Summer
$125/week ($1500 USD total) for School Year
We also offer installment plans and financial bursaries.
BETA Camp hires world-class camp counselors to teach every part of the curriculum. These camp counselors are executives or founders that bring unique experiences to share with students that will help expand their world view on what is possible. For example, you will learning Design Thinking through an interactive workshop run by the Head of Innovation at IKEA - who runs the same workshop for C-suite executives globally.
Additionally, we have a full-time and part-time team operations team. This includes people working on ensuring the curriculum continuously improves and stays up to date, a technology team managing the student portal, and those working on partnerships and recruiting both students and camp counselors.
Tuition goes towards salaries and operational software that makes this experience possible for you.
We use Stripe as our payment processor. All credit cards and debit cards are accepted.
We take payment in USD, you can pay using a different currency but forex charges (to your bank) may apply.
We do not offer merit based scholarships.
However, special scholarships for underrepresented minorities are offered through our partners YELL Canada and FIRST Robotics Canada that cover part of the program tuition. You must be a registered FIRST Canada member or a participant in the YELL program to qualify.
We offer financial bursaries that cover 15% - 80% of the fees for students whose family or caregivers earn a combined income of less than $65,000 (USD equivalent) per year. In order to apply, families are asked to submit household proof of income validated by a third-party source for the last two years. Examples include T4s in Canada, W2s in the US, etc.
Students must apply for financial bursaries in their application.