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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 is a 4-week entrepreneurship bootcamp. Our July cohort runs from June 28 - July 28, 2023.
Our August cohort runs from July 31 - August 25.
During both cohorts, live interactive sessions are held Monday-Friday, 12 - 3 pm EST.
Summer applications close June 4, 2023, and Early Applications close May 1st. Apply before May 1st to receive our early-bird pricing.
Students should expect to dedicate 20-30 hours per week on BETA Camp. This consists of 15 hours in interactive workshops with our mentors and instructors (these run from 12 - 3 pm EST).
Beyond time in the workshops, students are expected to spend 5-10 hours per week working on their startups in teams, and meeting with your startup advisor. This time will be coordinated between you and your team members.
Our workshops are live and interactive. Therefore, we recommend joining all our workshops, but we also understand schedules are busy!
All our workshops are recorded if you have to miss a day or two. Students are expected to make up the work if they miss workshops, and still contribute to their startup team.
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.
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 are real world skills and confidence: speaking up in discussion groups, talking to customers, building something that gets real users, decision making and time management, finding and capitalizing on opportunities... These things can't be captured on paper.
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
BETA Camp helps middle and high school students build leadership skills and find their passion. But why is this important?
Harvard looks for passion. Google looks for passion. Startups look for passion. BETA Camp also looks for that internal spark of passion.
What exactly is passion and why does every competitive program or opportunity look for it?
Everyone has something they are passionate about. It could be a book you have read, a game you play, a side hustle, an instrument, a sport, a movie, playing video games - whatever. Everyone has something.
When someone asks you what you are passionate about, it's a chance for you to be a teacher and show clarity, enthusiasm, and lucidity.
By talk about passion, we get to see if you are a learner.
Whether you dig beyond the obvious.
Whether you break down and reason why things are the way they are as you spend hours pouring over this passion.
Labels fall away when you talk about passion and you see a person who cares about something to know it better than anyone else in the world (in their mind).
Many top students who go to top schools suddenly look like boring, box-checkers and are too busy following the normal path to have a passion so they talk about something safe.
The people who truly think for themselves are able to talk about aerospace, poverty, League of Legends, anime, and find the unique points that only someone who is passionate knows. You become a genius hidden in plain sight, it shows us how hard you can work to be the best when you are committed.
What we encourage students to do at BETA Camp is to pursue their passion. We validate that only by being passionate and seeing beyond the obvious will give them insights to build something amazing.
For example, a team that loved playing video games have built a monetized community and competition for small Twitch streamers to network. Another team passionate about mental health built a digital marketplace where teens get to try out group therapy before committing to a therapist.
Before leaders become great at inspiring followers, they are first doers.
Leaders take action.
This can start in middle school and high school. But what does true leadership mean?
Who sounds more impressive to an admissions officer:
1. Someone who built a game as a side project and got hundreds of users from the appstore, did an unpaid internship at a local startup helping with backend development
2. Someone who claims they want to be an engineer but has never written a line of code outside their computer science class?
1. Someone who has written multiple marketing articles and started a marketing agency providing social media and content marketing services to small businesses by sourcing them through direct messaging on Instagram
2. Someone who claims they are passionate about business but has just created marketing posters for fundraisers at school?
Who shows more genuine interest and passion? Who looks like they would be a good leader in the student community with sufficient experience?
At BETA Camp, students are passionate creators. You have to build and create the change you see in the world and it's not done through writing business plans or theoretical proposals!
We ask that students apply for themselves to BETA Camp. The application process includes answering 3 questions and submitting your most recent school transcript.
Students ages 13-18 may apply for an upcoming cohort at https://app.beta.camp/join
Check our our application tips for more details on what makes a good application!
Our ideal candidate is a middle or 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.
BETA Camp's programs rely on live, interactive sessions with industry experts and entrepreneurs. These are typically offered in the afternoons in Eastern Time Zone (EST).
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.
You do not need a startup, startup idea, or a team before joining.
Teams will be formed during the program. Students choose their teams and / or based are matched with a team 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.
We do not require business or technical skills before joining.
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 real 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 10-20 hours working on their startups.
School Year Cohort
Live sessions are held once a week, on Saturdays from 12 -3:30 pm EST. 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, 5-10 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 previous work. Seeing the program as a whole, instead of several parts will provide students with the best concrete results.
For BETA Academy Spring 2023, students may participate in one, two, or three months of the program.
Class sizes typically vary between 50 - 150 students. Within a class, students form teams of 5-6 students during the program.
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.
BETA Camp Fellowship
After BETA Camp, students may be invited to continue their startup and entrepreneurship journey with BETA Camp's Fellowship program, an invite-only opportunity for students who have shown dedication and effort during the BETA Camp experience.
During the Fellowship, students take deeper dives into different fields and career paths within tech and entrepreneurship with guidance and 1:1 support from industry mentors and coaches. The goal is to continue to develop real-life skills & assist with securing internships early.
Alumni Network & Beyond
All students are invited to our alumni community where students have the opportunity to remain connected with our vast network. Staff host bi-monthly events including networking opportunities. Some teams choose to continue with their startups (BETA Camp takes no equity or ownership with their startups). Others move to build new startups or non-profits with either the same team, their friends, or solo.
We also see many students land internships through the network they built at BETA Camp with the Camp Counselors.
BETA Camp's Summer program is $3,500 USD for the 4-week program with our Early Bird tuition.
We offer financial bursaries that cover up to 80% of the fees for students whose family or caregivers earn a combined income of less than $100,000 (USD equivalent) per year. Students may apply for financial bursaries after completing an application.
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 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 provide Financial Aid packages that cover 20%-80% of the program cost for families / households that qualify (see below for more). 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 20% - 80% of the fees for students whose family or caregivers earn a combined income of less than $100,000 (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 after they complete their application.
For our Summer 2023 program, students may join the first and second day of BETA Camp. If you find that it is not the right fit for you, email us (email@example.com) before the 3rd day of the program, and we'll provide a 100% no-questions asked refund.
We also provide a 'Do the Work' Guarantee. If you put in the work during BETA Camp throughout the program, and it does not meet your expectations, you may email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) within 7 days of the program end date and we will provide a 100% refund. To be eligible students must:
- Complete all required startup work by each weekly deadline. (All milestones and deadlines for startup work is marked in The Startup Playbook provided the first day of the program.)
- Attend more than 90% of startup mentorship sessions and 80% all live workshops.
- Participate in Demo Day to pitch in front of judges with 100% of the deck sessions completed.
Please pay attention to dates. All refunds are under the sole discretion of the Company. Please see our Terms of Service (section 5) for further information.