Camp BizSmart Launches Entrepreneur Academy at Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN

By: Baylor Pillow

This June, Baylor School will have the honor of hosting Camp BizSmart, a camp that inspires young entrepreneurs from ages 11-15. The camp will take place from June 11-24 and will be a residential camp.

Camp BizSmart was founded in 2007 and has been mentoring young entrepreneurs since 2008, but the summer of 2017 will be Camp BizSmart’s first camp east of the Mississippi River. The founders, Mike and Peggy Gibbs, yearned to provide high-achieving adolescents with the skills, values, and real-life experience of an entrepreneur. Their hard work paid off. In its first year, Camp BizSmart attended the World Innovation Forum in New York City and placed in the top new businesses (ahead of 23andMe, who attended the conference in the same year). Dr. Mike and Peggy Gibbs have grown the camp into an internationally renowned organization, having camps in places such as Switzerland, India, and Peru as well as Camp BizSmart’s regular locations in the Silicon Valley at Stanford University and Santa Clara University.

The two-week entrepreneur academy recruits Founders/CEO’s of top companies who co-write real product innovation business cases with founders Dr. Mike and Peggy Gibbs for the students to solve in teams. After being divided up into different teams for the different cases, the students are assigned roles such as CEO, CIO, CFO, etc., and work over the course of the next two weeks to create a product design solution and go to market strategy. The teams present their product design and business pitch in a final presentation to business executives where a winner is chosen and announced the following day at the closing ceremony.

I myself had the honor of attending Camp BizSmart during the summer of 2012 in San Mateo, California. The camp completely changed my life and made me want more for myself. Camp BizSmart eventually inspired me to change schools and become a boarder here at Baylor. The camp taught me about diversity, teamwork, and grit. In my two weeks as a camper, the idea that zest, optimism, and perseverance will benefit you in any field or experience stuck with me.

Camp BizSmart is truly unlike any other camp I have ever attended and I fully encourage anyone who wants to attend to do so. Being a part of the winning team was an awesome, fun experience that taught my 12-year-old self so many lessons that I remember to this day. After becoming close friends with them, Mike and Peggy invited me back to be a leader at the Stanford camp this past summer. Once again, I had an amazing experience.

I finally realized that Camp BizSmart was doing so much around the world and that bringing it to Baylor could spread its influence to even more people. After visiting in October, the Gibbs were sold on Baylor School and Baylor was happy to receive them. I am so excited to have this camp come to Baylor, and I am even more excited to be a team coach this year.

Though the business cases have not been released for this summer yet, checking their website regularly can keep you updated. Last week, Camp BizSmart officially announced the Baylor School session and applications are now open. For more information, visit http:// campbizsmart.org/our-camps/upcoming-programs/camp-bizsmart-10-day/baylor-school- chattanooga-tnjune-11-24-2017/  Applications are open to students 11-15 from all around the world and United States at this site as well as Camp BizSmart sites, please see: www.campbizsmart.org for a list of all session available for students 11-15 and 16-19.

About the guest author: Baylor Pillow is an alum of Camp BizSmart 2012, and has worked on staff in Silicon Valley at the Camp BizSmart Stanford sessions. He is currently a Junior high school student at Baylor School. He looks forward to meeting everyone who will attend the Baylor School Camp BizSmart session this June.

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