How is Camp BizSmart different from other camps?

Camp BizSmart is the only camp in the U.S. that teaches young aspiring entrepreneurs  ages 11 – 15  and 16-19, the essential entrepreneurial skills needed to run a business in a flat, competitive world. Here are some of the ways our program stands above other camps:

  • Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs work on product innovation business cases that are created by our Founders and CEO’s of sponsoring companies.
  • They gain real-world experience in a positive, team-based environment.
  • They personally learn through the mentorship of top executives.

What is your learning model?

Our model is based on the proven practice of project-based learning, which teaches kids skills and abilities through problem-solving exercises based on real business cases. We call it LDCA (“Learn, Do, Coach, Act”). It was adapted from the advice W. Edwards Deming, the father of statistical quality control, used to give to Fortune 500 companies.

Is this just another technology skills camp?

Camp BizSmart teaches much more than just technology skills. Our programs and team-based classrooms promote good attitudes as well, Herb Kelleher, the wildly successful CEO and founder of Southwest Airlines, once said his secret to success was “hiring for attitude and training for everything else.”

Do you focus on skill development?

We are dedicated to teaching kids necessary skills, and we’ve formed our learning model around it. Our programs emphasize leadership, collaborative teamwork, financial analysis, project management, negotiation, positive influence, and public speaking.

What’s it like to be a student at Camp BizSmart?

Students choose their own teams and assume the roles of C-level executives, such as CEO and CFO. Each team then solves a problem given by the CEO and founder of a successful company. Teams design an innovative solution, write a business plan, and pitch it to a group of real investors. It’s a challenging task, but students have a lot of fun together.

How are students assigned to projects?

Before camp, students are provided with project descriptions. They must research all companies and assign priority to each in order of interest. On the first day of the program, they negotiate with other students to obtain their first or second choice.

How do students complete projects in only two weeks?

Time management isn’t just something we teach – we practice it. Each day’s agenda is precisely coordinated. In addition to camp directors, each team is assigned a facilitator whose job it is to keep team members focused on project goals, schedules, and requirements.

Why is Camp BizSmart project-based?

Research suggests that successful business founders and entrepreneurs learn exceedingly well from actual experience. We design projects to duplicate how people learn in real life. You might say that “project practice makes perfect.”

What kind of projects will students work on at Camp BizSmart?

We know Camp BizSmart students are passionate and up to date on the latest technology. We integrate technology with projects to get kids excited and involved in a variety of emerging business trends and issues. Past team projects include an iPhone app to track home energy use, a literacy program in Northern Uganda, a teencentric wearable fitness device, an electric mini-moto motorcycle, and a variety of other unique and innovative projects. Check our website for the past product innovation business cases and the videos and posted cases for the past year.  New cases are posted in the Spring before the new Summer season.

What are the qualifications of Camp BizSmart’s staff and faculty?

Our founders Mike and Peggy Gibbs each have 30 years of experience in management and leadership at General Electric, Benetech, Texas Instruments, Packard Children’s Hospital, the Girl Scouts, and several Silicon Valley start-ups. Camp BizSmart Directors are carefully selected for their knowledge, training, and years of experience at leading companies. Our faculty members come from companies like Cisco, Serious Energy, Apple, Google, Kaboodle, and other well-known fast-growing businesses.

What do the founders know about skill development?

Dr. Michael Gibbs is an organizational psychologist who has delivered seminars to executives in over 20 countries for General Electric and The Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. He has worked with top Fortune 500 companies and executives around the world. As a psychologist, he evaluated student performance and worked on projects to reinvent education in the U.S. at The Health Trust. Peggy Gibbs co-founded education and youth development ventures, including the Children’s Dental Initiative and BrainWise Learning. She also co-founded the Santa Clara County Partnership for School Readiness. At Packard Children’s Hospital Ms. Gibbs raised capital for cutting-edge children’s medical services. At the Girls Scouts, she initiated programs to teach girls math, science, and leadership skills. Her Specialty is business development and partnership relationships in the launch and incubation of new ventures.

What’s the student base of Camp BizSmart programs?

Since 2008, we have drawn top students from 15 international schools, plus students from across the United States, as well as over 60 public and private schools in the Bay Area, to premier venues in Silicon Valley, including Santa Clara University and Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Microsoft, as well as numerous international locations.

Does Camp BizSmart plan to expand globally?

Camp BizSmart has already established a worldwide presence. Camp BizSmart students have pitched their ideas, live via TelePresence, to students in Argentina and Brazil. Business plan presentations have streamed from India and China. In addition, students have traveled from Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, and China to be coached, mentored, and inspired at Camp BizSmart programs.

We’re establishing locations outside the U.S. We opened Camp BizSmart India in 2010 with camps in Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. We have Workshops during the year at locations in Zurich, Switzerland, Lima, Peru, and Dubai, UAE.

How can I find out if Camp BizSmart is right for my child?

We invite you to speak personally with our founders. They would love to talk to you about how Camp BizSmart provides the best learning environment for your aspiring young entrepreneur.

There are 3 levels of workshops to select from: Camp BizSmart Product Design and Biz Pitch Competition for ages 11-15 which gives a full understanding and step by step mentor instruction of the fundamentals that go into creating a product innovation with team mates; BizSmart Accelerator for ages 13-17 builds on the skills gained in the earlier workshop or from other comparable experiences, students are given more independence to select their resources as they work in teams competing to solve a business challenge that provides opportunities for multiple solutions; Atelier Master Class for ages 16-19 is where aspiring entrepreneurs bring their own product innovation and start-up ideas, mentored by experts who help them create a crowdfunding video and pitch to prepare for potential public launch.    The founders look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions.

Office: (408) 395-1937
Mike’s Cell: (408) 472-6701
Peggy’s Cell: (408) 472-2861

Is Camp BizSmart tuition tax deductible?

If your child is under the age of 13 and attending a Camp BizSmart program this summer, you may be able to count the tuition you pay as an expense toward the Child and Dependent Care Credit. To determine your eligibility, please speak with a tax professional.

Can I use my flexible savings account (FSA) to pay tuition?

Please check with your employer’s HR department to find out if your FSA plan covers day camps like Camp BizSmart.

What if I need to cancel my student’s enrollment?

If you wish to protect your tuition and travel investment against an unforeseen circumstance, we have partnered with A+ Program Protection from TravMark to offer various coverages. Please click here to learn more and obtain a quote.

What is the refund policy?

Because we work with many instructors, venues, vendors, and caterers, it is important that we have an accurate headcount well in advance of the event. And, because we sign contracts with venues guaranteeing the number of students at least 21 days in advance of your arrival, we are unable to offer any refunds within 21 days of the event. If it is before 21 days from the event, please contact Peggy Gibbs to request a refund. Thank you for understanding.