TESA Program Recaps

Detroit 2017 Group

Detroit 17 First Place

Instruct 2 Reconstruct

Detroit TESA 2017 Recap

The GVSU Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA) is a week-long summer program for high school students that focuses on cultivating interest in entrepreneurship and provides students with the knowledge and tools for starting their own businesses. TESA is an exceptional opportunity for high school students to interact and learn on a college campus. During the five day program, students work with college faculty and current GVSU students to solve a real-world problems through entrepreneurship. The program provides students with fundamental business concepts and essential entrepreneurship skills through hands-on, creative workshops. On the last day, the teams present a five-minute business idea pitch to a panel of judges from the local community for cash prizes.

Detroit 2017 Sec Place

Back In My Day

The 2017 Detroit TESA program saw 39 students from different high schools around the greater Detroit area. Sponsors included Accenture, Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust, Marathon, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc., and the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Together they provided cash and prizes for the student entrepreneurs that totaled over $5,000. Each year, TESA features a theme for the students to focus their ideas toward. This year’s theme was urban development. To assist students in understanding the challenges and opportunities associated with urban development, we kicked off the week by having the students listen to a dynamic panel of Detroit area urban development professionals as they discussed issues and opportunities surrounding the concept of Urban Development and revitalization in Detroit. We followed this panel with taking a walking tour of downtown Detroit, and the surrounding areas to learn about the urban development happening around Detroit. During the week, the students traveled to Recovery Park, a community garden that is on a mission to restore the vacant land of Detroit, and help create jobs for those around Detroit. The students also took a trip to the Ponyride in Detroit to learn about the resources available in regards to innovation and entrepreneurship in Detroit.  Later in the week, the students traveled to Grand Circus Detroit to learn about the opportunities in the field of technology. Throughout the week, students were under the instruction of Peg Shoenborn and Dr. Tim Syfert. Peg Shoenborn and Dr. Syfert guided them through ideation, prototyping, planning and market research, and management and operations.

Detroit 2017 Third Place

Study Tracker

At the end of the week, the student teams pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges made up of Joseph A. Aristeo,  Founder and President of Aristeo Construction Company; Courtney Morales Hofmann, President at MCM Staffing; William E. Luse, President of the 100 Black Men Of Greater Detroit Inc.; Monica L. Martinez, Senior Vice President, of External Affairs at Comerica Bank; Tommy Skinner, Community Relations Liaison at Marathon Petroleum; and Andrea L. Wallace, Strategist of Data Analytics & Business intelligence at DTE Energy.

Madain Ghaleb, James Pope, and Krupa Patel took home first prize and $2,500 for their business of Instruct 2 Reconstruct, a business that hires on people to receive training for jobs around Detroit such as gardening, building, and more. Ana Caroline Bayma-Myer, Brenda Hernandez, Skylar Griffin, and Myles Lewis were awarded second place and $1,500 for Back in My Day, a business that hires the elderly to teach the younger generation about hobbies that they once had, to keep the traditions alive. Vincent Wilton, Dominic Pope, Kyreek Norwood, Anton Register, and Terrell White received third place and $1,000 for Study Tracker, an app that allows students to track their hours of study, and gives students the opportunities to win prizes for the amount of hours they have tracked within the app. Other Ideas included that of Connect Detroit, H.S. Flips, Food on the Move, Roughage, Farm City USA, and Motor City Beach.

2017 Detroit TESAmonials:

“TESA was a remarkable experience that forever changed my perspective on entrepreneurs. It gave me hope of becoming a CEO and taught me all about it. I met amazing people.”

“I loved expanding my skills and knowledge of public speaking and communication. Also, learning the process of starting a business was really cool.”

“I loved getting to know new people and expanding my horizons. The food was amazing, and learning from successful people was very inspiring.”

“TESA was a fun experience. It opened limitless possibilities towards solving problems. Before, I would only have one way of doing things, the ideas are flowing now!”

“My experience has been really, really good. TESA really taught me a lot of things, and I am never going to look at Grand Rapids the same way I used to, so thank you.”


TESA Group 2017

Winning Team 2

Commute Driving School

Grand Rapids TESA 2017 Recap

The GVSU Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA) is a week-long summer program for high school students that focuses on cultivating interest in entrepreneurship and provides students with the knowledge and tools for starting their own businesses. TESA is an exceptional opportunity for high school students to interact and learn on a college campus. During the five day program, students work with college faculty and current GVSU students to solve a real-world problems through entrepreneurship. The program provides students with fundamental business concepts and essential entrepreneurship skills through hands-on, creative workshops. On the last day, the teams present a five-minute business idea pitch to a panel of judges from the local community for cash prizes.

Winning Team 3

Grand Rapid Delivery

The 2017 TESA program saw 47 students from different high schools across the state of Michigan and Illinois. Sponsors included Amway, KENT ISD, KCI Printing, Spectrum Health Innovation, Start Garden, the Seidman College of Business, and the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Together they provided cash and prizes for the student entrepreneurs that totaled over $5,000. Each year, TESA features a theme for the students to focus their ideas toward. This year’s theme was Urban Development and Revitalization. To assist students in understanding the challenges and opportunities associated with urban development, we kicked off the week by having the students listen to a dynamic panel of Grand Rapids area urban development professionals as they discussed issues and opportunities surrounding the concept of Urban Development and Revitalization in Grand Rapids. We followed this panel with taking a field trip to Rockford Construction to learn about the urban development happening around and near downtown Grand Rapids. Later in the week, the students took a trip to the Geek Group in Grand Rapids to learn about the future of technology, and then to Spectrum Health Innovations to understand the concept of prototyping. Later in the week, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) introduced the students to the innovative artist exhibit of Rube Goldberg, and Start Garden introduced the students to what an entrepreneurial ecosystem looks like. Throughout the week, students were under the instruction of Peg Shoenborn and Dr. Tim Syfert. Peg Shoenborn and Dr. Syfert guided them through ideation, prototyping, planning and market research, and management and operations.

Winning Team 2017

Mobile Museum

At the end of the week, the student teams pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges made up of Linda Chamberlain, Frederik Meijer Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Jorge Gonzalez, director at Start Garden; Doyle Hayes, CEO of dhayes Group; Michelle Meulendyk, Charitable contribution specialist at Amway; and Don Paton, Partner at Datacomp. Aaron Ross, Paul Gross, Dat Ta, Alayna Vazquez, and Isabel Krupp took home first prize and $2,500 for Commute Driving School, a business that would utilize drivers education students to provide transportation to the elderly living in the Grand Rapids area, to and from their destinations. Advith Reddy, Claire Anderson, Lizzy Baran, Shaylee Smith, Jennifer Puente, and Joseph Huizing were awarded second place and $1,500 for Grand-Rapid Delivery, a service that utilized Grand Rapid’s Bus system The Rapid, to transport food from restaurants that don’t normally deliver to people who live near the bus line. Davis ross, Layth Almallah, Alec Isanhart, Alexandria Carroll, Samantha Todd, and Cameron Bruneau received third place and $1,000 for the Mobile Museum, an entertainment experience that takes unused exhibit items from museums and places them in temporary pop-up museums throughout the city for teens to interact with. Other Ideas included a mobile produce delivery service to impoverished neighborhoods, an urban herb garden that would employ the homeless, a skills training service ran by teens for the homeless, and a teen community center.

2017 Grand Rapids TESAmonials

“TESA has been a great experience. Not only did I gain knowledge into the entrepreneurial field, but also with teamwork skills. I would recommend this experience to family and friends, and I would come back next year.”

“My experience at TESA has been great. I learned that perspective you need in the business world, and the things you need to consider when becoming an entrepreneur. This experience will help you on your journey to success.”

“The entire experience was an overall life changing decision. The curriculum and work we received was extremely useful and vital to our final pitches. I like how the staff challenged us on several occasions to come together as a team to solve a problem. In the end, everyone walked out the doors with something valuable, whether it was money or a new outlook on life.”

“TESA was truly an enriching and educational experience! I was able to learn so much in the matter of a week! I learned the importance of identifying your target market as well as the unique proposition that sets you apart from your competition. TESA also taught me how critical teamwork is and what it means to be a successful leader.”


Detroit TESA 2017

Grand Rapids TESA 2017

Grand Rapids TESA 2016



Page last modified September 1, 2017