Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy in Detroit

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For the past ten years on the GVSU Grand Rapids Pew Campus, the Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA) has built high school students into budding entrepreneurs. TESA Detroit is designed for GVSU Charter High School students who are entering 9th all the way to 12th grade. During the five day academy, teams of four to five students from different schools manufacture an original business pitch from the idea stage to a developed concept. On the final day, each team will present their idea to a panel of local business professionals for a chance to win cash prizes.

In 2016 and 2017, the GVSU Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) in collaboration with the GVSU Charter Schools Office, ran TESA  in the GVSU Detroit Center, located in downtown Detroit. 

Detroit TESA will now run every other year. 2018 will not have an Academy but will resume the summer of 2019. 



Day 1   Industry Overview & Market Research

Day 2   Marketing Plan

Day 3   Management & Operational Planning

Day 4   Financial Instructional Plan & Presentation Planning

Day 5   Final Pitch Competition & Award Ceremony



9:00AM    Students Arrive

9:25AM    Instructional Session

11:30AM  Lunch Break

1:00PM    Instructional Sessions

2:00PM    Planning/ Workshop

4:00PM    Launch Activity/ Reflections

5:00PM    Dismissal


GVSU Detroit Campus

Grand Valley State University
163 Madison St.
Detroit, MI

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There will be no Detroit TESA the summer of 2018. The program will resume the summer of 2019.

Please email cei@gvsu.edu if you have any questions.  



Will food be provided at the summer academy? Yes, breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided for the students.

What kind of business ideas will the students be building their plans around? This year's theme is Smart Cities!

Are overnight accommodations available?   Since this is a day camp (9 am – 5 pm), we do not provide overnight accommodations, but we can make recommendations at the surrounding hotels. The student would need to cover their own accommodation fees plus ensure they have a chaperone or adult supervision after 5 pm. We are not responsible for supervising the students after 5 pm.  For more information, please contact CEI at cei@gvsu.edu or 616-331-7582.

What is the dress code? Students will be given a TESA t-shirt to wear for the first four days of the academy. These t-shirts help staff recognize and keep track of teams. Students are expected to be dressed in business/office attire for their pitch on the fifth and final day. Review Dress Code.

Is my son or daughter expected to attend the academy in its entirety; what if they have a conflict? Yes, students are expected to be present each day and support the efforts of their team. Please contact CEI at cei@gvsu.edu or 616-331-7582 if a student must leave early, arrive late or miss a day.

Will my son or daughter need to bring any materials with them?  All materials including pens, pencils, paper, supplies or any other tools needed to further the experience at the academy will be provided. We will provide university computers for the students, but because many of the students perform in-depth research, they are allowed to bring laptop computers at their own risk.

Didn't find the answer to your question?

For general questions about TESA, email us at cei@gvsu.edu or call  616-331-7582.

Thank You to Our Sponsors


Detroit TESA '17

Detroit TESA '16

TESA '15

Page last modified August 8, 2018