Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy




For the past eleven years the Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA) has built high school students into budding entrepreneurs. The Teen Academy is designed for high school students entering grades 9th all the way to 12th grade.  Our Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy attracts students from across the state of Michigan. 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 totaling $5,000! 

The theme for TESA 2020 will be Innovations in K-12 Education! 



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

2:00PM    Planning/ Workshop

2:45PM    Launch Activity/ Reflections

5:00PM    Dismissal


GVSU Campus

Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, Grand Valley State University's Pew Campus provides students with access to community resources such as businesses, hospitals and government agencies. These institutions provide internships and act as research hubs for students to compete in a knowledge-driven economy. GVSU has gladly offered the use of its Pew Campus to help students get the most out of their TESA experience. Located at 50 Front Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49504. 


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Fee:  $150 per student. Scholarships available for students who qualify for financial aid.

Please note: The TESA application does not allow you to save and come back to it. Please have payment information including any scholarship codes ready when applying. Our staff is unable to see partially completed applications. We recommend having students work on their essay question in a separate document so that that they can save it as needed and then copy and paste it into the TESA application.


Will my son or daughter need to provide his or her own transportation? Yes, you will need to provide your own transportation to and from the facility. Students who wish to drive themselves must follow these parking guidelines. Please park in the Watson St. lot.

Will meals 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? The 2020 year's theme is innovations in K-12 Education. 

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.

Are overnight accommodations available?   Since this is a day camp, we do not provide overnight accommodations, but we can make recommendations at GVSU or 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

Are scholarships available? A select number of scholarships are available for students who need financial assistance. A scholarship will reduce the cost from $150 to $50. The requirements for a scholarship is a confirmation letter/e-mail from a school counselor that states you qualify for financial assistance. The counselor can send the e-mail confirmation to Amy Gascon, gascona@gvsu.edu

Where can I park?  Free parking for TESA students, volunteers and guests is available in the Watson Lot (#21 on the map), or the Fulton Lot (#16 on the map):  GVSU Downtown campus map

Didn't find the answer to your question?

Email us at cei@gvsu.edu or call  616-331-7582

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TESA '17