In the Shark Tank

Bring your ideas and be prepared to produce. Build your business confidence as you write a business plan, develop a brand, and uncover what it takes to grow the next big idea that could change the world. Upgrade your start-up knowledge, gain an understanding of operations from the inside out, and bring out your inner entrepreneur by being immersed in the world of founders, makers, and techies in the place where the rubber meets the road.

Program Summary

Participants in our Shark Tank programs will have exclusive access to the Cary Academy multi-modal learning environment as they spend their week working with proven experts who are passionate about what they do and enjoy helping others catch the entrepreneurial spirit. Working collaboratively in a brains-on, hands-on setting, summer learners will discover the secrets of success for themselves – what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and when it needs to happen. Shark Tank program experts will act as facilitators, allowing participants to take the lead whenever possible. Some programs will venture out on field trips throughout the Triangle area to research and explore the opportunities that surround us.

Bring out your inner entrepreneur.

Innovate Your Idea

July 9 – 13 | 8:30am to 4pm

Every company starts with an idea, but how do you know your idea is worth pursuing? Whether your mind is already churning or you’ve just discovered you have a desire to create, come ready to dive into the world of innovation. Summer learners will start the week honing their entrepreneurial mindset and developing the sparks of inspiration that they are truly passionate about. We will work in groups to flesh out and validate concepts through real life practices, spending time getting to know potential customers, and understanding the value of consumer needs. By the end of the week, innovators will feel comfortable with entrepreneurial models such as the business model canvas, SWOT analysis, and the customer empathy map. As everyone begins to formalize their startup concept, we will explore how to effectively communicate an idea to others. At the end of the week, you will put your work to the test by pitching your startup ideas to a panel of local entrepreneurs.

For Rising Grades 7 to 9

Program Fee: $425

Meet Our Expert
Kevin Pendergast

Construct Your Company

July 16 – 20 | 8:30am to 4pm

Do you want to start your own company but don’t quite know where to begin? Get ready for a crash course in everything it takes to create and operate your own business. Working with real startup concepts, summer learners will gain an understanding of what it takes to structure a company from the ground up. Summer learners will develop a formal business plan as they conquer marketing, build financial projections, and design company operations. We will look at how to form an LLC, build a successful marketing campaign, form your customer base, and much more. Summer learners will hear from local entrepreneurs and a business attorney who will share valuable insights about the formation of their own ventures. From the broad strokes to the nitty gritty, you will walk away with a tool kit of skills needed to get your startup off the ground and keep it running.

For Rising Grades 7 to 9

Program Fee: $425

Meet Our Expert
Kevin Pendergast

Surveying Startups

July 23 – 27 | 8:30am to 4pm

Entrepreneurship is all around us. Through this week-long exploration, summer learners will examine just how prevalent entrepreneurship is across a wide range of industries. We will look closely at businesses within the visual and performing arts, technology, food/hospitality, and other service based companies. Summer learners will develop a firm understanding of these industries through research and discussion before interacting directly with entrepreneurs in these fields. Entrepreneurs will find themselves in the midst of innovation as they visit local companies and see first-hand how they apply entrepreneurial thinking on a daily basis. These interactions provide an invaluable opportunity to pick the brains of successful innovators. You will quickly develop a firm understanding of the core concepts of innovation that are present in any type of business. As your business insight increases, you will develop more confidence in  business know how and discover proven methods that can be applied within your own ventures. Get ready to be immersed in the entrepreneurial community!

For Rising Grades 7 to 9

Program Fee: $425

Meet Our Expert
Kevin Pendergast

Early Entrepreneurs

July 30 – August 3 | 8:30am to 4pm

Whether you are a budding Lori Greiner or the next Lawn Care King, come learn exactly what it takes to be an entrepreneur! It’s never too early to develop the important and useful skills that can apply to many aspects of your life. During the week, we will explore what makes someone an entrepreneur and what it means to truly innovate. Summer learners will practice how to market and brand themselves and their ideas. They will walk away with the confidence to tackle basic entrepreneurial finance and strategic planning to ensure the success of their venture. Each day, we will dive into a different industry and discover how the hands on work we are doing applies to food service, high tech, the arts, and more. All budding entrepreneurs will apply everything learned over the week to bring their own small scale venture to life. You just might come up with the next big thing!

For Rising Grades 4 to 6

Program Fee: $425

Meet Our Expert
Kevin Pendergast

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It's not in the dreaming, it's in the doing.

Mark Cuban 

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