Skip links

Discover Entrepreneurship Program

The Discover Entrepreneurship Program (DEP) introduces your students to skills critical for success in today’s job market. Students will have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles, engage with the community and explore career paths in the tech and innovation space. Whether your student is the next Bill Gates or primed to be the next great innovator at FedEx, help them catch the innovators’ bug and Discover Entrepreneurship.

Interested in hosting a Discover Entrepreneurship Program?

Apply Now!

Why DEP?

This program is powered by LaunchTN, a nonprofit with the mission to make Tennessee the most startup friendly state in the nation. DEP fulfills a critical component of our mission: to create a robust talent pipeline to fill existing and future needs of growing companies. We are currently accepting applications from Tennessee high schools and youth organizations interested in hosting one of three programs detailed below. Each is an excellent opportunity to introduce your students to entrepreneurship in the Spring or Fall 2019 semesters!

Each curriculum partner provides a turnkey program structure for schools to implement as a standalone class or integrate into an existing course (i.e. marketing, finance, etc.) Curriculum partners are flexible and exist to help teachers and their students be successful.

Programs will enable students to:

  • Learn basic principles of launching a business or innovative venture through classroom training and practical application
  • Interact in a team setting
  • Engage with community members and mentors outside of the classroom
  • Exit the program with a tangible finished project ready for presentation

See “Course code(s)” in the sections below to review how these curricula align with the Tennessee Department of Education standards.

DEP Curriculum Partners

LAUNCHing Bright IdeasCurrently, this program is running in nine Hamilton County High schools to engage interested and motivated students with a simulated entrepreneurship experience that provides real-world lessons needed to start a business. Over the course of a semester, the program immerses students in business fundamentals like market opportunities, innovation, viability, feasibility and business plan development. Working in teams and mentored by business leaders, the students pitch their business plans at the end of each semester as part of a regional competition. Selected schools will participate in a training, and receive curriculum material and suggested implementation plan. The course is designed to be conducted approximately three hours a week for 14 weeks with high school juniors or seniors, but this can be adapted to fit each school’s unique schedule. A shortened introductory version held over one day is also available.

Course code: 5934 (Entrepreneurship)
Career clusters: Marketing, Distribution & Logistics

FathomFathom is a social enterprise aimed at inspiring and equipping young people as architects for the 21st century and leaders for sustainable and equitable communities, companies and commodities. Fathom’s Change Agents curriculum and project-based learning framework prepares young people to develop transferable skills for work-life success, spanning student learning from the classroom to their local communities and workplaces. Over the course of six modules, students explore topics and produce deliverables to promote personal and professional alignment, civic engagement and entrepreneurial problem-solving for local change. As a DEP Curriculum Partner, Fathom will work to train facilitators across sites and support schools in designing and implementing a plan to administer Change Agents in their classrooms.

Course codes: 5934 (Entrepreneurship), 6159 (Business & Entrepreneurship Practicum)
Career clusters: Marketing, Distribution & Logistics; Business Management & Administration

Dev Catalyst Dev Catalyst began in 2013 with the mission of improving technology education and growing tech talent among West Tennessee students. Since then, students from across Tennessee and beyond have joined the program. Dev Catalyst works to cultivate student tech talent in web development, physical computing, UX and data management. Dev Catalyst is rooted in developing student coders who are marketable in today’s workforce and offers three high school competition categories: Raspberry Pi with Python, Novice Web Development and Data Development. They also offer Raspberry Pi Workshops that function as a great way for students to get an exciting introduction. The Dev Catalyst program requires one full semester for successful implementation, however, the Raspberry Pi workshops only require one day.

Course code: 6098 (Coding I)
Career cluster: Information Technology

School Host Site Criteria

  • Must be a Tennessee high school or youth organization
  • Provide a facilitator to be trained by LaunchTN and curriculum partner
  • Provide space for the course
  • Provide time during the school day for the course

*Minimum Time requirement for workshops – One Day
*Minimum Time Requirement for full program – Full Semester but can be incorporated into an existing course

  • Provide computers/laptops (required for Dev Catalyst and preferred for Fathom and LAUNCHING Bright Ideas )
  • Help recruit volunteers to act as mentors and judges for events with LaunchTN support
  • Coordinate the end of the year celebration
  • Administer end-of-program student survey for data and reporting provided by curriculum partner
  • Assist with planning for attendees (if possible) at 36|86: Student Edition
    • LaunchTN can provide some financial support but schools would need to provide chaperones and transportation
  • Be excited about entrepreneurship & coding education for students

2019 Timeline

February 1 Applications open for host sites
April 26 – First round applications close*
May 1 – Selected host sites announced
May-August – Applications accepted & host sites notified on a rolling basis
June-August – Training for fall program facilitators
August 36|86: Student Edition
August-December – Fall semester programs & workshops
December-January – Training for spring program facilitators
January-May – Spring semester programs

* Priority will be given to applications submitted by April 26, however, the program will continue to accept and evaluate applications on a rolling basis

Read More
Return to top of page