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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.

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 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

Each of the programs aligns with educational standards set by the TN Department of Education.

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.

FathomFathom is a social enterprise to inspire and equip 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 three sites and support schools in designing and implementing a plan to administer Change Agents in their classrooms. *Please note Fathom is only available to schools in the Tri-Cities area for Spring 2019.

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.

School Host Site Criteria

  • Must be a Tennessee high school
  • Provide a facilitator to be trained by LaunchTN and curriculum partner
  • Provide space for the course
  • Provide a 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 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


November 1 Applications open for host schools
December 3 – Applications close for host schools
December 7 – Selected host sites announced & notified
December/January – Training for Facilitators
January/February – Programs kick off (can launch sooner but will depend on school/training abilities)
May-July – Training/Planning for Fall Programs/End of program survey administered
August – 36|86: Student Edition

Want to host a Discover Entrepreneurship Program?

Apply by December 3
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