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Startup Experience

Learn to start a business

The Startup Experience is an intensive hands-on workshop for future entrepreneurs and social innovators. During the program, roughly 200 high school students from local Shenandoah Valley school systems will immerse themselves in the startup world and learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  


They will learn about Startup team formation, problem definition, user analysis, idea creation, business model innovation, and customer development, and get hands-on experience with the tools they need to create a successful startup company! 


Through entrepreneurship education, these young innovators will learn organizational skills, including time management, leadership development, and interpersonal skills, all of which are highly transferable skills sought by employers.

WHO is it for?

Students grade 9-12 from local Shenandoah Valley high schools who are interested in entrepreneurship.

Students should speak to their career counselor, business teacher, or FBLA advisor to register.

WHEN does Startup Experience happen?

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This past fall, over 200 Central Valley high school students participated in the two-day Startup Experience. Now, these students have the unique opportunity to bring their entrepreneurial visions to life by pitching the business ideas they developed during the workshop. 

On February 28th, 10 teams of students, who attended the fall workshop, will gather at Blue Ridge Community College to participate in a captivating pitch competition, and learn what it’s like to pitch a business! 

RECAP Startup Experience 2023!

In September 2023, we hosted the Startup Experience at Blue Ridge Community College with high school students grade 9-12 from the Harrisonburg City Schools, Rockingham County Schools, Staunton City Schools, Waynesboro City Schools, and Augusta County Schools.

Read about the event here!

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How will students get to the event?

Students will be bussed from their respective high schools to the event venue. 


What should students bring? 

All necessary supplies will be provided at the workshop. Students just need to bring a willingness to learn and participate! 


Will lunch be provided/Can students bring their own food?

Lunch, as well as snacks and water, will be provided throughout the day. If students have allergies or dietary restrictions, they need to notify the counselor or teacher who signs them up so that we can accommodate their food restrictions. 


Is the venue wheelchair accessible? 

Yes, and all other accessibility accommodations noted on the intake form will be taken into consideration. 


Will there be chaperones?

Teachers from each school will be in attendance, and SCCF staff and mentors will be on-site supervising all activities. 


Can friends or family come to watch the final pitch? 

Unfortunately, friends and family are not invited to watch the final pitch. However, there will be ongoing opportunities after the workshop for students to stay involved in the pitch process. Family and friends will be permitted to attend these future events. 

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