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10 Business Summer Programs for High School Students in Colorado

Are you a Colorado high school student with an interest in exploring the world of business? Or a budding entrepreneur with a kick-ass startup idea on your mind? Then you should seriously consider using your summers to gain extra knowledge and experience in the exciting world of entrepreneurship!

A summer program (especially from a selective, prestigious institute) can undoubtedly amp up your college applications and is a solid indicator of your genuine passion for the subject. This list of programs we’ve compiled will enable you to do not just that, but also dip your toes into the fascinating and ever-growing world of commerce through lectures, mentorships, competitions, research papers, and more.

So let’s get started with our list of some of the best business summer programs for high school students in Colorado.

The Global Business Academy is a summer business program hosted by Colorado State University. As a participant, you will be immersed in a rigorous, 10-day immersion for budding entrepreneurs where you get to experience exciting college campus life while gaining valuable skills that will aid you in your entrepreneurial journey. 

This program is more than just lectures. You'll tackle real-world business challenges, interact with industry leaders, and see first-hand how innovative businesses function through activities such as interactive workshops, team-building exercises, soft skill development sessions, and more. By the end of the program, you can walk away with business and leadership skills to last a lifetime, an invaluable global network of like-minded budding entrepreneurs, and most of all — the added confidence to pursue your passion!

Location: Colorado State University - College of Business, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cost: $3750 program fee; covering all costs including housing, meals, and activities; scholarships are available.

Program dates: July 14 - July 24, 2024.

Application deadline: Closed for 2024; typically in June.

Eligibility: High school students between the ages of 15-18 years old who are enrolled in a high school for Fall ‘24.

The Economics For Leaders Virtual program offered by the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) seeks to cultivate the next generation of impactful leaders. As a rising high school student with an entrepreneurial mind, you will gain the tools and knowledge to integrate economic principles into your decision-making processes in this 4-day program.


EFL Virtual covers a wide range of interesting topics within economics such as international markets, money & inflation, incentives & innovation, government, labor markets, and more. You will also be taught leadership topics in the context of the Leadership Pyramid Matrix that is typically used in college-level courses. By fostering a deeper understanding of economic theory and its practical applications, EFL equips student leaders to navigate complex business challenges with confidence. What’s more, for an additional fee, this program even offers college credit! For a deeper dive into the program, check out this blog post here.

Location: Virtual

Cost: $35 application fee; $800 program fee; scholarships ranging from $100 to $400 are available; an additional fee of $244 is applicable for students who choose the college credit option.

Program dates: Multiple 4-day programs over June and July.

Application deadline: Closed for 2024; typically in May.

Eligibility: Sophomores and juniors in high school are eligible to apply.

The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X.

Apart from building the start-up itself, you will also participate in interactive classes on business fundamentals and business ideations, workshops and skill-building sessions, case studies, panel discussions and more.

The program is an excellent opportunity to delve into the world of business in high school, and having a space to explore multiple theoretical as well as practical frameworks that lead to a successful business. You can check out the brochure for the program here.

Cost: The total cost to attend the 4-week program is $2900. There is need-based financial aid. 

Location: This program is 100% virtual, with live, interactive workshops 

Eligibility: The program is currently open to all high school students

Program Dates: The 2024 edition of the program starts on June 5th and spans over 4-weeks.

Application Deadline: There are 3 application deadlines that you can choose between: 

  • Early Decision Deadline: March 17th, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 1: April 14, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 2: May 12th, 2023

You can access the application link here!

The Ladder Internship program is a selective virtual internship program for bright high school students looking to dive into the world of business with some hands-on experience in an actual business organization. Unlike traditional internships that might place you in large corporations, Ladder focuses on startups. This allows you to experience the fast-paced, dynamic environment of a young company and potentially make a significant contribution to its projects. Interns in this program are placed in high-growth startups that range across industries such as consulting, tech, AI/ML, fintech, media and journalism, and so on.`

In this 8-week-long internship, participants are paired with a manager at the startup who engages them in a real-world project as well as a Ladder coach who helps them navigate the challenging startup environment seamlessly. They are also provided with one-on-one training in skills such as public speaking, time management, communication, etc. At the end of the internship, interns must present their finished project to the company. What sets this program apart is that it’s not a “regular” internship with coffee-fetching and paper-filing - it immerses you in real tasks and ongoing projects that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills within a well-rounded, supportive work environment.

Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Cost: $1490; 100% financial aid available.

Program dates: Multiple cohorts throughout the year.

Application deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the cohort.

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students.

IT in Business is an action-packed, five-day program that explores how technology is shaping the business world. It offers a unique opportunity for high school students to explore the exciting intersection of technology and business. Led by CSU's College of Business faculty, you'll get hands-on experience through exciting activities like building robots, creating apps, and battling cybersecurity challenges. You also get to learn about data visualization, tour cutting-edge campus facilities, and discover the potential of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence in entrepreneurship.

This program is especially geared toward students with a keen interest in the world of IT with a sharp entrepreneurial mind. You will gain valuable skill sets for future business careers, develop innovative thinking, gain hands-on experience, and build confidence in your ability to navigate the ever-evolving tech landscape. There is also a big focus on networking with like-minded peers and building lasting connections.

All in all, this program is your chance to see how your passion for technology can play a role in the future of business! 

Location: Colorado State University - College of Business, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; teaching materials and lunch included.

Program dates: June 17 - 21, 2024.

Application deadline: Closed for 2024; applications typically open till the end of May.

Eligibility: Colorado residents who are enrolled in a Colorado high school.

The University of Colorado Boulder's KeyBank Business Leadership Program (BLP) is a fully-funded week-long program designed for students from underrepresented backgrounds, students of color, and first-generation students, and are passionate about business. As a participant, the program allows you to explore the world of business from a unique perspective, develop solid leadership skills, and network with like-minded individuals. BLP revolves around a case competition. Students work in teams to analyze a real-world business problem presented by a corporate partner. This could involve developing a marketing campaign, crafting a solution to a customer service challenge, or proposing a new product or service idea.

BLP offers a high-impact learning adventure through a real-world learning experience. You will gain practical experience by tackling an actual business and developing solutions alongside your peers. But that's not all! You'll also collaborate in teams to create a marketing campaign for a BLP corporate partner. The winning team takes home a $1,000 scholarship towards the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.

Location: Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado.

Cost: Free for all accepted participants.

Program dates: June 23 - 29, 2024.

Application deadline: Applications typically open in December and close in April.

Eligibility: Students from underrepresented backgrounds, students of color, and first-generation  high school students entering their senior year; priority will be given to Colorado Residents and students enrolled in a Colorado High School.

The Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a challenging 12-week summer program designed for high school students with a passion for research. It offers unparalleled one-on-one mentorship from Ph.D. researchers across a wide range of academic disciplines typically explored at the high school level. Students delve into an independent research project under the close guidance of their Ph.D. mentor and by the end of the program, participants will have completed an independent research paper showcasing their findings! Subject areas encompass various fields, including business, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, and more.

However, the program goes beyond simply mentors assisting with existing research projects. Students are encouraged to develop their own independent research questions. With their mentor's guidance, they navigate the entire research process, right from identifying a specific topic and area of investigation, to learning how to design a research methodology to gather and analyze data effectively and learning to communicate their research findings in a clear, concise, and well-structured research paper.

Location: Remote! You can participate from anywhere in the world.

Cost:  $2,800; Need-based financial aid available.

Program dates: Multiple cohorts throughout the year.

Application deadline: Deadlines vary depending on cohort.

Eligibility: Students currently enrolled in high school, with a high level of academic achievement (an unweighted GPA of 3.3 out of 4).

LaunchX's Online Entrepreneurship Summer Program is an intensive 5-week online experience designed for high school students globally. It equips them with the knowledge, skills, and network to launch their own startup company. Participants work in a team with other passionate students to identify a problem, brainstorm solutions, and develop a real product or service. The emphasis is on taking action and launching your venture within the program timeframe.

In this program, you will be taught to master the fundamentals of business through core classes, mentor meetings, labs, electives, discussion groups, and community events. You will also be paired with a highly experienced mentor who will help you understand business theory through the lens of their industry experience, AND see your business idea through — from concept to execution to presentation on Demo Day! Throughout the program, you'll benefit from the guidance of experienced mentors and instructors. This includes weekly mock board sessions, team meetings, and office hours, providing valuable feedback and support as you navigate the startup journey.

Location: Virtual - you can participate from anywhere in the world!

Cost: $6,500 program fee.

Program dates: June 17 – July 19, 2024.

Application deadline: Applications for the following year typically open in September.

Eligibility: Students between the ages of 15-18 who are enrolled in a high school at the time of applying.

The Young Founders Lab is an immersive program designed by Harvard entrepreneurs to equip young minds with the skills and knowledge required to build a startup from scratch. In this program, you'll tackle a real-world problem and turn it into a revenue-generating solution, all while being guided by experienced mentors from industry giants like Google, Microsoft, and more. The course curriculum is specially designed to provide participants with real-world entrepreneurial skills with topics such as business ideation, market research, financial planning, marketing and sales strategies, pitching and fundraising techniques, and much more!

Through interactive classes on business fundamentals and ideations, workshops and skill-building sessions, case studies, and panel discussions, you will get the chance to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey while still in high school. This program offers a unique opportunity to explore different business concepts and frameworks, all in a supportive environment that fosters innovation and problem-solving.

Location: Completely virtual with live, interactive workshops.

Cost: $2900; 100% need-based financial aid available.

Program dates: Starts June 5th and spans over 4 weeks.

Application deadline: Varying deadlines depending on cohort.

Eligibility: Open to all high school students.

The Venture Validator Summer Camp is a week-long exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Participants will identify real-world challenges, brainstorm solutions, and embark on the journey of launching their own business using creativity and critical thinking. You will also gain exposure to design thinking, a powerful framework used by businesses of all sizes. Moreover, The Venture Validator Summer Camp is designed to be engaging and interactive so learning doesn’t feel like a chore! It incorporates games, simulations, and group activities to keep students motivated and excited throughout the program.

In one week, you will gain practical skills through customer discovery, market research, and business model development. You'll learn to analyze competition, prototype products, and pitch your ideas with confidence. The program also introduces core business principles and exposes participants to diverse career paths in fields like marketing, supply chain management, and innovation.

Location: Both virtual and in-person options available (Fort Collins CSU Campus, SPUR Denver Campus, Fort Morgan, Sterling)

Cost: $75 program fee.

Program dates: June 10 - 14, 2024.

Application deadline: Applications are typically open till the end of May.

Eligibility: Colorado residents who are enrolled in a Colorado high school.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: Colorado State University logo



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