What is BETA Camp?
For many rising scholars and students, beginning your own business and being an entrepreneur is a dream to aspire for. Many have their ideas, but may not have the knowledge of how to begin, grow, and run a company, may want a mentor along their side, or just need an entire push behind them.
Providing just that, BETA Camp is an online program that provides education, mentorship, and resources to help aspiring entrepreneurs and startup founders build and launch successful businesses. The program is designed to help individuals with little or no prior experience in entrepreneurship to develop the skills, knowledge, and network they need to turn their ideas into the business they’ve dreamed of.
BETA Camp partners with some of the most successful companies of all industries, from Google, to Walmart, to Goldman Sachs, Roblox, and more, while being taught by industry professionals, other entrepreneurs, and experts in academia. The program is delivered online through self-paced learning modules, live meetings, and mentorship sessions with BETA Camp’s experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. Throughout the four-week program, students will learn about various aspects of building a startup, such as – market research, prototype development, fundraising, and marketing.
BETA Camp can be a great option for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, but may not have the traditional knowledge needed or general resources and programs to develop a business. Through multiple digital cohorts, BETA Camp can be an accessible option for learning, growing, and pursuing one’s passion for entrepreneurship.
Logistics of BETA Camp
BETA Camp runs primarily in the summer, with this following Summer Cohort having two times – July and August. All programs run for four weeks, with three-hour programming throughout Monday-Friday. There will be 60+ hours of live workshops, 25+ hours of on-demand content, and 6 hours of 1:1 startup mentorship experience.
BETA Camp has two deadline dates, from the Early Bird deadline to Regular deadline, with the Early Bird deadline being cheaper than the Regular, at $3500 vs. $3750. These deadline dates will vary by cohort and program, thus be sure to check here for information as you apply.
After submitting your application, you may apply for financial aid, be sure to check the BETA Camp website.
What Makes BETA Camp Unique?
Fully Virtual Program - Learn from the best, from anywhere!
Many programs – competitive, workshop, or learning – are fully in-person and may not be accessible to many students and aspiring entrepreneurs, whether it be for flights, housing, and moving away from home for an extended period of time. BETA Camp’s fully virtual setup allows for anyone to access all of the extensive resources of the program from anywhere in the world from the safety of their own home. Digital programs also allow for more prominent speakers and mentors for your aid, when being in-person for four weeks may otherwise be inaccessible, flexibility for you to enjoy other activities at home, and resources that can be rewatched and accessible forever.
Educational > Competition
BETA Camp is unique compared to other programs in that the goal is not to “win” with the best startup, business plan, or market analysis, but it is to train you in the art and science of business development. BETA Camp will walk you through every step it takes to run a business, and allow you to try to create a business yourself – with the guidance from your previous lessons and workshops, and the network of mentors around you. The point of this camp is not to find the greatest entrepreneur to raise up, it is to raise up everyone in the community to become the entrepreneurs that they want to be.
Resources and Mentorship
Outside of just education, BETA Camp prides itself on the expansive amount of help, resources, and mentors that they will provide to any participant. BETA Camp will have continuous webinars, workshops, and documents that you will always have access to, whilst you learn the material through the program, but also afterwards, while you continue to build and bolster your business. As we’ve mentioned before as well, BETA Camp also has an extensive network of mentors, in Forbes and Fortune 500 companies, that will be readily available to help you build your company.
Who Might Be Interested in BETA Camp?
Anyone interested in entrepreneurship should participate in BETA Camp. BETA Camp does not require you to even have an idea for your future company, thus, just having the fervor and the excitement to run a business is all you need. Any 13-18 year old determined and driven students, anywhere in the world, are allowed to participate.
What are the Pros and Cons of BETA Camp?
Focused on education and skilling in entrepreneurship – As previously mentioned, BETA Camp strives to educate the cohort of students about the promise, potential, and the world of entrepreneurship. Other programs may have you compete against your peers, which means you need to already have entrepreneurial skills, which can be inaccessible for many. Thus, regardless of your background, BETA Camp’s structure allows anyone of any background, but same passion for business, to participate.
Provides an opportunity to build networks – This program also serves as an opportunity for any individual to meet peers who share very similar interests to themselves, and serve as potential business partners, peers, and mentors, as you all interact and meet each other. A strong network can be more valuable than any lesson you may learn, as people can serve as a strong foundation for collaboration and support throughout your journey.
Ease of access / virtual program – BETA Camp’s virtual structure allows for anyone around the world to participate, making this camp one of the most unique to provide this service. Anyone can participate, while focusing on other activities, and decreasing the cost of attendance, as room, board, and travel need not be paid. You can attend lectures and workshops from the comfort of your own home.
Cost – BETA Camp costs $3,500 to attend the four-week program, thus can prove to be a financial barrier for many to attend. However, BETA Camp is at a lower price point than other comparable programs. Also, there are some financial aid programs to aid your matriculation into the program.
Lack of in-person interactions / virtual program – As a pro and a con, having a virtual program can prove to be negative as well. Being virtual means that the program involves 15 hours of screen time per week to watch the workshops and lectures. While the program ensures that it is you engage directly with instructors though live, interactive workshops, for those who definitely want in-person interaction, it's not the best fit.
Competitive selection process - BETA Camp does have an application process, and is self-quoted to be a competitive process. Thus, some excited entrepreneurs may be rejected from the program and will not be able to participate in such a program.
BETA Camp is a strong program, filled with passionate founders, mentors, and peers, for anyone interested in the world of entrepreneurship. With a fully virtual format and financial aid, BETA Camp is highly accessible for many, while providing high-quality mentorship and programming for their participants to develop an idea, and then further flesh out their idea to create a profitable venture at a young age – developing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
If you’re looking for the opportunity to research something to use for your entrepreneurial venture, then consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program. Last year over 2100 students applied for about 500 spots in the program. You can find the application form here.
Aaron Zheng is a sophomore at Harvard University, studying Bioengineering. He is passionate about biotechnology, business development, and aiding students get to college, regardless of background. In his spare time, he looks to read, journal, and explore the world.
Image source: BETA Camp logo