MISSION: To empower 3 million low income and disadvantaged high school students to attend college and receive internships

WHO WE ARE: Top Tier University Professors teaching disadvantaged students how to launch social ventures.  Our team of essay coaches and college counselors help students turn the University Startups Experience into an internship and admission to college

HOW WE DO IT: We partner with Nonprofits, foundations and schools to attend our virtual courses and use our proprietary tools

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Top Tier College Professors teaching social entrepreneurship to low income and disadvantaged students

Saleema Vellani, Johns Hopkins University Professor
Saleema Vellani is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, a Johns Hopkins University professor, and the author of Innovation Starts With I. At the age of 21, Saleema co-founded and launched Brazil’s largest and #1 language school to finance an orphanage and social development programs, which has taught several thousands of students to date. Shortly after, she co-founded and ran a leading online translation agency in Italy to help companies expand their digital presence globally, while generating hundreds of jobs in the gig economy. The business was acquired in 2012. For over 12 years, Saleema has led 100+ international organizations, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies to their next stage of growth and innovation. Currently, Saleema is the Founder and CEO of Ripple Impact, a business accelerator for entrepreneurs seeking to increase their influence and impact. She also teaches Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University and is a frequent guest lecturer at business schools.

Karen Livingston, Cornell University
Karen is an experienced Professor, 2-time Founder, Startup Advisor, and Academic Director who has designed and taught innovative course work at nationally-ranked universities including Cornell and Syracuse. She is currently the facilitator for women’s entrepreneurship courses at Cornell University. Prior to that, she oversaw Entrepreneurship and Innovation across the university at George Mason where she grew the innovation pipeline; resulting in a 6X increase in startups launched. Karen has proven success in developing strategies that launch startups; helping over 100 startups produce strategic plans, leading student teams to take top spots in national competitions, and assisting teams to raise over $22M in funding. She speaks regularly on women and tech in entrepreneurship.

Mike Malloy, Georgetown University
Mike Malloy is the Program Director at the Halcyon Incubator, which supports early-stage social entrepreneurs from around the world. Prof. Malloy teaches Social Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University, where he also serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to advise undergraduate and graduate students on startup ideas. He has 12+ years of professional experience as a Deloitte management consultant and social enterprise sunglasses company CEO.

Marc Steren, University of Maryland
Marc is the ex-codirector of the Georgetown University Summer Launch program. He is the NFIB entrepreneur educator of the year 2015, the David S. Stone Excellence in Teaching award winner 2015 and the founder of the Young Innovators program. He has experience as the founder of multiple startups in technology, real estate and franchising. He is also the founder of BACCA methodology for student entrepreneurs that helps improve entrepreneurial self belief, build stronger teams with sustainable designs and creative ideas, conduct customer development, learn the business model canvas, and to utilize lean analytics. His book, The Student Guide to Entrepreneurship came out November 2015.

Sample Day: Value Proposition & Customer Segments

Summer Course
Daily Objectives & Schedule
1. Refine Problem Statement
2. Define Value Proposition & Customer Segments for your startup
3. Conduct Customer Interview on Value Proposition & Customer Segments
4. Prepare for next day Customer Interviews - outreach & scripts.
5. Prepare Daily Pitch Video - Value Proposition & Customer Segments.

Customer Segments. Short lecture and team activity.

Social Value Proposition. Short lecture and team activity.

Prepare. Next day learning videos, readings, objectives, work plan.
Customer Interviews. 1 per day. Outreach, conduct, write up and submit responses.

Team Zoom Meeting. Review daily objectives, allocate tasks, team work.
Mentor Meeting.
Status report and next steps, questions. Write up reflections.
Pitch Video.
Prepare daily 2m pitch video and submit.

4:00 PM
Office Hours. Call-In with Professors (optional).

Immerse Yourself in Entrepreneurship.

Brainstorm new ideas, contact potential customers, meet mentors, iterate solutions and build your website.

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Real High School Entrepreneurs, Building Real Companies

"I can thank Mr. Steren for laying the groundwork for my entrepreneurship journey"
- Kirby Porter, Harvard Graduate and Sports Business Journal 30 under 30

"Through Marc’s teachings, in just 2 short months we were able to learn and implement key foundational principles that directly impacted our product market fit and go to market strategies which led to the successful launch and scale of Kitu life Super Coffee.”
- Jordan DeCicco, Founder & COO

Our Students Come From NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, FL, CA, DC, SC:
Basis Independent | Bullis School | Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School | Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School | Connelly School of the Holy Child | D.W. Daniel High School | Flintridge Preparatory School | Great Neck North High School | Holton-Arms School | Horace Mann School | Lancaster Country Day School | Maret School | Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School | McLean High School | National Cathedral School | North Penn High School | Packer Collegiate Institute | Park Tudor School | Ramapo High School | Richard Montgomery High School | Riverdale Country School | St. Andrew's Episcopal School | St. John's College High School | St. Thomas Aquinas High School | Scarsdale High School | Sidwell Friends School | Suffern High School | Syosset High School | Tenafly High School | University High School (SFO) | Walt Whitman High School | Winston Churchill High School

Why University Startups?

University Startups is a challenging college-level startup design course that teaches high school students how to start for-profit social impact companies over 2 weeks.

About Our Program

This LIVE online course is designed and taught by top tier University business professors, and uses the same methodology and materials found in leading business school courses worldwide. 50+ hours of learning.

Summer I 2021
June 21 - July 2 Daily 10 am - 4 pm
Early: $1799 by May 7th
Regular: $1899 by June 7th
Summer II 2021
Aug 2 - Aug 13 Daily 10 am - 4 pm
Early: $1799 by June 19th
Regular: $1899 by July 19th
Fall I 2021
Oct 21 - Dec 9 Thursdays 6 - 9 pm
Early:  $1799 by Sep 3rd
Regular: $1899 by Oct 7th
Team Size
Teams of 4 or 5
14-18 years old
Grades 9-12
Learning Hours
Over 50

"We are thrilled that my son took that class. Not only did he learn a lot, but he also started to think differently. It is also the first time that I saw my child so enthusiastic about a class. Thank you so much for such a valuable and positive experience."
"The platform you used to be in constant, real-time contact with the students and their ability to work together was especially important given the broader circumstances. Feeling empowered to create their own opportunities and learning how they can build a business for themselves was very exciting and made them feel independent."
"This was clearly an excellent fit, with the focus on social entrepreneurship and what she is busy with right now. This is exactly the type of course that she would do more of... Thank you, Professors Jabara & Steren and your team"
"My son started thinking differently about business in general, asking questions, opinions... He also really enjoyed the team work."
"My student was engaged throughout the course, worked well with his cohort, and got a lot out of the program."
"The start up experience lent to an authentic learning environment, where they could apply concepts daily."
"I thought the course was excellent, the business aspect, organization and working with a team of unknowns gave it real life value."
"This course was amazing and really gave me the entrepreneurship mindset that I was looking for and continue to pursue in college and after. Also it provided such valuable information and was very enjoyable at the same time."
"Starting from just an idea and then really getting the chance to develop it was really cool and rewarding also just learning some of the business terminology was good because I know I will be able to use that later in my life."
"Meeting with mentors and learning about how to make changes to a business was the most valuable aspect. The mentors helped our group understand how to make our company flow smoothly."
"This course was different because it was more driven by student work rather than solely lectures. Although there were lectures which were very informative, the majority of the course was dependent on us making our own decisions and it required us to branch out and do things we would not do otherwise."
"Meeting with our mentors and coaches were extremely valuable...I also loved being in groups for almost the entire afternoon. I thought this time was very valuable because my team and I felt we had a lot of time to finish our work and make sure it was perfect."
"I thought this course was great and the idea was perfect. many people in high school just want to go into "business" when they get older so I thought that being part of one type of business was really cool. The course was also really flexible so in the beginning everything was open for us to choose what we wanted to focus on."
"I genuinely think that this course was spectacular. I had the opportunity to learn so much in such a short time period, and am extremely grateful for it. I would definitely take this course again if I had the chance to."
"This course was amazing and I had a lot of fun with it while learning tons of important information about not only entrepreneurship, but a lot more."
"I personally believe that our mentors were extremely helpful and valuable, as they gave us great advice that we heeded and implemented to better our product."
Student Demographics
Grade Level
Our Students Are Interesting!
A Capella
Academic Bowl
ALS Awareness Club
Animal Care
Cakes for Cancer
Chinese Language Studies
Computing Programming
Dive Team
Environmental Club
Field Hockey
Forensics Team
French Club
Girls Who Start
Horseback Riding
Investment Club
Model UN
Musical Theater
National Honors Society
REACH Foundation Volunteer
Self Care Club
Sports Analytics Club
Student Government
Track and Field
Women's Empowerment Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Contact us at

Do students need to come into the course with a business idea?

No. If students have a business idea, they are welcome to bring it along to discuss with their team to decide which idea to progress through the course. We will also have a list of problem statements the students can choose from.

Can students come into the course as a team?

Yes. If students would like to join the course as a team they are welcome to sign up and let us know during registration. For students not enrolled as a team, we will place them in teams of 4 to get the maximum benefit of the teamwork component in the course.

Will you be running more sessions?

If students are unable to secure a seat in a course, please let us know and we will put you on a wait list for future courses.

Can students really launch a business in weeks?

Yes. Depending on the problem statement chosen and their ability to develop a solution / find customers, students should be able to build a simple website and start taking pre-orders, recruiting beta testers and in some cases generating sales.  Learning is the key objective here, and students will learn the lean startup process that will be very useful in future innovation projects or new ventures.

What kind of students are a good fit for this course?

This is a challenging college level course, so prospective students should be prepared to work hard, try new things and take personal responsibility to self-manage and keep up with daily assignments. Students will be reaching out to potential customers via email and phone, meeting with new teammates over video, and interacting with experienced business mentors and instructors. Please contact us for more information.

Why the focus on social impact companies?

Young entrepreneurs want to change the world, and for-profit social entrepreneurship is a great way to introduce students to new concepts using business as a force for social good. Working on for-profit businesses to help a high risk group, improve some aspect of the environment or solving other problems with wider impacts gives students a well-rounded perspective of the challenges and opportunities, and builds character.

How does the course help with college preparation?

Entrepreneurial endeavors in high school can play an important role in framing student storylines for college applications. In this course we build in specific instruction from experts, including counselors and successful students on how to think about and plan potential pathways to highlight entrepreneurship in essays and other application components.

How is University Startups different from other online courses?

University Startups is a challenging college level course, using college curriculum, dedicated college instructors and experienced college mentors. Our team interacts with students, graduates and new business founders every day.

Our program aims to bring excellence to a topic that is too often standardized, and we’re confident that our backgrounds in entrepreneurship course design, teaching and mentoring can help students achieve their startup learning goals.

How are co-founder teams formed?

There are many components that are taken into consideration to increase the chances of team alignment and success, such as:
- Amount of passion team members feel towards the opportunity / problem to be solved
- Variety of experience and qualifications
- Complementary skill sets
- Balance of personalities

What is the cancellation policy?

Refund Schedule
A percent of your program charge may be returned to you, depending on when you withdraw from your program.
- Before 30 Days of Course Start - 80 percent of total charge
- Before 23 Days of Course Start - 60 percent of total charge
- Before 15 Days of Course Start - 40 percent of total charge
- Before 11 Days of Course Start - 20 percent of total charge
- Within 10 Days of Course Start  - 0 percent of total charge

How do I recommend a friend to the program?

Enter contact information into this form and our Professors will reach out with more information