The CEO Academy is a weeklong entrepreneurship workshop for high school students from the SWFL community who are entering their junior and senior years, and is hosted by FGCU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship in partnership with Junior Achievement of SWFL. The CEO Academy’s goal is to help prepare young, aspiring entrepreneurs to become the outstanding business leaders of tomorrow.
Every summer, roughly 30-40 participants are chosen from top high school students in SWFL. During the camp, students identify a problem or opportunity, create a lean, and sustainable business model using the Lean Startup Method, as well as a prototype and pitch. Students work with Junior Achievement staff, FGCU Faculty and Staff, as well as community mentors to learn the entrepreneurial mindset and critically examine problems to create innovative solutions.
On the final day, student teams make a pitch to a panel of 4-5 judges and an audience of 50-100 people from the community for the best product, pitch, and business model. Each member of the winning team receives a $1,000 scholarship towards the university of their choice. Second place team members each win $500 scholarships, and the team with the winning prototype each win $40 Amazon gift cards. Funding for this program is generated by the Breaking Par Fundraising Event at Grandezza each year. In 2016, the event raised $35,000, and in 2017, the event raised $10,000.
2017 CEO Academy's winning team was Patient Priority!
The team created a software solution for better and more efficient patient care management in hospitals. In the short time they had to work on this, the team was even able to develop a working prototype of their software platform. Not only did Patient Priority win first place for the best product, pitch and business model, but the team also won the prototype competition.
Patient Priority team members each won $40 Amazon gift cards and $1,000 in scholarships to the university of their chocie! Team members included (from left to right) Julia Smith, Bianca Finazzo, Anna Marie Parisi, Morgan McDermott and Gunnar Fandrich.
ViewPoint won second place during the 2017 CEO Academy!
The team created an entertainment search engine platform to allow for easier and quicker entertainment selection. For entertainment enthusiasts who subscribe to more than one platform, ViewPoint simplifies the selection process.
Each member of the ViewPoint team receievd $500 in scholarships to the university of their choice! Team members included (from left to right) Arianna Addis, Brenden Rathgeber, Ashley Watts, Sophia Kukla and Francesca Haskins.