High School Programs

Allsup Summer Academy
 

Saint Louis University offers programs that allow high school students to learn about the world of startups and entrepreneurship, and develop their ideas into products.

These programs, offered through the Center for Entrepreneurship at the John Cook School of Business, include opportunities to network with business owners, workshops on concepting and innovations, and information on how to prepare for a career in building your own business.

Teen Escalator Pitch

The Teen Escalator Pitch will open on Tuesday, Oct. 31. All high school students are invited to enter via Instagram using the guidelines below by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.

After the submission window closes, a panel of judges will select the top 24 ideas. Those 24 contestants will have the opportunity to participate in the Teen Escalator Pitch final competition, where they will present their best 30-second pitch one-on-one to judges while riding up and down a series of escalators.

How to Apply

  • Follow the center on Instagram @SLU_ent.
  • Work on your best 30-second elevator pitch for your existing business or your business idea.
  • Post a video of your pitch on Instagram and tag @SLU_ent using #SLUEscalatorPitch. Note that if your Instagram account is private, you must send your pitch in a direct message or we will not be able to see it.
  • Direct message @SLU_ent with your name, school and grade, as well as if your pitch is for your own existing business or is a new business idea.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Watch for the announcement of the finalists on Sunday, Dec. 3.  

If you have previously won first, second or third place in SLU’s Teen Escalator Pitch Competition, we ask that you submit a different idea. For more information read the FAQs or email laura.gardner@slu.edu.

Check out a Recap of Last Year’s Competition 

FAQ

Who’s eligible to enter?

Any high school student (grades 9 through 12) from around the nation  

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, you may submit as many entries as you’d like. Be sure to tag @SLU_ent and use #SLUEscalatorPitch to officially enter each idea.  

Can more than one person enter together?

Yes, but only one may pitch. If selected as a finalist, the same individual must pitch at the final competition.

Who are the first round judges?

The first round of judges consists of the Saint Louis University entrepreneurship team.

What are the prizes?

First place winners receive a cash prize of $125. Second and third place winners also receive cash prizes.

If I’m selected as a finalist, who will be judging my ideas?

Although the judges change every year, you will be pitching ideas to SLU professors in entrepreneurship, SLU Blue Diamond members and other notable entrepreneurs in the community.

Teen Idea Dash

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s Teen Idea Dash invites high school students to enter with a simple Instagram post each year.

After the submission window closes, a panel of judges will select the top 20 ideas. The top 20 contestants will have the opportunity to participate in the Teen Idea Dash at the St. Louis City Museum. Participants  race through the museum on an idea-generating scavenger hunt, crafting as many ideas as possible for challenges posed by local entrepreneurs before time's up.

First-place team members win $125 each, second-place team members win $100 each and third-place wins $75 each.

How to Apply

  • Follow the center on Instagram @SLU_ent.
  • Watch for our question to be posted. 
  • Come up with your best idea to solve the presented problem.
  • Post a photo of your idea on Instagram, and tag @SLU_ent using #SLUIdeaDash2017.
  • Fill out the submission form.
  • Watch for the announcement of the finalists.
  • For more information, visit the FAQs or email lauragardner@slu.edu.

Check out a Recap of Last year’s Competition >>

FAQ

Who’s eligible to enter?

Any high school student (grades 9 through 12).

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, you may submit as many entries as you’d like. Be sure to tag @SLU_ent and use #SLUTeenIdeaDash2017 to officially enter each idea.

Can more than one person enter together?

No. Participants must enter individually.

Who are the first round judges?

The first round of judges consists of the Saint Louis University entrepreneurship team.

What are the prizes?

First place winners receive a cash prize of $125. Second and third place winners also receive cash prizes.

If I’m selected as a finalist, who will be judging my ideas?
Although the judges change every year, you will be pitching ideas to local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will be presenting you with real challenges facing their businesses and will select their favorite ideas. 

Angels in the Outfield

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s teen pitch deck competition, Angels in the Outfield, invites high school students to submit a video of their investor pitch each year using the guidelines below.

A panel of judges will select the top 10 investor pitch submissions. The top 10 contestants will have the opportunity to present their pitch deck at the final round at the Gateway Grizzlies ballpark, where they will pitch from the outfield with their PowerPoint presentation cast on the center field jumbotron to a panel of rockstar judges.

How to Apply

Once the contest opens for the year, create your pitch deck consisting of the following slides:

  • Title: Name of your organization, company or idea, as well as your name
  • Problem: Describe the pain that you’re alleviating. The goal is to get everyone nodding and buying in.
  • Solution: Explain how you alleviate this pain. Ensure that the audience understands what you sell and your value proposition.
  • Business Model: Explain how you’ll make money and who will pay you.
  • Industry Trends: Tell us what industry you’re in and what the future trends look like. Are there two potential customers or are there three billion?
  • Competition: Provide a complete view of the competitive landscape and how you are better than what’s there already.
    Closing: Thank the judges and show your name again.

Make a five-minute video of yourself presenting your pitch deck with the slides. Both you and your presentation must be in the video. Upload your video to YouTube and send a private or unlisted link to laura.gardner@slu.edu with your name, company or idea name, school and grade by the competition deadline, then watch for the announcement of the finalists.

For more information, visit the submission guidelines and FAQs or email laura.gardner@slu.edu.

Allsup Summer Academy

During the last week of July, high school students from around the nation come together to explore, learn, develop and present innovative solutions to real-world market needs. The Allsup Academy uses experiential learning, problem-solving and case studies to educate young people on how to start and operate a business while instilling an understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset.

View a Sample Daily Schedule for the Academy

The academy offers students four areas of focus that they can choose to study while at the Academy. These areas include:

  • Family entrepreneurship
  • Female entrepreneurship
  • Social impact entrepreneurship
  • Tech entrepreneurship

The areas of focus, as well as the Allsup Academy as a whole, will cover topics that include:

  • Defining entrepreneurship
  • Opportunity recognition
  • Characteristics of a successful entrepreneur
  • Income and financial statements
  • Return on investments
  • Inventions and product development
  • Financing strategy
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Competitive analysis
  • Professional presentation methods

The class also provides networking with entrepreneurs and local business professionals to develop possible mentor relationships and internship opportunities.

Program Highlights

  • Idea pitch competition
  • Cash prizes
  • Field trips
  • Local entrepreneurial celebrities
  • Hands-on experiential learning
  • Entrepreneurial skill building
  • Team building activities
  • Tours of thriving local businesses