We are pleased to highlight some competitions and summer camps that focus on leadership and entrepreneurial skills for students in grades K-12.


Build A Better Breakfast Challenge – deadline March 22
Sponsored by AdCap in partnership with the American Dairy Association, K-12 students are invited to pitch their idea to make breakfast at their school even better. Click here.

Erie Hack Water Data and Engineering Hackathon – register by March 26
A data and engineering competition that unites coders, developers, engineers, and water experts to generate enduring solutions to Lake Erie’s biggest challenges. Special category for high school entries. Click here.

Cool Tech Challenge – deadline March 30
Northeast Ohio high school student teams are asked to develop or write up a concept for a website, software or mobile app. Click here.

Selling Bee – deadline April 2
A video pitch contest open to all K-8 students in Northeast Ohio. Students develop a business idea, create a short pitch, and upload a video of themselves presenting the pitch. Click here.

BizInnovator – deadline April 27
Sponsored by the University of Iowa to support and encourage the entrepreneurial mindset in youth, BizInnovator sponsors a pitch competition each spring and fall. Qualified participants are in high school with an interest in starting or expanding a business. Click here.

The Paradigm Challenge – deadline May 1
An annual competition open to K-12 students that inspires youth to use STEM skills plus kindness, creativity, and collaboration to make a difference. The 2016-17 Challenge aims to generate new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and around the world. Click here.


Young Entrepreneur Camp – June 19-23 and June 26-30 at University School
Geared to students with a high level of interest in entrepreneurship who will be entering grades 7-9. Through fun games, activities, group projects, and launching a small business, campers will learn business and marketing strategy, teamwork, and essential problem solving and leadership skills. More info.

Look Up To Cleveland – June 26-30 or July 17-21
High school sophomores and juniors spend a week immersed in Cleveland, learning leadership skills and discovering how they can start making a difference right now. Students spend time connecting with the people, places and projects moving our community forward. More info.

Ohio Business Week – deadline April 30; July 16-20 at Ohio University
During the week-long residential summer camp, high school students participate in a series of fun and exciting workshops, interact with business professionals and develop the skills needed for success in the 21st Century. More info.

Summer Business Academy – deadline May 11; various dates at Harvard University
A week-long course designed to teach high school students the essentials of business leadership and the pathway to entrepreneurship. With a comprehensive curriculum, SBA will give students the knowledge, guidance and resources they need to understand the workings of a business as well as create a business of their own, building up to a business pitch competition at the end of the week. More info.

Curious about Young Entrepreneur Institute’s history?

Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI) was founded by Greg Malkin in 2005 and launched its initial activities at University School in 2006. With the generous support of University School, community foundations and organizations, Young Entrepreneur Institute expanded beyond University School in 2008 and now has partnerships with many teachers, schools and organizations throughout the region. Most importantly, Young Entrepreneur Institute provides thousands of children with access to entrepreneurial education and experience.

Our vision: At Young Entrepreneur Institute, we believe that every child should understand and experience entrepreneurship. When children learn the tangible and intangible lessons of entrepreneurship early in life, they can see how the real world works. And by experiencing these universal lessons — such as perseverance, hard work, self-confidence, financial literacy, and problem solving – students are more prepared to succeed in whatever they choose to do. Our vision is to see that these lessons are instilled in as many students as possible.

Contact Greg Malkin at with inquiries or consulting requests.