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Program Highlights

High school students participating in start-up business simulation

Startup Simulation

Apple was started in a garage. Facebook was born in a dorm room. Now it’s your turn to create the next culture-changing company during the 8 Days to Startup Challenge.

Throughout this program-long simulation, you will collaborate to create the next great idea and take on the hurdles every successful entrepreneur must face. Working in teams, you'll develop your business idea while maintaining relevance with customer-centric innovations and current market trends. Guest speakers and hands-on activities will guide you through key focus areas of the simulation as you learn to crowdsource for market feedback, test your assumptions, and overcome challenges.

While building your business, you'll also build a strong foundation in the following fundamentals:

  • Project ideation, research, and development
  • Product creation and market research
  • Testing key features and price
  • Analyzing and using customer feedback
  • Product finance and securing capital investment

The 8 Days to Startup Challenge culminates with each of the teams making a final presentation to a business panel. Previous attendees have continued to develop their business ideas after leaving the program, with several actively working to secure funding.

Business professional providing insight to high school students at NYLF Business Innovation

Speaking Events

Professionals in the field of business will share insights from their successful careers and business ventures. These speaking events will help guide you through the simulation and steps required to launch a business, including ideation, defining a target market, and securing funding.

Past speakers have included:

  • Alli Webb, Founder, Drybar
  • Jonathan Feinstein, Ph.D.; Professor of Economics and Management; Yale University 
  • Julie Lein, Co-Founder and President, Tumml
  • Kanyi Maqubela, Investor/Entrepreneur; Board Member, Heartbeat Health, Inc.; Adjunct Professor, NYU
  • Peipei Zhou, Program Lead, Facebook 
  • Savannah Peterson, Founder, Savvy Millennial 
  • Peter Franklin, CEO, 

NYLF Business students experiencing college life

College Readiness

Stand out from your peers and get the academic edge you need to succeed in college and your career:

  • Experience college culture while residing on the campus of Yale University or University of California, Berkeley
  • Learn and expand valuable skills like collaboration, public speaking, and problem solving
  • Build your network of contacts to meet your future academic and career goals

NYLF Business students engaging in a site visit

Site Visits

Take a big step toward your future career as you step on-site at Yale University or University of California, Berkeley where you'll gain a greater understanding of how your studies can align with your passions. See how a successful business operates as you experience entrepreneurial innovation in action— in the iconic cities of New York City or San Francisco. You'll even get the opportunity to go behind the scenes, discover how future leaders and innovators connect, and why networking is vital in business at an incredible campus social event.

Please note: We are currently evaluating all aspects of NYLF Business Innovation and may make changes to the curriculum or site visits to ensure the program meets the most up-to-date health and safety standards.