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What is The Young Entrepreneur Program?

As we commence the TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) Class of 2018/2019, I wanted to reflect on what TYE is, why TYE is a catalyst for helping students solve real world problems, and why every high school student should join TYE.

What is TYE?

TYE is a premier global program within TiE, a global non-profit organization focused on fostering entrepreneurship.

TYE’s mission is to empower youth worldwide, as leaders, in a dynamic global environment. TYE teaches skills such as leadership, innovation, collaboration, and more to address economic and social challenges by focusing on the rewards and challenges of becoming an entrepreneur.

Our TYE Carolinas chapter is based out of RTP, and each year we admit about 30 students after thoroughly examining each application. The program has two general components – a conceptual and a practical. The program spans from early October to early May.

In the conceptual component, local luminaries share their expertise in different facets of business. These luminaries are local business executives, c-suite leaders, university professors, and thought leaders sharing knowledge in:

  • Opportunity recognition
  • Marking, finance
  • Team building
  • Business modeling
  • Business law

In the practical component the students work in teams. They build on concepts and take their product through the ideation process. The outputs of the practical component are an end-to-end business plan, business canvas model, and a short presentation at our TYE Carolinas competition. Students present their product to a panel of judges where they are evaluated. The winners then move onto TYE Globals and present to a broader audience.

What is TYE?

TYE helps students bridge business concepts to real ideas. The students bring innovation, energy, and spirit of entrepreneurship. It prepares these students to be leaders so they can make positive impacts on our community.

Each team is assigned a mentor. I had my second mentoring experience two years ago when I mentored Soteria.  Their mission was to build a product leveraging drone technology, AI, cloud, and data to mitigate the dangers of natural disasters. Soteria won the 2016/2017 TYE Carolinas competition and represented our chapter at TYE Globals at UC-Irvine. After their presentation, real investors expressed interest in Soteria’s product plans and possible funding. They liked how Soteria was solving a real problem with an innovative solution.

The second example of real life applicability was from our 2017/2018 TYE Carolinas class. Triguardian Technologies’ mission is to mitigate and prevent the foul atrocities of school shootings. The team infused AI in tri-pillars to identify who is entering and leaving campuses, if they have permission to be on campus, and if they are carrying a weapon. Triguardian Technologies collaborated with the Wake County governor committee on a problem that is, unfortunately, occurring almost once a week. Their idea was covered by CBS.

Parents also advocate for TYE as a program that teaches students how to apply knowledge in business context. One parent said, “This program is like a mini MBA for these high school young leaders.”

Our students are bringing real, market-validated ideas that capture the attention of real investors, government officials, and more.