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Top Iowa High School Students Learn Entrepreneurial Skills at UI Camp

The Innovation Institute will draw 20 top high school students from across Iowa to participate in a two-week intensive summer program where they’ll learn technical and entrepreneurial skills to create their own working apps, which could earn them seed money to fund their own startup technology companies.

The students will come from communities ranging from Clive and Carlisle to Sergeant Bluff and Sioux City, just to name a few.

The Innovation Institute is part of STEM Innovator, a growing partnership between the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business and the UI College of Education.

Students will live on campus Sunday, July 6, through Friday, July 18. They’ll continue to meet with their team members electronically throughout the school year and have the opportunity to present their final products at Hawkeye Innovation Day in March 2015.

The students will participate in an opening ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pomerantz Auditorium. Throughout the camp, they’ll meet from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily in room C220D, a computer lab in the Pappajohn Business Building.

On Thursday, July 17, students will meet with representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C., who will visit the Innovation Institute to work with students on intellectual property and trademarks.

Students will present their prototype projects at a closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Friday, July 18, in the Pomerantz Auditorium. Instructors, faculty, and students’ families will also be present.

UI College of Education clinical associate professor Leslie Flynn is co-directing the institute and says these 20 students possess “limitless potential.”

“These young computer entrepreneurs have the content skill, initiative, creativity, and tenacity to impact the technology sector in Iowa,” she says.

Funding for the project is provided by the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, and the Iowa Centers for Enterprise. The institute is administered by the UI College of Education's Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development with support from the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

In addition to Flynn, institute leaders include local entrepreneur Steve Davis and Iowa City City High School Computer Science Teacher Danielle Knoche.

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