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Developing a Deeper Understanding of Entrepreneurship: D.R.I.V.E. Camp 2016

Eric Curts

Bluetooth-based technology to reduce food waste and simplify grocery shopping; Collaboration between a veterinary office and a nonprofit shelter to give animals facing medical or behavioral challenges a better chance at a forever home; An app that builds community around music sharing and lets users donate to charity by acting as a live DJ for other listeners.

These were just a few of the ideas presented by high school students at the finale for the second annual D.R.I.V.E. Camp at Marietta College.

D.R.I.V.E., which stands for “Dreams + Resources + Innovation + Vision = Entrepreneurship,” is a six-day immersive learning experience developed through the YEC. Students were challenged and supported to analyze their opportunities and resources, and take a product or project from idea to “pitch” in a mere six days. Campers for this year’s program came from Washington, Stark, Guernsey, Belmont, and Noble Counties. The camp staff and volunteers where honored to work with an incredibly creative, motivated, and positive group of young entrepreneurs in this year’s camp session!

2016 D.R.I.V.E. Campers

2016 D.R.I.V.E. Campers

Building on collaborative work among Marietta College, Marietta City Schools, Building Bridges to Careers, TomTod Ideas, and many businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs, the week included community exploration, networking with a variety of local and regional business owners and entrepreneurs, workshops in entrepreneurial mindset, business planning, social media marketing, and pitch development, creative problem-solving challenges, and plenty of fun and networking. One camper explained the impact of the network-building activities, “There’s way more entrepreneurs in the community than I thought that there was. I saw so many entrepreneurs that were so passionate about their idea!”

Along with developing their own ideas, students at D.R.I.V.E. developed a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, built a personal network of supportive entrepreneurs in the community, learned new tools to help with critical thinking and problem solving, and explored new ideas for their futures. Asked during a closing reflection to sum up her experience of D.R.I.V.E. in five words or less, one camper declared: “This has changed my life.”