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Teen Startups

Empowering Leaders of Tomorrow...

 

Cutting-Edge Technology. 

Ground-breaking Innovation.

Sustainable Action.

 

LEAN Entrepreneurship.

Empathetic Leadership.

Inspiring Community Impact.

 

Listen and Learn From Industry Mentors...

Mentor Talks

Learn the nooks and crannies of entrepreneurship while listening to real-life stories and advice from industry experts and leaders, bent on giving back to the next generation. When you learn from the best, you become the best!

Become an Empathetic Community LeadeR...

Teen Internships

 

We welcome high school students (9th. - 12th. grade) or equivalent home-schooled peers to apply for our open internship positions! As ACF is a non-profit organization, we offer "volunteer hours" credit for our exemplary, high-performing, committed interns. Our interns play a significant role in bestowing technical knowledge, increasing our community outreach, and playing an essential role in the decision-making of the team they join. Pursuing a teen internship opportunity outside their regular sessions can be a wonderful way to reinforce and practice the leadership skills they learn during their startup journey.

Make a difference!

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Technology

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PROBLEM-SOLVING

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Leadership

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Volunteering

Some of our featured yearlong "teen-ternship" programs are as follows:

  • Monthly App Challenge

  • Silicon Valley Teen Tech Talk

  • Startup Ecosystem Monthly Newsletter 

Pitch Your Product, Reach Your Market...

Impact Pitches

ACF startup team classes are not just about learning and building in secret but walking straight to the den. Our teams pitch their products to direct stakeholders, investors, venture capitalists, developers, and key advisors. It's important to get over the nerves early! We are with you, at every step of the way.

Bond With Peers, Embrace the Journey...

Startup Ecosystem Coffee Chat

As empowering as it is, entrepreneurship can often be a lonely journey, with its ups and downs. However, our ecosystem of teen renegades and startup founders worldwide gets together every quarter over Zoom to discuss entrepreneurship and the latest technology, share market research, get college advice, meet industry mentors, and have life reflections. While bonding over their favorite beverages. Do you want to be a part of it, too?

Compete on the Global Stage, Win Laurels...

 

Exposure, Competition, Collaboration

Our advanced startup teams participate in global, reputed teen tech entrepreneurship competitions like the Conrad Challenge, Congressional App Challenge, Model Entrepreneur CompetitionBlue Ocean Competition, and Diamond Challenge, as well as ACF's flagship annual Future Impact Challenge, among others! This is a golden opportunity to not only hone important pitching, development, and collaboration skills, but also think critically about their product, share their innovation with top industry experts, and win laurels for themselves and the community!

Our Official Competition Partners

Congressional app challenge

Conrad Challenge

Empower Beyond Competitions!

We treat competitions not as the end goal of our teams' journies, but rather as a spark to do and share more! As much as emerging victorious in one or more competitions brings us jubilation, our true north star lies in cheering for teams continuing their startup journey, beyond the competition season. We empower teams every step of the way, including introducing key industry figures and interested early adopter customers to their products (such as our alumni team CityPlug's exposure to the Panama EV market, shared below).

Startup Ecosystem Newsletter

When our teen startup ecosystem comes together, our students discuss, create wonders, collaborate, and document their journey. This serves as a manifestation of their unique process while serving as a roadmap for future startup teams! One of the ways our teams achieve this is through a monthly "ACF Startup Ecosystem" newsletter, highlighting the significant benchmarks of our startup community, teachable moments, and inspiring north stars that push them forward.

Please email studentnewsletter@applied-computing.org if you would like to receive future newsletter editions delivered to your inbox every month!

Read Past Issues!

WHAT Can STUDENTS Learn IN An ACF STARTUP TEAM?

 
 
  • Apply computing solutions to (learn by doing) real-world problems.
     

  • Collaborate on projects they are passionate about while mastering their technical skills to serve a community goal.
     

  • Practice time management, presentation, and leadership skills while participating in demo days, academic competitions, peer-to-peer presentations, international partner meet-ups, and other ACF community events.
     

  • Connect to industry experts, learn the latest technologies, and collaborate in a global community.

Who should join an ACF STARTUP TEAM?

 
  • 6th. - 12th. graders who have learned coding for 1 - 2 years and like to challenge themselves to solve real-world problems.

  • Someone looking for an opportunity to test the next-generation 'Elon Musk' ideas before college.

  • Someone who aspires to be a community leader and to solve their community's most significant issues.

  • Students who want to seize the opportunity to test their startup ideas within the global ACF ecosystem.

  • Students who want to participate in coding reviews and receive project reviews from a pitching expert in groups rather than coding alone.

  • Students who want to witness ideas from different student startup teams, participate in various presentations, and learn in an environment where they can encourage each other to grow.

  • Students who want to share the experiences they receive from running a startup on a blogging platform and use that for their college applications.

  • Students who wish to take their learning forward and empower others.

Previous and current ACF student projects include a GPS-assisted mapping tool specifically for firefighters, remote control ground drones for search and rescue, healthcare resource distribution software, a machine vision-powered driving monitor, and a multiplayer game to support small businesses.

Apply Today!

Form Application

Meet and Greet

Deep Tech Interview

Embark

Upcoming ACF Teams

If you are interested in joining one of these teams, don't hesitate to contact us at contact@applied-computing.org.

What Do You Learn? How Do You Learn?

 
  • An ACF startup team journey typically lasts 1 - 3 years, depending on a project's scope, commitment, level, and a team's passion.

  • We divide our startup team process in the form of 14-week-long seasons, with a week break between two seasons.

  • ​Each startup team has two Coaches, namely- a head Tech Coach, and a Business Coach. Our head Coaches are industry veterans, with vast experience working within startups, big tech, and leading businesses, either as a founder or stakeholder. Our business Coaches are in charge of helping our team stay on track, leading important market research initiatives, and supporting immensely during competition prep season.

  • Outside of weekly classes, ACF provides personalized support to every startup team to find their niche market, and connect with key advisors, potential partners, stakeholders, and investors.

Phase 1 (Seasons 1 - 3)

Focus on learning and practicing technical and non-technical skills as a team, while developing camaraderie. Based on market research and common interests, brainstorm and ideate your project, discuss project goals and scope, plan and accomplish tasks, update progress, and combine efforts through collaboration. Develop a low-code or no-code MVP for user testing and product-market fit validation.

 

Teamwork, leadership, and ownership will be tested while presenting to advisors, stakeholders, the ACF community, and beyond. Your team may also choose to apply to any teen entrepreneurship competition like Conrad Challenge, Blue Ocean Competition, LaunchX, etc. for prep.

Team Building

Product Ideation and Validation

First MVP Launch

ACF Internal Community Outreach

Applying to Global Entrepreneurship Competitions as a Newbie

Phase 2 (Seasons 4 - 6)

Solid Prototype

Strong Leadership and Collaboration

Product Testing, Iteration, User Research

Applying to Global Entrepreneurship Competitions (National and International) As a Serious Contender.

Focus on intensive work, requiring your perseverance, technical execution, problem-solving, and prioritization skills. Team goals should be much more precise in the second phase after recognizing the initial prototype, surveys, and receiving feedback from direct market stakeholders, advisors, and experts. 

 

Start building a community of “early adopters” (locally and globally) for gathering important insights from market testing and user feedback to accelerate product development. You will also participate in multiple teen tech entrepreneurship competitions as a team. Hone important skills such as pitching, clear vision articulation, financial projection, ownership, critical thinking, and even handling rejection!

Phase 3 (Season 7 & Beyond)

Focus on pushing the project beyond the scale of a small team! Depending on the competition outcome and project scope, your team may collaborate with partner organizations, gain beta customers, file for patents, set up robust technical infrastructure, raise capital, seek investments, and establish legal entities to launch a realistic, sound business operation. Be a beacon for the community that supports you!

 

Social impact and non-profit teams may work with local and global partners, senators, and governing bodies to distribute and support their apps. Social media, blogging, vlogging, and viral workshop events are heavily promoted to build a project's community while establishing legitimacy and organic growth.

Soft and Hard Market Launch

Community Building

Business Leadership Establishment

Startup Journey Documentation, Content Creation

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Current ACF teen Startups

 

Find your spot in upcoming teams here.

Alumni Team Journey

 
 
 

Our startup team graduates and alumni are equipped with the hard and soft skills they need to build a fulfilling career in STEM and business, be it through pursuing higher education in reputed universities, participating in industry rotation or internship programs, continuing their startup project, or founding a new company, doing research, or often, coming back to ACF as Gen Z mentors for new teams.

A good idea, a great product, and an awesome team culminate into a stellar startup if backed by enough resources! Many of our alumni teams, such as Mangopacks, CityPlug, BerriBasket, PyroTamer, VOBYUS, and Lucidity have successfully secured no-strings-attached funding, grants, competition cash prizes, and investments, to further their progress.

We work closely with teen entrepreneurship investors, venture capitalists, and partner organizations such as 1517 Think Fund, and others, and thank them for supporting future founders.

Grants and Funding to Give Wings to Your Projects

 
 

It is no secret that our startup team course hones not only your entrepreneurship skills but also your EQ, communication, STEAM, leadership, and collaboration- all highly sought-after skills for college and university admissions. Our alumni have often cited their ACF startup team experience as a deciding factor that helps their college applications shine. Even though we don't encourage the mindset of planning your entire future around a "dream college" but rather focus on your personal, career, and professional goals, it makes us very proud when our students make it into their target universities. We acknowledge the immense hard work, grit, and resilience that the college application process demands.

 

In addition to our startup team classes, we support our students every step of the way, to making a more competitive application!

  • Writing letters of recommendation for college, camps, summer programs, internships, etc.

  • "Customized College Consulting Service" with a seasoned educator and college counselor, to help the student best highlight their ACF startup team journey highlights, core learnings, teachable moments, personal achievements, and more! This includes support with making the college portfolio, exploring college majors, and creating college choice lists based on interest and mutual fit.

A Step Closer to Your Dream University

 
 

Customized College Consulting Service 

 
 
  • Support students in effectively leveraging their ACF (Technical, Entrepreneurial, and Outreach) experiences to distinguish themselves and become standout candidates for top colleges. 

  • Acquire invaluable perspectives to shape a unique and introspective story for their college application, essays, and interviews.

  • Facilitate the exploration of significant qualitative and quantitative ACF data that can be utilized on their college applications.

  • Guide students in constructing a personalized academic profile to identify a curated list of "Good Fit" colleges that align with their interests and aspirations. 

  • Aid students in establishing an effective organizational system and plan for tackling essay prompts and personal statements, ensuring a structured and coherent approach to their writing process.