Quinnipiac hosts entrepreneurship and innovation camp for budding business owners

July 27, 2022

Prince Davenport taking pics with his camera lens behind plants and flowers

Prince Davenport recently spent a week at Quinnipiac. A camera slung around his neck to document the people, places and things on the Mount Carmel Campus, the 15-year-old plans to turn his passion for photography into a profession.

Davenport and 24 other students from across the state and country attended a summer camp to learn and develop their entrepreneurial skills. The program, which is part of a two-week summer residential program, ended July 8.

Davenport dreams of being a forensic photographer. He used the camp to sharpen his business acumen and build a portfolio.

“We’re having fun, but it’s not like summer school,” Davenport said. “I would never see classes like this in high school. The camp is really engaging. This is the first time I’ve experienced being at a college and living in a campus setting.”

Quinnipiac designed the entrepreneurship program specifically for high school students interested in exploring digital innovation and launching new business ideas. The students are learning about website development, critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, team dynamics, leadership, research and validation of ideas, as well as business planning.

“We want all of them to have a basic understanding of how to create a business,” said David Tomczyk, co-director of the camp and associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at Quinnipiac. “The innovation part centers around thinking creatively, better understanding themselves and their mental processes and brainstorming new ideas.”

Danielle Giglione, an adjunct business professor at Quinnipiac, served as co-director of the camp.

“These students, while they are young, are very enthusiastic and have great ideas,” she said. “A lot of times, young people have ideas and are told, ‘That’s a fantastic side hobby.’ Here, there is a huge emphasis on, ‘This can be a reality if you work hard enough.’ That support is important.”

The students presented their business ideas to the group at the end of the two weeks. Zofia Filipczak, a rising senior at Engineering and Science University Magnet School in West Haven, pitched Zen, a health and wellness company that will produce stain remover sticks for women.

“I think the camp is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “We are learning, but we also have activities for fun, bonding and learning together. It’s the perfect environment for coming up with new ideas.”

The entrepreneurship and innovation camp is one of four programs QU is offering to high school students this summer thanks to the $8 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding Connecticut has set aside as part of its Successful Summer Enrichment Program. In addition to the camp for high school entrepreneurs, QU is offering summer residential programs for students interested in data science, health science exploration and media production.

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