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Startup Camp 2017

We believe in the power and potential of student innovation.

Organized by Catlin Gabel teachers, parents, and students, Startup Camp is open to all Portland-area students. During the weekend of February 17th-19th, 2017 Portland-area students will join together to launch products that just might change the world. Students will turn their dreams into reality by attending Portland's third Startup Camp for high school students. It's three days of intense collaboration, innovation, and learning from inspiring entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of software, design, engineering, business development, sales, marketing, and investing.

Students begin the weekend by pitching their ideas on Friday night and voting for the top six ideas. Students with the top ideas become CEOs of their companies, recruit a team of students to be part of a group of corporate founders, and work with an experienced event facilitator to meet critical checkpoints in business development under the mentorship of experts in their fields. Students will build their business throughout the entire weekend to turn their vision a reality. On Sunday night, student teams will give a final pitch to a board of startup investors who will act as judges.

150 students from the application pool will be invited to participate in Startup Camp 2017. The student fee to participate in Startup Camp 3.0 is $50. Financial aid is available. The fee covers all meals and snacks for the weekend's program. Generous support from our sponsors covers facilities, speakers, t-shirts, and other programming throughout the weekend.

We expect all interested families to contribute to Startup Camp, but realize that $50 may be prohibitive for some. Catlin Gabel and Startup Camp sponsors are committed to making Startup Camp accessible to all students.  Therefore, you may register as a student requesting financial aid for $25 or for free. 

Catlin Gabel Upper School campus—please check the schedule for specific location information.

Application and Registration

Registration for Startup Camp 2017 is now closed.


Don't see your answer here? feel free to reach out to Meredith Goddard

Q. Do I need to have a brilliant idea to participate in Startup Camp?

A. No, we welcome all students who want to join a team and build a successful business based on their own or someone else's brilliant idea.

Q. Will I be fed during Startup Camp?

A. Yes. We've got all of your meals and snacks covered. This is included in your registration fee.

Q. How do I prepare for Startup Camp?

A. Attend the Startup Camp “bootcamp" for participating students.  These boot camps will take place at Lincoln High School and Catlin Gabel School - stay tuned for more information.

Q. How do I make an effective Friday night pitch of my business idea?

A. Check out this great resource for Friday night pitching:

Q. Can I see an example of a Friday night pitch?

A. Yes, check out this YouTube video of a nearly perfect Friday pitch:

Q. What happens on Saturday?

A. You'll spend Saturday morning engaging in customer validation, meeting with mentors, developing your brand identity and potentially designing a prototype. Here's a great slideshow on customer validation:

Q. What happens on Sunday?

A. Teams will spend the whole day working on developing their product. After dinner and a final keynote speech, each team will have 5 minutes to pitch their business in front of a panel of judges who will determine the winners of Startup Camp.

Q. What will the winners receive?

A. At Catlin Gabel, we believe in providing a winning experience for everyone. In this vein, we think Startup Camp is a win for all participants because students will emerge from this intense, exhausting, and enlightening experience with the skills necessary to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

That being said, there will be winners and prizes.

Stay tuned for Startup Camp 2017 prize information.  

Q. How will the teams be judged during the final pitch session on Sunday night?

A. Judges will use the following rubric to score students on a 1 (poor) to 9 (great) scale in the following categories.  The focus will be on student learning in each of the categories below.

  • Business Development: Is there a product-market fit? Is there a customer acquisition strategy? Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic? Can the team articulate a rollout strategy? Is there already positive customer growth or revenue?
  • Execution: Is there a functional product or service (e.g. website, mobile app, prototype/mockup for non-technical products)? Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating/memorable user experience?
  • Customer Validation: How well does the team understand their users? Does this idea solve a temporary problem (headache) or a BIG problem (migraine)? Does the team have proof that users want their product (more than social polling).




Applications will be available from 7 PM on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 - Friday, January 27th at 7 PM. 150 students will be invited to register during the first week in February. Startup Camp 2017 is open to all Portland area high school students.
An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

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