2 Weeks / Noncredit

Launching a Business: Strategic Leadership & Innovation *CLOSED*

Sat. July 14 & Sun. July 15 Mandatory Move-in & Orientation 

Class runs July 16 – July 27, 2018 

High school students will learn the art and science of planning and starting a business in this two-week intensive Summer College program. The primary adjective of the program is to help students develop the skills, knowledge, mindset, and global perspective they need to succeed as an entrepreneur or corporate innovator. Taught through a combination of small group discussions, guest lectures, online and hands-on learning tools, this program provides actionable content specifically designed to help students succeed in business. Flipping the classroom allows students to spend valuable class time working with peers and instructors to craft the perfect business plan. Students will walk away with a deeper understanding of global business systems and the functional importance of information technology.

Taught by instructors from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University, students will complete this course with valuable skills in entrepreneurship, management, communications, and professional readiness.

  • Entrepreneurship: problem identification, customer discovery, effectuation
  • Management: leadership, teamwork, strategic planning
  • Communications: public speaking, branding, product design, advertising, marketing
  • Professional Readiness: professional ethics and social responsibility


A typical day will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm with a one hour break for lunch (subject to change). Evening and weekend work will likely be required.


About the LaunchPad

The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University is the University’s newest entrepreneur resource center. Located in Bird Library, the LaunchPad serves a diverse population of student, staff, faculty, and alumni entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a business.

Since opening its doors in April of 2016, the LaunchPad has helped over 2,200 entrepreneurs launch more than 350 ventures, collectively winning over $320,000 in business competitions and raising over $3 Million in investment capital. During that same time, the LaunchPad has played host to many highly regarded guest speakers and has helped 45 ventures form into legally incorporated entities with significant growth potential.

Fundamentally, the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University believes that entrepreneurs are stronger together, working hard to build a community of creatives and disrupters. Through peer-to-peer mentoring and venture coaching, the LaunchPad helps turn anyone’s idea into a model business. With support from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Blackstone Group, the LaunchPad’s international network is waiting for you to join.

Program Costs

Please visit our program costs page for more detailed information.

*Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March. *Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date.

Instructor Bio

Braden Croy

Braden currently serves as the Program Manager at the Blackstone LaunchPad, a cross-campus entrepreneurship resource center located in SU’s Bird Library. In this role, he is responsible for both tactical and strategic implementation of the center’s go-to-market strategy. He straddles internal and external communication functions while serving as a liaison between various campus partners. He works daily with student, faculty, and staff startups to help them launch successful businesses across multiple industries and disciplines.

He previously served as Marketing Manager at tuzag, a Syracuse based behavioral marketing technology firm. Within the university environment, Braden served as Director of NEXIS, a student based innovation lab at Syracuse University, where he was responsible for restructuring the labs operations and increasing student engagement across campus. He also served as Assistant Director of the Syracuse Student Sandbox, educating students and consulting for colleges and communities around the world looking to better serve their entrepreneur populations.

Croy holds a B.A. in Human Geography from Virginia Tech and used his time in school to study international development methodologies. While at Virginia Tech, he founded his own ed-tech company and served as President of the Virginia Tech entrepreneur club. His company, Pivotal Testing, was recognized as one of the top 50 most innovative student startups in the world by the Kairos Society in 2013.