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Concordia University’s Summer “Teen Entrepreneur Academy” Equips Students With Hands-On Skills To Become The Next Generation Of Business Owners

One-week Residential Summer Academy Prepares High School Students to Thrive as ‘TeenPreneurs’

           TEA Logo 

IRVINE, Calif., (May 1, 2014) — Concordia University Irvine (CUI) has announced the third annual Teen Entrepreneur Academy (TEA) will take place from July 13 – 19 for high school students interested in starting their own businesses. TEA is an intensive hands-on summer academy that offers real-world, technical and practical training in how to launch a business.

According to the 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index, approximately 43 percent of U.S. students in grades five through 12 say they plan to start their own business. The innovative five-day academy will welcome 65 local and international students, who will live on campus for one-week and learn the basic principles of business start-up and entrepreneurship.  Students will also create an actual plan to launch their businesses. 

“We believe that it’s never too early to teach teens business.  Business and educational leaders have acknowledged the relevance and importance of entrepreneurship education, making the need for youth entrepreneurship programs more evident than ever,” said Stephen Christensen, Dean of the School of Business for CUI, and TEA program founder. “We teach a free enterprise and self-responsibility mindset, an entrepreneurial worldview that trains teens to see problems as opportunities. For teens to achieve educational and career success, they must become financially literate, business savvy and empowered to navigate today’s work place economic complexities.”

Christensen teaches entrepreneurship training to students alongside entrepreneurs and other faculty, covering topics such as identifying opportunities, business model development, customer segmentation, market research, cash flow projections, launch strategies and raising investment capital, ultimately teaching students a low-risk way to launch a business. Participants live on the Concordia campus during the academy for classroom learning, group projects, and to visit local businesses (Oakley, Masimo), as well as gain firsthand insight from entrepreneurial guest speakers such as Wing Lam, co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and retired Air Force veteran Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, CEO of training and consulting firm Dynamic Vision International Inc. Student teams compete in a business plan competition for $1,000 prize, which requires effective application of best business practices to their strategy as they write and present their plans to a panel of CEO judges.

“The Academy experience was a good catalyst to spark my interest in entrepreneurship and has led me to join the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Gonzaga University with a major in business administration and minor in entrepreneurship,” said Ethan Terner, inaugural Teen Entrepreneur Academy student and native of Mission Viejo, Calif. “Being exposed to Concordia’s TEA innovative curriculum, guest speakers and participating in the business plan competition supported my transition into collegiate-level business plan competitions and raised my confidence in pursuing a career in business.”

Program cost is $800 for U.S. students and $1,000 for international students and includes campus room and board, books, field trips and classes. Financial need-based scholarship opportunities are available. Academy applications are currently being accepted, and the registration deadline is June 2. For more information or to apply for the Teen Entrepreneur Academy, visit or email [email protected], or call (949) 214-3798.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. CUI offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location in the City of Irvine, with online and regional cohort options. Concordia’s undergraduate program is distinctive among universities in California because of its nationally recognized Core Curriculum, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone."

Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. CUI enrolls over 4,000 students. 

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