The swimming pool can wait.
The participants of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship may be hanging out by a poolside later this summer break, but for now, they’re exercising their brains and sharpening their business knowledge at Georgetown College.
Last December in Frankfort, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced the residential summer program in which high school students work in teams, expand their ideas and create business models for their projects. It is patterned after Kentucky Governor’s Scholars and the Governor’s School for the Arts programs.
The participants’ schedules are very busy during the camp which kicked off Monday, said Paul LaRue, director of summer programs and professor of music at Georgetown College.
Scott County participant Cameron Magolan said she is excited about soaking up wisdom from business owners and working with other students.
“My favorite part so far has been interacting with all the young entrepreneurs and the ability to become one team unit; learning how to work together and what everybody brings to the table,” she said.
Engineering is something that Magolan finds fascinating and challenging.
“I’m more into engineering, thinking, designing and coming up with the most probable solution,” she said.
Giving business pitches and learning new ways to think about the world are things she wants to emphasize during the program, Magolan said.
Wednesday afternoon Dave Durand of Louisville-based Forest Giant gave the participants an overview of his business and told them they can expect to have both failure and success in the business world.
His company builds mobile applications, is technology and creativity driven and has 17 full-time employees, he said.
“Although we’re relatively small, we make a big impact on big companies,” Durand said. “Technology is constantly evolving. It’s in everything we do.”
One good business practice is to be conscious of strengths and weaknesses, he said.
Some of the students’ eyes grew wide Wednesday when Beshear entered the room inside the former library at the college, now known as the Cooke Memorial Building.
He came to the college to speak with them and hear their entrepreneurial ideas.
During his address, the governor told the participants he wants the program to be a channel for the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs. While taking part, the students should develop skills they will need to manage their businesses effectively. They must not only have a good idea, they need soft skills as well, he said.
Monday was the first full day of the camp, and participants heard from Papa John’s International chief executive officer John Schnatter.
The camp ends June 29.
The program is managed by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. It is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing science, technology and innovative economic development, according to the agency’s website.
In December, Beshear said the camp’s goal is to spur more people to create a more vibrant work opportunities in the commonwealth.
“We know that most of the net new jobs across the U.S. are being created by small, young companies,” he said during the December announcement conference. “This new initiative is part of a larger, ambitious strategy to create a dynamic entrepreneurial economy in Kentucky.”