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TiE Tampa Bay plans initiative for young entrepreneurs

Margie Manning

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High school students interested in entrepreneurship will learn the skills needed to create and lead businesses at an upcoming program by TiE Tampa Bay.

The eight-month program will focus on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and provide a hands-on opportunity to develop a business concept.

“We want to get students to think about entrepreneurship and educate them early,” said Suhas Apte, president of TiE Tampa Bay, a nonprofit organization that encourages entrepreneurship and is one of 60 chapters of Silicon Valley-based The IndUS Entrepreneurs.

Since TiE launched the program more than 15 years ago, about 20 chapters have offered it, with more than 5,000 graduates.

“We always wanted to start it here in Tampa,” Apte said. “We have captured the best programs from other chapters who have run this program.”

The local program will be offered in three phases — learning basic skills, applying those skills, and preparing for a pitch competition. Classes will start in September and be offered every other Sunday through April. At the end of the program, local teams will have an opportunity to compete against teams from across the globe at the TYE global competition in June.

Dr. Kiran Patel, a healthcare entrepreneur and chairman emeritus of TiE Tampa Bay, will keynote the first session on Sept. 15. He’s one of about two dozen faculty, thought leaders and mentors who will work with students in the program.

The program costs $350 for TiE members and $475 for non-members. There’s a $100 refund for those who successfully complete the course. It’s begin offered in partnership with Junior Achievement, and all classes will be conducted at the JA campus.

The program is limited to 30 students, Apte said. More information and registration is here.

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