LOCAL EDUCATORS BRING ENTREPRENEURSHIP FUNDAMENTALS TO STUDENTS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION
This summer, LevelUp Camp founders Joowon Kim and Jesus Hernandez successfully launched the pre-pilot of their augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) program for kids. Held at Station Houston, students learned how to make their own website, mobile app and AR/VR environments.
The concept for LevelUp Camp began when Joowon and Jesus met at an AR hackathon earlier this year. They connected instantly over their common passion for technology education. While several technology-focused camps for kids exist, they felt that current offerings lacked critical entrepreneurial education. They set out to build a curriculum that would encourage issue identification and problem solving.
“We teach students how to make a product from concept to finish.” said Joowon. “We’re using the technology skill-set as a platform to teach entrepreneurship fundamentals that come with building a product,” Jesus added.
Many students learn business and startup tactics like feedback loops, pivoting, and product-market fit later in their education — while in high school, or even college. Even at that level, few students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge.
“It’s such a missed opportunity for people to never bring their ideas to life. There are so many ideas that aren’t pursued because it’s ‘too hard’ or the thought that someone else will do it. LevelUp Camp is a safe place for students to make mistakes and fail fast. We want to create an environment where they can make small mistakes and gain confidence. We encourage creativity and exploring ideas before dismissing them,” said Joowon.
With only a few months from ideation to launch, LevelUp Camps came to life overnight. Jesus attributes their rapid development to the mentor network at Station Houston .
“If we weren’t at Station, we’d be stuck in our apartments working on this idea in isolation. We wouldn’t have gotten the kind of feedback needed to move forward. We meet so many awesome people here and we’ve spread out towards a greater network of individuals who have helped us in one way or another,” he said.
LevelUp Camp plans to launch an after-school program Fall 2017 and a seven-week summer program in 2018. They’re also working on implementing a mentorship program to connect students with expert programmers, designers and entrepreneurs through an online portal with resources and guided practices.
If you’d like more information about LevelUp Camps and upcoming workshops, check out their website, www.levelup.camp.