Audacious Summer @ Duke University
A 1-week innovation program for 9th-12th graders.
June 13 – June 17, 2016 – Durham, North Carolina
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Program Highlights

At the Audacious Summer @ Duke University, rising 9th through 12th graders learn and apply design thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation to address real-world challenges with a small team of peers.

Over the course of five days, you will:

  • Develop the entrepreneurial mindset and learn innovation techniques.
  • Apply design thinking to tackle a real challenge you and your peers identify.
  • Design a new product, service, or initiative to address your team’s challenge.
  • Perform customer discovery and validation exercises on Duke’s campus.
  • Refine your business model, build and test prototypes, and define next steps.
  • Engage with local entrepreneurs who coach and mentor your team.
  • Pitch to an expert panel of judges for feedback.

The Audacious Institute helps young people be bold and dare greatly in a fun, supportive environment.

  • Cost: $545 on or before May 1st; $595 thereafter
  • Dates: June 13th-17th, 2016
  • Time: 9am-4pm daily
  • Eligibility: All rising 9th to 12th graders; spots are limited to the first 30 students to register
  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: meet local entrepreneurs and innovators, tour Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bullpen, and enjoy lunch on Duke’s campus.
  • Need-Based Scholarships: Contact [email protected]
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Audacious Summer Program

in depth overview

Want to transform your life and our nation by tackling pressing global and local problems? Learn how entrepreneurs and innovators use design thinking and the lean startup method to develop innovative solutions. Start each day with creativity challenges to stretch your capabilities. Meet students from across the country, collaborate on meaningful projects, and build your candidacy for college!

At the Audacious Summer @ Duke, student teams experience entrepreneurship first-hand on Duke’s campus, including delivering their final pitches in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bullpen – Duke’s preeminent innovation center! Students work with mentors to develop a solution concept and business model, entertain feedback from potential customers, and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

The program is packed with hands-on activities, 21st century skill development opportunities, team challenges, and mentorship to help students start planning for college and 21st century careers!

What better place to learn these innovative skills than at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina!

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Engaging Topics
Unforgettable Experience



  • Introductions & icebreakers. 
  • Fail fast to find success: the growth mindset.
  • Innovator’s DNA.
  • The Backpack Challenge.
  • Design Thinking 101.
  • ‘3 Questions’ activity.


  • Morning challenge.
  • Team challenge kickoff.
  • Need finding & empathy interviews.
  • Career lunch panel.
  • Customer discovery.
  • ‘Personas’ challenge.


  • Goal setting & success definition warm-up.
  • ‘Get out of the building’ exercise.
  • Analyze for insights.
  • Develop a point of view.
  • Ideation I.
  • Feedback session I.


  • Morning challenge.
  • Ideation II.
  • Design challenge: Marshmallow activity.
  • Prototyping.
  • Business Model Refinement w/Mentors.
  • Testing & Feedback II.


  • The Art of the Pitch.
  • Finding purpose and making an impact.
  • Mystery questions.
  • Final Pitch Competition & Teen Showcase.
  • Judging and feedback.
I used the skills that I learned at the Audacious Institute to help define our project into a singe focal point. It also gave me leadership skills that aided in production of our project for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. I don't think we would have been first in state without it.- Tommy, Student
I wish I had this growing up. I think this program helps students to think in a direction that they may not learn in school.- Pam, Parent
I think every student should take this course. It changes the way you think about yourself, others, and what you can do.- Rose, Student

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