Entrepreneurship Institute

Innovate. Create. Build. Disrupt. Take Your idea from concept to reality and learn how to launch the next industry-changing start-up!

Learn how to develop, vet, and launch a valuable entrepreneurial idea.  Meet and engage with successful entrepreneurs, tour start-up companies at different stages of development, learn key principles of entrepreneurial marketing, finance, and strategy.  Put it all into practice by planning, pitching, and launching a start-up by the end of the week.

At a Glance


Dates: July 18 – 23

Who Can Apply?: 9th – 12th grade students

Program Length: Sunday – Friday

Program Tuition: $2,500

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

Day or Overnight Program: Overnight

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*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Entrepreneurship Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • Entrepreneurial Ideation
  • Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing — How to Target, Reach, and Sell to Target Market Customers
  • Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Vapor Testing, Basic Prototyping, and Concept Development

Hands-On Experiences:

  • Be Mentored by Founders, Entrepreneurs, and Industry Leaders
  • Tour Business Accelerators and Incubators
  • Learn to Create a Pitch Deck
  • Participate in a Hands-On Start-up Competition
  • Pivot Panel – Resilience to Failure

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Entrepreneurship Institute Cost

Winston-Salem (Overnight) | $2,500

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A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 am – Morning Meeting and Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Welcome and Program Introduction
  • 9:30 am – Innovation Presentation
  • 10:00 am – Tour Local Start-Up Company
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Workshop: Introduction to Entrepreneurial Marketing/Personal Branding
  • 2:00 pm – Marketing and Market Research for Your Business
  • 3:30 pm – Outline Entrepreneurship Group Project and Group Project Workshop
  • 4:00 pm – Debrief for the Day
  • 5:00 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Activities
  • 7:30 pm – Free Time
  • 9:00 pm – Prepare for Bed
  • 10:00 Lights Out

*The “A Day in the Life” is subject to change.

Meet Your Academic Leader

dan cohen

Dr. Dan Cohen

Academic Leader, Entrepreneurship Institute

Dan Cohen, Ph.D. is the John C. Whitaker Executive Director and Professor of Practice at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest University.  Over the course of his career, he has taught entrepreneurship and strategy at the undergraduate, graduate and executive levels. Since coming to Wake Forest University in 2015, he co-founded Startup Lab with Greg Pool, and completely revamped all aspects of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Before joining the faculty at Wake Forest, Cohen was at Cornell from 2007-2015 where he was on faculty and founded and directed eLab — Cornell’s entrepreneurship accelerator program hailed by Forbes Magazine as a major driver of Cornell’s ascent to a #4 national ranking in entrepreneurship. In 2012, Cohen was awarded Cornell’s Robert N. Stern Memorial Award for Mentoring Excellence. His academic career began in 2005 when he accepted a faculty appointment at The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business.  While at the University of Iowa, Cohen earned accolades for teaching, advising and mentoring excellence.

In terms of research, Cohen earned his Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University. He studies how nascent entrepreneurs develop a passion for entrepreneurship and how, and under what conditions, they form an entrepreneurial identity. He also researches how entrepreneurs develop key capabilities, such as how to spot and develop valuable opportunities. In 2020, Cohen published the IDEATE method, an empirically proven method of helping nascent entrepreneurs spot, evaluate and select high potential opportunities as a book (available here https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-ideate-method/book270262 or via Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IDEATE-Method-Identifying-High-Potential-Entrepreneurial/dp/1544393245) and in Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal (Cohen, D., Hsu, D. K., & Shinnar, R. S. (2020). Identifying innovative opportunities in the entrepreneurship classroom: a new approach and empirical test. Small Business Economics, 1-25.)

Before his academic career, Cohen had a successful fifteen-year entrepreneurial career that included founding, growing, and successfully exiting his startup in 2005.