Launchpad Center

Teen Entrepreneurship Programs 

In partnership with UC San Diego Extended Studies


Launchpad inspires teens to innovate and benefit our greater community by creating enduring business ideas, connections, and increasing social mobility.

We introduce high school students to entrepreneurial thinking by utilizing the resources of UC San Diego and our startup community.  This program builds bridges between teens, CEOs, city officials, educators, entrepreneurs, and the university. We aim to match talent with opportunity.

Launchpad endeavors to provide youth entrepreneurship education to every student, and to give those that step forward access to the ecosystem to empower and support them now and in the future. With studies showing as many as 46% of jobs for people 30 years of age and under being in the form of independent contractor roles, the need for the entrepreneurial mindset, skills, competencies, and resilience has never been greater. 

Launchpad was founded in 2016 by Tina Klein, Ph.D.



Upcoming Programs

summer 2024

Business & Entrepreneurship 

Online Immersion

Session 1: July 1 - 12, 2024

Session 2: July 15 - 26, 2024

Session 3: July 29 - August 10, 2024

Apply here

Real World Class Project

In their first class, students will break into teams and come up with an original business idea. Over the course of the entire program they develop this idea into a business that they will ultimately pitch to investors. Along the way, teams need to develop a marketing plan and financial projections. By using an experiential learning approach, students will quickly engage in the topic, and the instructor introduces the underlying theory and concepts as students tackle these issues while trying to build their business. 

On the final day of the course the teams present their products to an expert panel of judges who provide professional and informative feedback to the students.

Click here for a more detailed agenda 

We are BIG NEWS!

Launchpad Alum Wins International Entrepreneurship Competition

Using skills developed at Launchpad, Brett Kim onboards two classmates to develop Oikku: an app which builds and facilitates inclusive communities for people entering the workforce. 

The team was awarded funding to further develop app by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) World Series of Innovation.

Check out the full article here!


“The kids were completely off the charts excited about what they accomplished and how empowered they felt to be speaking with “real-life business people." We had a couple breakdowns for some kids that were devastatingly nervous to present, but once they got up there they were all smiles coming to me afterwards telling me that this assignment has done “wonders” for their confidence. The results have been amazing. This event really brought out the adult professional in these kids…it’s going to have an impact for a long time." 

- Parker Bush, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Instructor, San Diego Jewish Academy 

"I recently had the pleasure of serving as one of the judges of a business plan competition among students of Francis Parker School. I actually forgot that I was observing high school students, as their level of preparation, thoughtfulness, creativity and presentation skills were akin to those seeking an MBA. The session made me realize how valuable this type of experience is for young eager minds. I wish I had had this type of early exposure and training while I was in high school. Launchpad is a wonderful resource, and I have no doubt that the experience will benefit these young adults as they approach college and ultimately their careers." 

- Lisa Walters, Hoffert CFO, Daré Bioscience 

“I liked the simulation and the exposure to this field. The simulation proved to test critical thinking problem solving skills within me, and the exposure showed me what a snippet of college would look like.” 

-J., Francis Parker School student 

“I enjoyed the speakers most of all, they provided interesting insight into the world of entrepreneurship and business.” 

-H., Francis Parker School student