Entrepreneurial Spirit

Lower and Middle School
Inspiring an entrepreneurship spirit in students teaches them to empathize, see problems as opportunities, take risks, reflect, revise the innovation process and develop grit. These traits will enable our students to excel in whatever path they choose in college and in life.
Whether it’s creating a local solution for a global problem, designing and constructing water filters, or inventing and prototyping new toys, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive throughout the Lower and Middle School divisions. Enrichment opportunities include the Summer STEAM camp, Young Makers enrichment and The Toy Making Club. Entrepreneurial problem solving is infused into the curriculum through the sixth grade STEAM water filtration project which requires students to research local water pollution problems while working in teams to design, build, and test water filters that are both effective and operational. 

Entrepreneurial Studies

Upper School
As pioneers in developing entrepreneurship programming for students in Louisville and the local region, Collegiate’s Upper School has formally offered entrepreneurship studies since 2014. With a campus located in the Highlands, a historical and urban part of Louisville, easy access to local businesses and Louisville entrepreneurs feeds Collegiate’s entrepreneur education program.
All 10th-grade students enroll in the Design course as part of The Edge program. Students follow a structured Design Thinking process to discover possible solutions to a specific problem, then use conventional wood and metalworking tools, electronics diagnostic, assembly tools, and 21st-century fabrication tools such as a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and 3D Printer to develop prototypes in an attempt to solve the problem.
All 11th-grade students enroll in the Solve course as part of The Edge program. Local CEO’s and startup leaders present real-world business problems to the students on campus. After weeks of creative problem solving and market research, our students pitch their solutions off campus to the CEOs in company boardrooms.
In 12th grade, all students spend one-quarter participating weekly in a mini-internship experience with a local business, entrepreneur, or non-profit organization. Time off campus brings their entrepreneurial mindset to the real world, deepening their professional networks, while logging invaluable workplace experiences.  
Upper School Elective Course

The Upper School offers semester-long elective courses such as Engineering Design, Maker Portfolio, Entrepreneurial Problem Solving (EPS), and Entrepreneurship Through Startup (ETS) for students that want to dive deeper into designing, creating, building, inventing, and problem-solving. By doing work that is used in the real world by companies and nonprofits, or exhibited in public forums through pitch events to experts and community members, our students put their grit to the test.

Young Entrepreneurs Club

Student members of the Young Entrepreneur Club follow the #startupweekend framework to develop startup pitches that utilize the business canvas model as a guiding map. Partnered with Venture Connectors and Junior Achievement, Collegiate students participate annually in “The Pitch” competition in downtown Louisville. Local members of the startup community work with students as startup mentors.

Senior Capstone Project

Each year seniors dive into a Senior Capstone Project, an opportunity to engage and explore a topic of personal interest. Project topic parameters are purposely flexible and projects are largely limited only by a student’s own initiative and imagination. Some students choose to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors which in the past have included building a guitar, designing and prototyping a glass toaster, building a sensor-based warning light system for garage parking, and inventing a board game while utilizing the 3D printer to manufacture the game pieces.
In 2016, Collegiate staff designed the first entrepreneurial course for Global Online Academy titled Entrepreneurship in a Global Context. This course is taught by Collegiate faculty to 18 students from other independent schools across the globe including Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Tokyo (Japan) and Frankfurt (Germany).
Students that desire to spend several weeks in the summer doing a deep dive with like-minded student entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs Program each year.


In 2016, Collegiate launched the annual #Startupstory Student Speaker Series. Three local entrepreneurs visit campus annually to tell their personal and professional startup story, including all the triumphs and failures, to the student body. The stories take place during the Upper School assembly time and are open to the Collegiate community.
#Startupstory Student Speaker Series 2016-17
11:05 – 11:40 a.m.
Mary Rodes Lannert Athletic Center 
Tendai Charasika
December 2, 2016
Sean O’Leary
Edj Analytics
January 10, 2017
Alli Truttmann
Wicked Sheets
February 24, 2017
The Space

The space in which students create, design, and build sets the stage for developing entrepreneurial ideas and solutions. The strategic placement of the Design Studio across from The Makery creates a flexible and multi-purpose thinking space for our entrepreneurial students. Whether students are implementing the design thinking process into their business model canvas, or translating 2D sketches into code for product prototyping using the 3D printer, laser cutter or vinyl cutter, the Design Studio and Makery create an atmosphere ripe for problem solving, collaborating, designing, and building.

Entrepreneurs who are interested in volunteering as startup mentors or participating in the #Startupstory Speaker Series, please contact Tracie Catlett, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at tcatlett@loucol.com.

School Information

2427 Glenmary Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204
P: 502.479.0340
F: 502.454.8549
Louisville Collegiate School is a JK-12, co-ed independent day school located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky.