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Culturally Responsive High School Entrepreneurship

The high school entrepreneurship program creates an ecosystem of support for underserved high school students in Arizona who have innovative ideas for making the world a better place. Funding from the Cisco corporate advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation is helping to expand two existing programs that train high school teachers to embed entrepreneurial programming into their curriculum:

  • EPICS High: Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) High is an engineering design service learning program that incorporates engineering and human-centered design processes in providing solutions to real problems facing society.

    EPICS High is also part of the Social Entrepreneurship and Career Pathways Study, which assesses the impact of programs that promote social entrepreneurship for underserved high school and community college students.

  • SEED SPOT NEXT: SEED SPOT NEXT is a social entrepreneurship program that integrates STEM, communication and design thinking skills to empower students to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.


How it Works

Both EPICS High and SEED SPOT NEXT promote an interdisciplinary approach, using the creativity and expertise of a diverse set of students to develop and implement solutions with real impact. Students not only develop game-changing solutions to community problems, but they also hone their skills as engineers and entrepreneurs.

Teachers in both programs receive professional development training to embed Internet of Things (IoT), multiculturalism and student success strategies in their teaching.

All students who advance to the national SEED SPOT NEXT DEMO DAY and have an IoT innovation are eligible to compete for up to $5,000 in seed funding through the Cisco Innovation Challenge.


Who Can Join

These programs will be expanded primarily into low-income high schools, including but not limited to high schools participating in Cisco Networking Academies. To find out how your high school can get involved, contact:


About Cisco and ASU

This programming is supported by a grant from the Cisco corporate advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). Cisco-SVCF funding at the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU advances culturally responsive entrepreneurship programs in underserved communities, including:

Frequently asked questions