Youth Entrepreneurship


From entrepreneurship and economic impact to innovative approaches to training, upskilling and education — the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University is recognized around the globe as a leader in higher education and empowering entrepreneurs of all ages.

Its Youth Entrepreneurship team — comprised primarily of public and private school educators with expertise in instructional design, emerging technologies and 21st-century schools’ needs — empowers budding entrepreneurs in grades K-12 by: 

  • Promoting an inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. 
  • Helping students, faculty, staff and community members embrace and support problem-solving and entrepreneurial initiatives.
  • Building foundational entrepreneurial skills and on-ramp programs that help students thrive in college and beyond.
  • Providing access to resources for underserved communities, leveraging our place and finding unmet needs to serve.


To advance its mission, the Edson E+I Institute has forged key partnerships — including Verizon, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Badgr, a digital credential network. These powerful partnerships have resulted in successful programs such as:

  • Verizon Innovative Learning Lab Program. The Verizon Innovative Learning Lab program empowers Verizon Innovative Learning schools across the country to become hubs of innovation by providing emerging technology, project-based curricula and training to students and teachers. The program enables students not only to learn with technology but to collaborate and create solutions with technology that help move the world forward.
  • Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. To inspire tomorrow’s brightest minds, educators deserve today’s best technology and resources. That’s why we’ve partnered with Verizon to help bring awareness to Verizon Innovative Learning HQ: a free and publicly available online education portal that brings next-gen learning to all. The site provides access to the latest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) education materials including innovative learning apps, standards-aligned lesson plans, and credentialed professional development for educators. Sign up and start using free lesson plans, including those developed by the Edson E+I Institute!
  • Career Arcade. The virtual career exploration experience teaches students what it means to work as a planetary scientist, public health scientist, structural engineer and more. 
  • ASU Chandler Innovation Center youth design challenges happening monthly to develop prototype solutions to address real world problems.

Throughout the years, Edson E+I has been awarded grants to launch programs that have run over a limited period of time. Youth Entrepreneurship has teamed up with for-profit and nonprofit partners to launch:

  • Verizon Innovative Learning Design Thinking Program. The program aimed to empower all young people with emerging technology, design thinking and social innovation skills, cultivating a more diverse, inclusive and accessible ecosystem for innovation to thrive. 
  • Cisco Global Problem Solvers. Economically disadvantaged and under-represented middle school students learned how to use technology, entrepreneurship and creative problem solving to tackle the challenges of tomorrow through this program. 
  • Culturally Responsive High School Entrepreneurship. This high school entrepreneurship program created an ecosystem of support for underserved students who have innovative ideas for making the world a better place. 
  • DemocraSeed. A partnership with the nonpartisan Center for the Future of Arizona, the program aimed to increase interest in civic engagement, creative problem solving and entrepreneurship in high school students on city and tribal youth councils.

Our impact

More than 33,940

middle school students impacted by programs since 2017

More than 400

Title I middle schools across the country worked with the Youth Entrepreneurship team

Explore all programs

Our programs for entrepreneurs at ASU and in the community provide guidance and support to help you move your venture to the next level.