Startup Camp Youth Portland 2019: Connecting Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship


Startup Camp Youth Portland will bring Portland-area high school students, entrepreneurial professionals and content experts, government and NGO representatives, and students from Georgia (the country!) together to engage in entrepreneurial ideation, pitching, and competition. Participants will focus on addressing pressing social, environmental and economic issues with the goal of connecting communities and experiencing cultural immersion.

Participants will develop businesses, nonprofit organizations, products, and services that make a positive impact on the world while learning entrepreneurial skills, and will work towards innovative solutions to the increasing polarization and disconnectedness within the globalizing world. Students will form teams and make their concepts come alive through engaging in intense mentor-supported collaboration, innovation, prototyping, connecting, alliance-building, learning and taking action.

Portland, U.S.A.

Catlin Gabel School


When: May 17-19, 2019

Who: Portland area high school students to join high schoolers from Georgia (the country).

Supporters and Sponsors


is hosting the event.

Georgian Embassy to the United States of America

is representing the Georgian government in Portland for the exchange.



Over the course of the weekend, participants will:

  • Participate in creative ideation sessions with peers and mentors

  • Learn to use visual strategy tools (like the Business Model Canvas above)

  • Engage design-thinking and lean-startup methodologies

  • Ask questions, build and iterate upon prototypes, and get professional feedback from successful American entrepreneurs

  • Take part in a due diligence session with seasoned investors

  • Build a sustainable, inclusive organization

  • Talk to community members about their business ideas (customer validation)

  • Forge alliances

  • Find sponsors

  • Build relationships with peers and mentors that will impact their lives well beyond the event.


Day 1: Students meet with entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, venture capitalists, and local field experts to gather inspiration, then begin ideation process and form teams together with Catlin Gabel students.

Day 2: Portland-area professionals mentor participants and teams create their business proposals, go out onto the streets of Portland for language immersion and customer validation with local residents. Group dinner at the end of the evening will provide an opportunity for connection, conversation, and friendly competition between teams. Finalize pitches in preparation for presentations, judging, and professional feedback.

Day 3: Engage in a collaborative capstone activity culminating our time in Portland together, and ensuring that all background material and resources are at the fingertips of participants for easy access to inspiration and support when back in Georgia. All participants travel home or connect to next destination (New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Vancouver B.C., etc.) if individual plans for them to stay have been made.

What is Catlin Gabel School?

Catlin Gabel is widely regarded as the top school in the U.S. State of Oregon, and is located in Portland, the state’s largest city with a metropolitan area population of 2.5 million. Catlin Gabel is a “progressive independent day school where teachers build transforming relationships with each student, honoring each child's innate capacities, encouraging exploration, welcoming questions, and always presenting new intellectual and creative challenges to our young scientists, storytellers, artists, and athletes. Catlin Gabel supports inspired learning leading to responsible action through dedicated teaching, caring relationships, a challenging curriculum, and community service. We value each person's effort, imagination, and positive contributions to the community. We celebrate being inclusive and the partnership between family and school.”