McGuire Summer Academy 2017

July 11, 2017


Future entrepreneurs convened at The University of Arizona in June to participate in the third annual McGuire Summer Academy (MSA), which aims to help underserved high school students develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset.  Under the guidance of UA faculty, business professionals and local entrepreneurs, student teams spent a week developing venture ideas. The camp culminated in a  “shark tank” pitch competition.

This summer, 22 juniors and seniors from 16 Tucson-area high schools - as well as one who traveled from New Jersey - participated in MSA.

“I learned lots of valuable information,” said a local student participant from Sonoran Science Academy who aspires to work in business one day.

MSA participants stayed at UA residence halls for the week, and spent days visiting innovative local businesses, meeting local entrepreneurs and developing their own startup ideas.  

The students worked in small teams to develop their ideas and pitches, and several local business owners and entrepreneurs worked with the students to provide insights and further the development of their ideas. The camp culminated in a “Shark Tank” competition for prize money provided by sponsors. This year, the winning team was SCOT Technologies, a platform that streamlines the interface for students as they access grades, assignments, homework, and teacher interactions. The other teams were:

  • GIGS - A website exclusive to teenagers and young people to list their skills and find local gigs

  • Helios - A non-profit organization focusing on providing solar power to low income housing.

  • Hephateus Printing - 3-D printing vending machines

  • Light Now - a wearable device that can provide light at the flick of the wrist

  • Listen Up - customizable and interchangeable ear buds allowing individuals to personalize ear buds and replace individual parts

  • Plock - A locking cap for prescription medication bottles

“Working with the students is inspiring – watching them develop their ideas with such passion and enthusiasm is so rewarding.  I am excited to see how they will impact the world in the next 10 years,” said Community Relations Coordinator Ted McGuire.

The cost of the camp was greatly reduced thanks  to a generous donor. MSA is part of the McGuire Center’s mission to extend the impact of its entrepreneurial education.

The McGuire Center would like to thank the following guest entrepreneurs, business owners, and local innovators for their work in assisting the students and making the McGuire Summer Academy a success:

  • Amanda Holbert — Elegant Iron

  • Anita Bell — Arizona Center for Innovation

  • Bob Kahl — Sabino Investment Management

  • Chris Edwards — Tucson Appliance Company

  • Danny Kirk — 2shoes app

  • K. Krasnow Waterman —

  • Luis Palomares and Cooper Kowalski — InHouse

  • Patrick Marcus — Marcus Engineering

  • Penn Weickhardt —

  • Sean Furrier — Furrier Tire and Auto Care

  • Stephanie Bermudez — Young Entrepreneurship Association

  • Steve Prato — Joe’s Ice Tea

For more information about MSA, contact Ted McGuire, Community Relations Coordinator.