Course Overview

Business Innovation, Design and Startups teaches high school students how to imagine, create, and build a business or nonprofit organization. Dream, believe, pursue. Learn how to think creatively, develop ideas, and build the foundation for a successful business or nonprofit organization. This course includes innovative and design-thinking, making the pitch, customer discovery, developing a business model canvas, learning to pivot, and an introduction to the incubators and resources at Syracuse University that will help you pursue your venture regardless of your major. Students will create virtual video pitches of ideas.

Students have the option of taking this course as credit or noncredit. If taking the course as credit, students will receive 3 college credits toward IDS 401 – What’s the Big Idea?: Technology Innovation.

Note that this course is open to Syracuse University undergrads.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Have an understanding and appreciation of innovation and design-thinking techniques
  • Understand how to make a persuasive elevator pitch
  • Know how to do customer discovery
  • Be able to create a business model canvas for a for-profit or nonprofit venture
  • Understand the value of college incubators and the resources provided
Syracuse University Summer College precollege business student

“In Business Innovation, Design… we were taught by industry experts, guest speakers, and [had] lessons filled with practical examples of what we’d be up against in the real world. The professor was very accessible and personable, which made learning more engaging. Speaking to classmates, doing product research, and then presenting my ideas to the entire class was an unbelievably rewarding experience and gave me skills that I will use throughout my entire professional career.”

— Daniel B.., Summer College Online Business Innovation, Design, and Startups Student, 2020

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number:

  • Credit: IDS 301
  • Noncredit: SCN 071

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore*, junior, or senior status – or a 2021 high school graduate. 
*Rising sophomores are only eligible for the noncredit version of this course.

Credit: 3 Credits or Noncredit


  • Credit: A-F
  • Noncredit: Pass/Fail


  • Credit: $2,985
  • Noncredit: $2,500

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College Online3-Week Session II: August 9 – August 27, 2021MTWThF
1PM – 2:30PM
3 Credits or NoncreditClosed

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Reliable internet access
  • Minimally, a laptop with webcam and audio. (Best would be a monitor connected to laptop or desktop)
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Required Supplies

Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies. A supply and textbook listing will be sent to students before the start of the program.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions Monday – Friday from 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

End Event

There will be a final investor presentation.

Faculty Bios

Bruce Kingma

Professor Kingma has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago. His research includes publications on the economics of information, libraries, and technology; entrepreneurship; and online education. Professor Kingma teaches in the Whitman School of Management and the School of Information Studies. He is the former Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University. Provost Kingma has developed award-winning programs in entrepreneurship, innovation, and community engagement across the Syracuse University campus and Central New York.

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