TYE – TiE Young Entrepreneurs

TiE Seattle
TYE Seattle
  • Ingenuity. Inspiration. Innovation.
  • Catching ’em young
  • Our mission is to enable youngsters of today to build tomorrow they want.

Who should apply? Grade 9-12 students interested in entrepreneurship, STEM, or business may participate! Our students embody these values:

About TYE

TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) is a global program that fosters the future generation of entrepreneurs by teaching high school students the rewards and challenges of becoming an entrepreneur.

TYE is a TiE Global initiative dedicated to chapters integrating classroom sessions, mentoring, and a startup competition for high school students (Grade 9-12 or equivalent). Teams compete at chapter level; the winners of those competitions get the opportunity to compete at the TYE Global Finals for cash prizes and recognition.

At TYE, an “Entrepreneurship Academy’, student teams use modern skills and tools to build concepts using customer feedback, iteration, and lightweight business models. The program is designed to help students learn entrepreneurship and leadership skills.

Welcome to TYE Seattle

The local chapter of the TYE Global program, TYE Seattle, focuses on teenagers (Grade 9-12) keen to explore the challenges and rewards of becoming an entrepreneur. Our program aims to tap into ambitious high school students aspiring to start up on their own and unlock their true potential. As part of our TYE educational program, students receive instruction and mentorship from local business leaders. They also get an opportunity to participate in local and global Business Plan competitions.
The program begins in the Fall with weekly workshops taught by local business leaders and successful entrepreneurs. The focus of these sessions is learning the basics of business: marketing, product development, finance, legal matters, and – most important – presentation skills.

Students get to listen to local entrepreneurs share personal experiences of successful milestones they have achieved along with the challenges they faced along the way.

Midway through the program, there is a “start-up afternoon” session that allows students to form groups based on areas of interest. Guided by a mentor, these student groups will bring their ideas to life by creating and building their own business plan.

In the Spring, these teams will compete at the TYE Seattle Business Plan Competition. Winners are invited to compete at the Global TYE Business Competition with students from around the world. The teams will compete for $2.5k in seed funding (and a total of $5k in prizes) and the opportunity to represent Seattle at the TYE Global Competition where they can win an additional $5k in funding. In past years, our Seattle teams have won various awards including 2nd place (2013) and Best Teamwork (2016)(2019), Best Customer Validation (2020)

Our Vision and Mission
  • To provide an opportunity for high school students to learn the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship
  • To teach the fundamental skills of entrepreneurship, of building and running a business
  • ​To promote qualities of risk-taking, leadership skills, and innovation
  • To instill skills and traits of a successful entrepreneur in high school teens
  • To provide life lessons and learnings essential in any walk of life: taking ownership, building alliances, seeking help, applying feedback, motivating a team, and working through challenging situations that arise while starting a new business.
TiE Seattle
TYE Program
  • Build a real startup with a team
  • Participate in a rigorous business curriculum proven over 10+ years
  • Learn directly from startup founders and industry experts
  • Learn about entrepreneurship from some of the most accomplished individuals in the area, including corporate executives and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Work with other like-minded students from the greater Seattle area.
  • Work alongside a mentor to hone their business plan idea, and have their business plan evaluated by industry experts with concrete feedback and suggestions.
  • Get the experience of presenting their business plan ideas in a competitive and rewarding setting both locally and globally.
  • Participate in professional development workshops around networking, professional correspondence, interviewing skills, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Develop confidence and leadership skills
Program Schedule

Welcome to a focused program that lets high school students learn entrepreneurship, invention and innovation by ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking’.

  • Full school-year course in entrepreneurship for 9th-12th graders
  • Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings October April. Team-based business plan development will start in January
  • 14 coaches, 9 mentors, and 6 judges
  • 125 students from up to 20 high schools have graduated
  • Seattle winners invited to compete at Global TYE Business Challenge Competition
  • The Seattle program will conclude with the Seattle Business Plan Competition in Spring.
  • The Global TYE Business Challenge will take place in May-June.
Program Details

TYE ‘Intro to Entrepreneurship’
This will comprise 7 classroom sessions where students learn the lean startup methodology of developing businesses and products. The sessions aim to shorten the product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business is viable.
This course will culminate in a pitch event where students will showcase their ideas to Seattle’s top entrepreneurs. The fees for ‘Intro to Entrepreneurship’ is $350 and is due along with the application.
Cohort size: No more than 50 students; select 25 Students from ‘Intro to Entrepreneurship’ will progress to TYE ‘Build’.
Students will form into teams while finalizing their startup ideas. These teams will work to validate product-market fit, create their product MVP (minimum viable product) and ultimately compete at TYE Seattle’s Regional Finals in April-May.
Classes: Begin in January. For further information reach out to [email protected]
TYE ‘Build’
The fees for ‘Build’ is $250 in addition to the fees outlined for the ‘Intro’ program and will be collected in Oct post student selection. Winners of the Regional finals will be offered the chance to compete at the TYE Global Competition.
TYE ‘Launch’ and ‘Scale’
‘Launch’ (for students graduated from ‘Build’) and ‘Scale’ (for students who have graduated from ‘Launch’) will begin in September.
‘Launch’ and ‘Scale’ will follow a mentorship format where teams will work on product development and go-to-market activities under the guidance of a TiE Mentor. The fees for each program are $600.
What we look for
Ingenuity. Inspiration. Innovation.
High school applicants keen to join the TYE program need no experience in entrepreneurship, but we need students who show certain “entrepreneur-like” qualities.
Passion, Work ethic, Resilience, Self-initiative, Open-mindedness, Problem-solving, Determination, Creativity, Competitiveness, Confidence, Persistence, Action-oriented, People skills.


About the Program
TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) is a global program that fosters the future generation of entrepreneurs. It does this by teaching high school students the rewards and challenges of becoming an entrepreneur.

Our program aims to tap into ambitious high school students aspiring to start up on their own, and integrates classroom sessions, mentoring, and a startup competition. Student teams use modern skills and tools to build concepts using customer feedback, iteration, and lightweight business models.

The content of our program was developed based on the design thinking methodology of IDEO, Stanford D-School, and the Business Model Canvas developed by Strategyzer and Eric Ries.

The focus of the TYE program is learning the basics of business: marketing, product development, finance, legal matters, and most important – presentation skills. Students will also learn entrepreneurship and leadership skills.

In the first phase, the TYE curriculum includes: Intro to Entrepreneurship, Bugs, Passions, Solutions; Customer Empathy, Design Thinking; Rapid Prototyping; Skill Assessment, Team Building; Startup Math; Lean Canvas Business Model; and Presentation Skills. The second phase focuses on Team Formation, Human-Centered Design, Customer Validation, Product Development, Business Model, Lean Canvas, and Presentation Preparation.

TYE used to be a business plan competition, but it is now an Entrepreneurship Lab focused on innovation and invention. Student teams must use modern skills to build a real-life concept using customer feedback, iteration, and lightweight business models.
Their approach should integrate the “Lean startup” and “Design thinking” aspects, creating innovative design or business concepts based on a user-centered approach. The Lean startup business model aims to build a continuous feedback loop with customers during product development. In design thinking, the idea is to identify user needs to create appropriate solutions.

Through the program, students will interact with local entrepreneurs who share personal experiences of successful milestones and challenges. A “start-up afternoon” session lets them be guided by a mentor to create and build their own business plan.

A total of 300 and over students have graduated from the program from 2013 to 2020.

Applications and Eligibility

Applications will open up in Summer for the next Cohort. Applications will be due by July; all admissions are on a first-come basis for 50 seats.

This program is open only to high school students (Grades 9-12).

Yes, Since we are running this as a virtual program, students around the world can attend this program.

You just need to fill out the application form and send it in. For now fill out this TYE Interest Form and we will reach out to you when the applications open.

The deadline for submission of applications is July-Aug and students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications will be accepted until the cohort is filled.

First come, first serve. The applications will be reviewed for completeness; students will be admitted into the cohort on that basis.

Chosen students will receive an email from the Executive Director/Program Chair of TYE. Emails confirming enrollment will be sent in Late August – Early September.

The in-person sessions are held on Wednesdays evenings at Microsoft Building 43. They run from September to April. Due to Covid all classes are moved online, until further notification.

The fee is $350 for the ‘Intro’ program, $250 for ‘Build’, and $600 for the ‘Launch’ and ‘Scale’ programs.

Yes, students can write to the Executive Director/Program Chair for waiver of fees. Financial status or a need for financial aid will not affect your chances of selection.

The fees will be payable to TiE Seattle. Your application will be complete only when payment is made. A $25 late fee is added to the program fee for late payments. Payment link will be available in application.

No refunds will be given for dropouts, but funds may be applied towards future cohorts.

TYE Regional / Global Competition

The end goal of the TYE Competition is to learn how to make a serious pitch to investors, with all the components of launching a real entrepreneurial venture. Teams must have all the right components and iterative processes of a real business, and should include an “Ask” of what they are looking for to launch their business.

Teams are required to send their registration form, Executive Summary, Lean Canvas, and Presentation to TiE Global. For the Finals, teams must prepare their product/startup demonstration and one-minute elevator pitch.

All teams competing in the global finals must make a presentation (10 minutes) and present the Executive Summary, Lean Canvas, and any financials.

There are 40 chapters around the globe participating in the global finals. Teams can participate in the global finals in person or via video-conference facility. Please inform your chapter/TiE Global whether your team will participate in person or via videoconference. The TiE Chapters participated in 2020 TYE Global Virtual Finals are as follows:

1.​ Atlanta (USA)
2.​ Bangalore (India)
3.​ Boston (USA)
4.​ Carolinas (USA)
5.​ Chandigarh (India)
6.​ Chennai (India)
7. ​Dallas (USA)
8.​ Delhi (India)
9. ​Hyderabad (India)
10. ​Kerala (India)
11. ​Melbourne (Australia)
12. ​Oregon (USA). ​
13.​ Philadelphia (USA)
14. ​Rajasthan (India)
15. ​Seattle (USA) Host
16.​ Silicon Valley (USA)
17.​ Southcoast Orange County (USA)
18. Southcoast SanDiego (USA)
19. Sydney (Australia)
20. Tampa (USA)
21. ​Uttar Pradesh (India)
22. ​Vancouver (Canada)
23. Washington DC (USA)

A total of 20 minutes is allocated per team. Student teams must wrap up their presentation in a maximum of 10 minutes. There will be 5 minutes for a Judges’ Q&A session. Five minutes are allocated for transition between teams, where judges will score teams.

The presentation must be in PowerPoint (or similar) format and should include a company introduction, problem, solution, product, market, competition, traction, marketing and sales strategy, and team founders and roles.

One minute is allocated for the elevator pitch. Only one team member can present the pitch, and there is no Q&A in this round.
Pitches will be evaluated on four, equally-weighted categories: presentation (body language, clarity, articulation, passion), opportunity (market identification, size and attractiveness, target customer identification), solution (value proposition, differentiation, financial viability/profitability).

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