27 Jun Recapping the 2023 Launch Fishers High School Fellowship Bootcamp
The Launch Fishers High School Fellowship returned for its seventh year this summer. The fellowship is comprised of two elements: bootcamp and internships, and is centered around giving students the opportunity to develop, hone, and expand their entrepreneurial skills. A big thanks to the Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation (HSEF) for funding the 2023 program, making this unique opportunity possible for local high school students.
Out of forty program applicants (all of whom were from Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern High Schools), twelve students were selected for the program by the five hiring companies to attend a two-day bootcamp and interview for a paid summer internship position.
The five participating companies were:
- AUVSI Indiana – the local chapter of a national nonprofit working for the advancement of unscrewed systems and robotics
- Fishers Entrepreneurship Center Inc. – the parent organization of Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT Lab
- Pierce Aerospace – a local startup that develops remote ID technology
- Spokenote – a local startup that develops QR-code based products that turns physical pieces into a digital engagement
- TAOT (The Audio of Things) – a local startup that provides engineered voice and audio solutions
Throughout the two-day boot camp (Tuesday May 30 and Wednesday May 31), the students heard from a myriad of entrepreneurs who shared their stories and advice. They also participated in resume and interview workshops and even had the opportunity to get professional headshots taken by Brian Brosmer of Brosmer Photographic.
On Tuesday, Mayor Scott Fadness kicked off the boot camp, speaking about the importance of entrepreneurship in Fishers, Indiana, and the world. The students then heard from Jeremy Brown (CEO of Nameless Catering), learning lessons about determination and grit. After lunch, a panel of entrepreneurs, including Andrew Curtis of FuelVM, Brandon Gorin, and David Bolling of Wishoo Interactive Technologies, shared their stories of growing and developing their companies. Rounding out the day, Drew O’Dell and Tony Harris from First Internet Bank gave their advice about interviewing, creating great first impressions, and maximizing an internship experience.
On Wednesday, John Wechsler, founder of Launch Fishers, shared the story of Launch Fishers and his unique experiences as a founder. He was followed by David Hosei of Trends International, who spoke about the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset. The post-lunch panel was comprised of young professionals (early 20s to mid 30s) – including Myki McDorman of Toolsey, Josie Pipkin of Offprem Technology, and Jake Deiwert of the Indiana IoT Lab – and focused on the advantages and disadvantages of being a younger person in the workplace. The final speaker of bootcamp was Andre Boulais of SilkRoad Technology, who’s presentation centered around networking skills and the importance of creating a strong LinkedIn profile.
Interviews for internship placements were conducted on Thursday June 1. In the past, interviews had been done in “speed-dating” style, where every student interviewed with every company for five minutes each. However, with the change of each hiring company having already picked three students as candidates for admittance into the program, interviews were 20 minutes in length. This allowed for greater discussion and thorough examinations. By the end of the day on Thursday, five students had been offered internships, one at each company.
LFHSF internships span eight weeks, with the hired students working with local business professionals, taking on projects, and getting real-world experience within Fishers startups.
According to the students who participated in bootcamp, here were the top three takeaways:
- Networking is the name of the game. Any opportunity to make a new connection may just be the stepping stone to your next big thing.
- It’s crucial to surround yourself with the right people. Not just in business but in all areas of your life. The energy that those around you have will either drag you down or lift you up.
- Don’t let failure stop you. You just need the right outlook and mindset to overcome that failure. Being an entrepreneur means being able to overcome challenges and develop resiliency.
Written by Ella Robertson