Preparing Our Community’s Future Leaders: A Recap of the Launch Fishers High School Fellowship Bootcamp

Preparing Our Community’s Future Leaders: A Recap of the Launch Fishers High School Fellowship Bootcamp

Launch Fishers recently hosted its third annual Launch Fishers High School Fellowship bootcamp, a week-long program filled with speakers and discussions focused on entrepreneurship. The students who participated in the fellowship share common interests in business and entrepreneurship, and the program builds upon these interests by helping participants see the how entrepreneurship is entwined within the Fishers community. At the end of the week, students interviewed with 15 host companies and many received internship placements.

2017 LFHSF Student Group

The bootcamp kicked off with a welcoming speech from our founder, John Wechsler, and Fishers’ mayor, Scott Fadness. They welcomed students and set an entrepreneurial tone for the rest of the bootcamp. Throughout the week, students interacted with local entrepreneurs and guest lecturers visited to present on a variety of topics such as how to start a business, skills employers seek, how failure can lead to success, and the future of IoT technology. Speakers and panel members ranged from entrepreneurs just getting started with their ventures to those with brick-and-mortar businesses with multiple years of operational experience. 

Individual presenters included:

In addition to individual presenters, the bootcamp hosted a panel including:

On the final day of the bootcamp, the fellowship students had the opportunity to interview for internships with 15 local businesses. Through their resumes and interviews, the students were able to showcase their impressive involvements in high school and in the local community. “These students are all exemplifying things in high school that are unexpected for people of this age,” Marisa Pennington, the LFHSF Program Coordinator, said of the participants’ high caliber achievements.


Interviews being conducted on Friday, June 9.

New this year, students were given the opportunity to take a Ball State course on entrepreneurship (MGT 241: The Entrepreneurial Experience) at the Ball State Center for Academic and Economic Innovation at Launch Fishers. This dual credit course counts for both high school and college requirements and gives students a head start on their college careers with 3 hours of earned college credit.

Many students in the fellowship have the same goal: to become an entrepreneur. The fellowship assists participants by developing the skills and mindset needed for that future. Fellowship students enter the program with some knowledge about entrepreneurship and business, but leave the week with practical know-how, lessons-learned from stories shared, and a whole new perspective on what it takes to be successful.

Launch Fishers’ goal is to create an environment in which starting a business is less of a dream and more of a reality, and the fellowship program allows us to promote this to our community’s youth. Tom Simmons, a student of the fellowship, summarized the goal of the program: “Before, I didn’t have an understanding on what I wanted to do in the business field. But throughout the week, I was able to hear people’s aspirations about their company, and I realized that I could follow in their footsteps to become a leader and change-maker in the community.”