PSJA Business Startup Program

  • Application Deadline – Monday, Oct. 7 by midnight

    PSJA ISD’s Business Startup Launcher

    Do you have an innovative idea that could make it as a commercial venture? The Startup Launcher Program provides an interactive, high-energy environment to roll up your sleeves and discover the business value of your idea. Designed for very early stage ideas, the Startup Launcher uses a dynamic coaching format with the proven So what who cares? why you?® methodology and tools from (WKI). You will work collaboratively with a WKI Certified Coach in weekly, small-group sessions to apply a business-focused lens to your idea and assess your readiness for the next stage of development. 

    Entrepreneurial Ideation is About:

    1. Scoping the business value of your idea or innovation
    2. Using a structured methodology to explore business opportunities for the idea
    3. Coaching you to explore the best possible options to move your idea forward
    4. Sharing experiences and insights with other founders

    Entrepreneurial Ideation is a series of meet-ups, not a training class:

    1. This is a hands-on coaching program– not training.It’s a dedicated space and time to work on the viability of your idea with guidance from expert coaches and feedback from other founders. 
    2. This is a program of eight weeks for two hours each week. Each coaching session is an interactive meeting, with founders presentingand discussing a specific aspect of the business value proposition for their ideas.
    3. We use a best practice methodology known as So what? who cares? why you?® It’s  based on visual models, maps and frameworksthat Founders populate to explore the business value of their innovations.
    4. Founders helping Founders– the program is open to Founders only.

    Our Commitment to You:

    1. We will advocate to have scholarshipsavailable for you to apply and potentially be considered.
    2. We will equip you with the So what? who cares? why you? toolkit to prepare your tools in advanceof each session.
    3. Coaching sessions are structured to be high value and results oriented. We will guide the sessions, but you as a Founder fuel the discussion.
    4. We will coach, push and often provokeimportant conversations to help you work through tough issues.
    5. These are working meetings, not training sessions– you’ll be on your feet drafting and revising your thinking about your idea.
    6. Upon completion of the program, you will walk away with a roadmapshowing the business opportunity for your idea.This can be packaged as a ten-slide presentation, summary document, or pitch statement. 

    Scholarship Eligibility

    Applicants must be current juniors or seniors from any PSJA ISD High School and any program of study who have a business idea for a product or a service, who are committed to opening a business in either Pharr, San Juan, or Alamo, are able to attend all program sessions on Fridays (October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 22, December 6 and 13) during 5thand 6thperiod from 12:30 – 2:20 pm at the PSJA College and University Center.

    To ensure eligibility for this scholarship award, students MUST complete this online form, which includes the following:

    • A 500 – word essay describing why you want to start a business and providing details about your product/service.
    • Attach a One – Page Resume (no pictures)
    • Attach your Transcript. Your school’s registrar’s office has this. 
    • You MUST also upload a completed Counselor Recommendation and Evaluation Form. Your school counselor has this form.

    Scholarship Rubric gives applicants up to 75 total points- Essay (45 pts) Resume (10 pts.), Letter of Recommendation (15 pts), School Involvement (10 pts.) Meaningful Achievements (10 pts.), Community Involvement (10 pts.), and GPA (10 pts.) 

    **Scholarship winners will be admitted to the PSJA Startup Launcher Program where they will have the opportunity to explore their business idea, receive mentorship, and the possibility to pitch their idea to a group of potential investors. 

    Statement of Accuracy

    I authorize PSJA ISD to provide information regarding grades, honors, and achievements as necessary to members of the selection committee.  I authorize the release of information on my scholarship to the news media.  I certify that all information given in this application is correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge. 


    Apply today!