Entrepreneurial Studies Program

As pioneers in developing entrepreneurship programming for students in Louisville and the local region, Collegiate’s Upper School has formally offered entrepreneurship studies since 2014. With a campus located in the Highlands, a historical and urban part of Louisville, easy access to local businesses and Louisville entrepreneurs feeds Collegiate’s entrepreneur education program.


All tenth-grade students enroll in the Design Principles course as part of The Co-Edge program. Students follow a structured Design Thinking process to discover possible solutions to a specific problem, then use conventional wood and metalworking tools, electronics diagnostic, assembly tools, and 21st-century fabrication tools such as a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and 3D Printer to develop prototypes in an attempt to solve the problem.


All eleventh-grade students enroll in the Creative Problem Solving course as part of The Co-Edge program. Local CEOs and startup leaders present real-world business problems to the students on campus. After weeks of creative problem solving and market research, students pitch their solutions off campus to the CEOs in company boardrooms.


In twelfth grade, all students spend one quarter participating weekly in a mini-internship experience with a local business, entrepreneur, or non-profit organization. Time off campus brings their entrepreneurial mindset to the real world, deepening their professional networks while logging invaluable workplace experiences.


Upper School Elective Courses

The Upper School offers semester-long elective courses such as Maker Design and Prototyping, Entrepreneurial Problem Solving (EPS), and Entrepreneurship Through Startup (ETS) for students that want to dive deeper into designing, creating, building, inventing, and problem-solving. By doing work that is used in the real world by companies and nonprofits, or exhibited in public forums through pitch events to experts and community members, our students put their grit to the test.


Upper School study electives
  • Honors/Advanced Statistics
  • Honors/Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Entrepreneurial Problem Solving
  • Entrepreneurship Through Start-Up
  • Graphic Design
  • Maker Design and Prototyping
  • Speech and Communication
  • Advocacy (Global Online Academy)
  • Microeconomics (Global Online Academy)
  • Macroeconomics (Global Online Academy)
  • Entrepreneurship in a Global Context (Global Online Academy)



Student members of the Young Entrepreneur Club engage in entrepreneurial experiences in the local community such as The Cardinal Challenge, Venture Connectors Lunch, and Startup Weekend.



In 2016, Collegiate launched the annual #Startupstory Student Speaker Series. Three local entrepreneurs visit our campus annually to tell their personal and professional startup story, including all the triumphs and failures, to the student body. The stories take place during the Upper School assembly time and are open to the Collegiate community.



Each year seniors dive into a Senior Capstone Project, an opportunity to engage and explore a topic of personal interest. Project topic parameters are purposely flexible and projects are largely limited only by a student’s own initiative and imagination. Some students choose to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors which in the past have included building a guitar, designing and prototyping a glass toaster, building a sensor-based warning light system for garage parking, and inventing a board game while utilizing the 3D printer to manufacture the game pieces.



In 2016, Collegiate staff designed the first entrepreneurial course for Global Online Academy titled Entrepreneurial Problem Solving in a Global Context. This course is offered to Collegiate students and other students enrolled in independent schools across the globe including Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Tokyo (Japan), and Frankfurt (Germany).



Students that desire to spend several weeks in the summer doing a deep dive with like-minded student entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs Program each year.



The Areva CEED in which students create, design, and build sets the stage for developing entrepreneurial ideas and solutions. The strategic placement of the Design Studio across from The Makery creates a flexible and multi-purpose thinking space for our entrepreneurial students. Whether students are implementing the design thinking process into their business model canvas, or translating 2D sketches into code for product prototyping using the 3D printer, laser cutter or vinyl cutter, the Design Studio and Makery create an atmosphere ripe for problem-solving, collaborating, designing, and building.