There’s no shortage of technology summer camps for kids in the Denver metro area, but one camp stands out among the plethora of options: YouthBiz Make it ‘Appen Summer Camp at Young Americans Center. In this week-long day camp, youth code their own app, plus they use this app as the basis for a business plan!
The idea behind the camp is for young people to use their creativity and imagination to construct a new product. After learning how to code different types of apps, such as a drawing app or pong-style game, campers create an app of their own. The final step is to pitch their idea to a panel of judge experts, and the winning pitch earns a $100 cash prize.
For the 24 campers in Make it ‘Appen, the week provided this experience plus so much more. “It was so fun to work on something I haven’t done before,” said 10-year-old Jacob, co-creator of an app called Virtual Racing. Jacob teamed up with Christian, also 10, for a driving app that will make money by selling premium features like color and speed.
Cat, age 13, created an app called My Virtual Pet. “It’s perfect for people who can’t have a pet because you can feed it, play with it, give it water, and let it rest,” said Catherine during her presentation. Judges complimented Cat on her confidence and future plans—she’d like for customers to be able to upload a photo of their own pet someday.
Choosing a winner from the 14 business pitches was a difficult job. However, Matt Gordon, Managing Architect at Microsoft Corporation, Rosie Wolf, Ambassador at Capital One, and Jill Corcoran, Principal at Westerly Creek Elementary, awarded ME Games the grand prize. Besides the creative name and business slogan, “entertainment at its finest,” Matt noted that group members Matthew, Emmett and Miles, all age 12, really presented as a team.
“YouthBiz is all about providing opportunities for kids to experience entrepreneurship,” said Anna Leer, Vice President of YouthBiz and Camp Director at the end of the week. “In this camp, I think we’ve helped these students realize that creating an app and owning a business is attainable, even at a young age.”