Frequently Asked Questions
What is TYE?
The TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) is a youth entrepreneurship program that provides a new learning environment where high school aged participants can experiment, build resilience, and collaborate to create more productive and successful pathways to their personal and professional goals through the creation of a startup.
How long has TYE been around?
TYE was started in Boston in 2005. Now in its 14th year, over 400 students have graduated from the program!
Where are sessions held?
For the past two years, TYE has been held at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square. Before the start of each TYE application cycle, we will confirm the location of the sessions so families can plan. For the 2018-2019 cycle, it is anticipated that sessions will take place in the Boston/Cambridge area.
How long are the sessions?
On scheduled dates, sessions run from 10am to 4pm. As the program reaches the conclusion of the program, many teams will elect to work later or offline to finalize deliverables.
What happens in case of inclement weather?
During the winter months, we keep an active eye on the weather forecasts. In the event that it appears that there will be significant snowfall and/or ice - we will cancel the session. We do our best to give families 24 hour notice but no later than 6am before the day's session. The session may either be rescheduled or added to the existing content of the remaining sessions.
Are meals provided?
Yes! Program fees go toward the cost of providing lunch for the participants throughout the duration of the program. We do our best to order a variety of nutritious meals for participants with pizza being a special case! Pizza has built many a great company and in the spirit of the program - we just have to offer it! If a participant has allergies or dietary restrictions, they have an opportunity to make their needs know before entering the program. For the final presentations and award ceremony, the program fee also covers the cost of the continential breakfast and lunch for the participant and 3 family members or friends.
Where do the teams work?
After lunch, teams have breakout rooms at the CiC which are equipped with a whiteboard, LCD monitor and wi-fi to support the building of their startups. Teams often elect to work on their startups outside of the sessions. Especially leading up to the final presentations!
What is the expected attire for the program?
We understand that participants may feel the inclination to wear business casual during the sessions due to wanting to make a great first impression on the guest speakers, workshop leaders and mentors. However, being young and coming in on a Saturday allows for a bit of flexibility. Participants often wear the same clothes they would wear at school. On the day of final presentations, participants choose to wear business formal while pitching. We cover attire for the final presentations during the session so participants feel prepared and comfortable.
How do participants get to the sessions?
In the first few sessions, each parent usually brings their child to the session. After that, many students connect with each other and may elect to rotate carpooling to the session. Some parents will also drop their child off along the MBTA line (often Alewife) and then the participant is able to ride the T to our location.
What is TiE Boston?
What are the program dates?
The program takes place from September to April on alternating Saturdays. Specific dates for each year depend on variable factors such as school holidays and PSAT & SAT test days.
Application & Deadlines
Am I eligible to participate?
Applicants who will be enrolled in high school during the school year that matches the upcoming TYE cycle are eligible to participate.
The program has already started, can I still enroll?
Due to the fast pace and the curriculum building upon past sessions, we do not admit participants once the cycle has started. If you will still be in high school, we still recommend that you apply for the upcoming TYE cycle!
I wasn't accepted, should I re-apply?
YES! Due to limited space for participants, we often have to decline compelling applicants. Though we do not provide feedback to declined applicants, we do encourage individuals to re-apply!
How many applications do you accept?
We try to keep the program around the 40 participant mark. Along with the applications accepted, we do maintain a waitlist in the event that an admitted applicant is not able to commit to the full duration of the program and deliverables.
I am still in middle school. Can I still participate?
We get a large amount of requests and interest from 8th grade participants! We love the enthusiasm! At this time, we are only enrolling high school aged participants. However, there are a number of great programs in the area that accept 8th grade students! For more information, contact Simone at email@example.com.
I am in college. Can I still participate?
We wish that we could accept all ages of individuals interested in TYE. Unfortunately, we are only accepting applications from high school aged participants. If you are still interested in getting involved, contact Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org as we do have a number of mentor and volunteer opportunities available!
When do I find out if I have been accepted?
We do our best to provide timely decisions after an application has been received. We understand that our students often have a number of activities to pursue and often need to know if they have been declined admittance so they can pursue other activities. For more information, check out our "Apply" tab for the most updated information on deadlines and notification dates!
What do you look for in a successful applicant?
When reviewing applications, we look for a diversity of background to add to the strength of the cohort. We look for a cohort with an even mix of hustlers, hipsters, hackers and hikers so teams find the talent and skills needed to build their startups! We are often looking for evidence that the applicant has demonstrated responsibility and the ability to work as a team. As for the essay questions, we are looking to see if the applicant was mindful and wrote a thoughtful response.
My friend and I have been working on an idea. Can we bring the startup to TYE?
We ask that participants not being an idea that has already been worked upon before coming to the program. Not only do we want participants to start fresh and have the freedom to work together, TiE Global would actually disqualify a team that had worked on an idea prior to the start of their TYE cycle. If you have questions, please do contact Simone LaPray at email@example.com.
Can I still apply even if I do not have an idea for a startup?
YES! Even though participants say that they do not have an idea - they often do have an idea floating in the back of their mind. We work with our participants to go through an exercise that helps them dig into that idea. After sharing all the ideas from the group, teams are formed around the most compelling ideas voted upon by the group!
I've been waitlisted. Does that mean I'm not good enough?
NO! One of the most challenging components of TYE is having an incredible pool of applicants that fill a limited number of seats! We do our best to recruit and accept applicants to ensure diversity of background and skill for the group. If you are waitlisted, we do keep the conversation going as 1) you might be admitted and 2) we would like to see you for the next cycle of TYE.
Can I mentor my child's team?
Historically, TYE Boston had mandated each team have an additional mentor who was the parent of a team member. At its best, the parent is able to provide a kind and supportive environment for all team members. At its worst, the parent can create friction in the team and their respective child may not have the same feelings of agency and independance as others. For this reason, the program is not mandating parent mentors but team members are strongly encouraged to seek resources all around them and parents are a great source!
Can I sit and listen to the sessions?
We lovingly refer to TYE as an "anti-parent" program. We love that parents are so enthusiastic about the program but ask that parents allow the participants to have a space to be creative and experiment without a parental influence. If there is an interest in the content, all slides and materials are emailed to participants and parents after each session.
What happens if the day runs long?
As participants respectfully uphold the start time of 10am and are on-time and ready for the session, we do our utmost to ensure that participants are released on time as well! In the event that it appears that our day will run over by 15 minutes, an email is sent to all parents an hour prior.
What if my child has an allergy?
Before the participant accepts their invitation to the cohort, we ask to be notified of any allergies prior to the start of the program. We want to ensure a supportive and safe learning environment for our participants!
What if my child has to miss a session?
Participants are allowed to miss up to 2 sessions. Before participants submit their confirmation to participate in the program, we ask that applicants reflect and determine whether their schedule allows for full participation of the program. The learning happens in the session and it is difficult to recreate the same environment again. Part of the experience is coming and interacting with each other!
What are the prize amounts?
The 2nd and 3rd place prize amounts vary from year to year but we stand behind a $5K prize for the winning team!
If my team wins, how do we receive the funds?
The TiE Boston office coordinates with the winning teams to issue funds. We try to get the funds to the participants as soon as possible in the month after the competition.
Can I use my winnings to save for college or does it have to go towards the company?
As we like to say, "You are master of your own destiny." Though we would like the funds to go to launching your startup, if you would prefer to save the money for college - that is okay too!
Can I stay after the session and work with my team in the building?
As long as parents have been notified by the team, this is doable. The TYE program staff is often in the building long after the session is over so there will be someone on site in case of an emergency. If a team plans to stay late, they just need to notify a TYE team member and they can continue to work!
What if I don't like my team?
Teams are not assigned and are formed through self-selecting participants. However, there are bound to be challenges and frustrations throughout the process of building a company. We do stand behind our "Community Values" to create a nuturing and supportive learning environment for all. If a participant witnesses conduct contrary to our values, they are encouraged to notify TYE program staff immediately.
What if I don't like my mentor?
Mentors are recruited and selected based on their knowledge base and their ability to support young people. If there are challenges or questions, please notify Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if the team wants to change their idea?
Teams will often "pivot" during the competition. This is usually brought about by participants discovering the size of the market may not be as big as anticipated, high barriers to entry or an industry full of competitors. If the team changes their idea, they just inform the TYE program staff and they continue on their work!
Where do the TYE Global Finals take place?
The location of the TYE Global Finals change from year to year. TiE Global usually announces the site prior to the start of the current TYE year!
When do the TYE Global Finals happen?
The TYE Global Finals usually take place in the 3rd week of June. We keep the TYE Boston winning team in the loop with all communications regarding the competition and they continue to receive support on their road to the global competition!
How does the winning team get to the competition?
The winning team is responsible for managing all travel arrangements. Families usually take the opportunity to have a vacation around the global competition. If a family is not able to attend, the participant may travel with the family of a fellow team member. It is an incredible honor and experience to participate at the final competition but if a member cannot attend, the TYE program and team work together so the team members who will be participating will be able to represent the full team!
What if I cannot accompany my team to the competition?
The experience of competing at the global competition is incredible and we strongly recommend it! However, sometimes a team member is not able to attend. The TYE program team works with the team to make sure that a strategy is in place so the team members who will go to TYE Global feel supported and ready to shine!
Do you provide any scholarships?
We do! We believe that entrepreneurship is not bound by socio-economic classifications and we are inclusive of all backgrounds. To be considered for a scholarship, the applicant would need to select for that consideration while applying to the program. The review process is need-blind.
How do I pay enrollment fees?
If the applicant has been invited to participate in the upcoming cohort, an invitiation e-packet will be sent with instructions on how the parent may enroll in a TiE Boston membership (if so desired) and steps to process payment for program fees.
How much does the program cost?
What is included in the program fee?
We do our best to ensure that there are no surprise costs in the program and so we include the following major items in our program fee:
I want to mentor or be a guest speaker. How do I get involved?
We love to build community to support the growth of our young entrepreneurs. If you are interested in getting involved, send an email to TYE Program Manager Simone LaPray at email@example.com.
This is a great program and I want to sponsor your activities! How do I get involved?
We are able to bring increased value to the program through the generous support and expertise of our sponsors. If you are interested in learning more about TYE to see if it would be a fit for sponsorship, contact Simone LaPray at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation!