top of page


By Molly Strawn

For the past two years, California Lutheran University facility including business school Dean Gerhard Apfelthaler and Professor Vlad Vaiman, students and alumni have been working on Start-Up Kids, an Non-Profit focused on teaching entrepreneurship to young children through elementary school programs. They aim to teach problem-solving skills that will form the future leaders of our community.

So far, they have been successful in helping kids understand the process of being a real life entrepreneur. The Start-Up Kids team has been teaching their entrepreneurial program at Westlake Elementary school and one of the teams, Want It Warm, was part of the Cal Lutheran New Venture Competition in 2017.

“We believe entrepreneurship should focus on recognizing and building the necessary capabilities to create better leaders for our society through innovation, passion, and purpose,” Co-Founder Tyler Lucas.

Currently, the team is working hard to expand into neighboring communities and gain all the traction and public attention they can. They will also be working to raise funds for the upcoming fall semester. Other elementary schools in the area have shown interest in Start-Up Kids, and the team is working hard to raise funds and provide the program to the targeted schools.

This summer, Start-Up Kids will be holding summer camps at Hub101 in Westlake Village. The programs make it fun to unlock the creativity in young entrepreneurs and get them into the problem-solving mindset. Creative innovators, successful entrepreneurs and knowledgeable professionals make up the instructors.

“I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful, creative, thought provoking class you are providing for my son, third-grader Matthew,” Kathleen Oates, a parent of a Start-Up Kids participant, said. “Matthew didn’t love coming to school this year. He now looks forward to E Block every day, brainstorming with the older kids, and says he feels ‘challenged and truly asked to think’ in [the] class.”

The week-long program is broken into three intertwining modules that help kids dive into the entrepreneurial process in a fun an interactive format.

The first module is “Explore” where kids will learn about the field of entrepreneurship and how individuality creates unique perspective. The kids can also recognize current problems around them that they have the opportunity to solve.

The second module is “Create.” Participants will be using creativity and brainpower to idealize potential solutions for the problem they recognized.

The third and final module is “Build” where everyone will be put into teams to apply their problem-solving skills to develop an innovative product or service.

“Developing minds at a young age makes the difference of a lifetime. The skills we teach and develop will make kids shine throughout their educational and professional careers. Preparing for success starts now,” Lucas said.

Summer Camps: Our one-week summer camps unlock the entrepreneur in children. In just one week, your Start-Up Kid will learn what entrepreneurship is, how to create and select winning ideas, and how to turn them into viable businesses.

All three camps will be run at Hub101, a fantastic co-work space and incubator (operated by California Lutheran University) at 31416 Agoura, in Westlake Village, CA 91361.

s a non-profit organization, Start-Up Kids is always accepting donations and scholarships from supporting community members. Visit to view summer camp schedules and pricing.

Operated by Cal Lutheran University in Westlake Village, CA, Hub101 offers coworking, programs and community for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow, and scale their startups with the help of mentors, coaches and service providers.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page