Startup Tech Summer (Formerly GenTech)

at NYU StartED


Startup Tech Summer is a tech-entrepreneurship program that provides hands-on learning experiences and mentorship opportunities for New York City high school students interested in transforming the world through tech-based innovations.

During the first 2 weeks of the tech-entrepreneurship “bootcamp”, students learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship; develop basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; and form teams to develop a mobile app and business plan aimed at improving education or the quality of city life for NYC students. The following six-weeks after bootcamp, students will continue to develop their coding skills while building out their apps and business plan during weekly classroom sessions and twice-weekly evening mentoring sessions from July-August.

After the bootcamp, each student team is paired with a small team of Tech Mentors from industry-leading tech and business organizations. Tech Mentors provide support, insight, and guidance to students during evening mentoring sessions. Mentoring sessions are held at various tech-related companies throughout NYC.

In September, students demo and pitch their finished apps and business plans to a panel of prominent judges from the technology, venture capitalist, and educational communities. Members of the winning team receive cash prizes and all students are honored at an awards ceremony. Last year’s judges included senior leaders from AppNexxus, Microsoft,, Google, Birchbox, and Mastercard.


All applications and one letter per student must be submitted by 5:00pm Friday, March 31
Applicants will be notified of acceptance on or by Friday, May 12

Letter of Recommendation Form

Every applicant must also have an adult (teacher, counselor, advisor, etc.) complete a recommendation


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who are we looking for?
Startup Summer Tech seeks students who demonstrate leadership abilities in school, enjoy working on challenging problems in a team setting, and, most importantly, are interested in technology and entrepreneurship. The summer will be challeging, and we've found that are most successful students are driven, resilient, and dependable.

Who qualifies for the program?
-Current 9th, 10th and 11th graders in New York City Department of Education high schools
-Students who either qualify for free or reduced lunch based on family income OR students who attend a school that has 50% or more free or reduced lunch status. NFTE’s mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. 

What will students learn during the program?
Students participating in Startup Summer Tech will acquire a repertoire of tech and entrepreneurial skills and content knowledge, they’ll have access to a wide network of important players in NYC’s tech startup scene, they’ll build mentor-mentee relationships with current college students and professionals working in the tech sector, and they’ll have the opportunity to compete for seed capital at the Demo Night. This isn’t to mention that they’ll be privy to field trips and meetings in some of the City’s most prominent tech companies and a whole host of other opportunities that present themselves simply as a result of participating in the program. Also, most importantly, students interested in technology will have the opportunity to engage in challenging work and become an active member of the City’s tech ecosystem.

Will there be transportation or food provided? Startup Summer Tech will provide students with MetroCards to travel to and from the program’s sessions. Startup Summer Tech will also provide breakfast and lunch to students during the summer bootcamp and full-day follow up session, and dinner (most likely pizza) during all mentoring sessions.

Who are the instructors?
Startup Summer Tech will be taught by NFTE staff members and NFTE Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers. Additionally, professionals from the tech sector will sometimes serve as guest speakers.
What is the time commitment for homework or other assignments that are outside of classroom time?
During the summer bootcamp, students can expect 1-2 hours of homework per night. This work includes reading for the next day’s class, performing market research, blogging, and working on coding exercises. After the bootcamp, students will have approximately 20-30 hours of independent work per week, depending upon their responsibilities within their group. This homework includes continuing to develop coding skills, getting feedback on different iterations of your team’s mobile app, writing an abbreviated business plan based on your app, and creating a pitch presentation for Demo Night.
If you have any more questions, feel free to email