The Entrepreneur Leadership Academy (ELA) was inspired by ConnCAT’s mission to provide equal quality educational opportunities for the under-served in the New Haven community. Carlton Highsmith, founder of ConnCAT believes “that education and entrepreneurship are the equalizers of the Ameritocracy.”
The ELA curriculum aims to teach the 9-steps of idea-to-commercialization© concept through five, self-complementing program elements. All five programs encourage participants to go to a Connecticut University, launch their own ventures, whilst building mentor-relationships between students, faculty and successful entrepreneurs. The International element broadens the view of budding and future entrepreneurs from local to global.
ELA has graduated over a hundred high school students and college interns in the past two summers. Several of the projects have continued development and are on a commercialization path. Several graduates have returned as mentors and facilitators.
ELA Summer 2018
The 2018 program will continue with the successful curriculum and elements of previous years. Further, the academy will markedly improve with the addition of a fifth element that will see 10 college students travel to Budapest, Hungary for the international segment.
The success of the academy is due to a collaboration of ConnCAT, New Haven Public Schools, QU Central European Institute, MCC, Hungarian Gov’t and The Garage. Bridgeport Public Schools will join the partnership for 2018.