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Budding entrepreneurs get down to business

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The College of Business Administration at UAHuntsville is hosting a unique summer camp this week. Eighteen high school students from Alabama and Tennessee are getting a crash course in what it takes to start a business in UAH's Experience Entrepreneurship Week.

The camp, which has only been offered once before, is led this year by John Whitman. Whitman is a former entrepreneur who started a software company. He is now a visiting professor at UAHuntsville and directs the Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Lab.

Speaking about the importance of entrepreneurship to the business world, Whitman says, "society plays by certain rules of the game and what we have found historically is that the people who change those rules are the entrepreneurs. So, every single business that exists today was started by someone who had a vision, made it happen and the rest is history."

The camp helps each student take his or her vision past the idea stage. Working in teams, they conceptualize their ideas, come up with business plans and formulate a product pitch. On Friday, the last day of the camp, they present their pitches to a panel of judges. In addition to faculty, business students from UAHuntsville and young entrepreneurs from the community also provide assistance and guidance along the way.

The 2014 camp was open to any rising sophomore, junior or senior high school student. Students stay on campus during the week. The college sponsored several participants with financial need scholarships.