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January 02, 2018 | Tom Ballard

Camp BizSmart returning to Chattanooga in June

Camp BizSmartAfter a successful inaugural year with 24 young students from five states and two countries, Camp BizSmart is returning to Chattanooga this June.

“It was super exciting, and we saw tremendous growth in all the kids,” Marla Zemanek, Camp Director says of the 2017 event. This year she has added duties as Project Manager.

As described in this 2017 article from, the camp is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs between 11 and 15 years of age. Scheduled over 14 days, it involves separate moving in and moving out days, eight days of concentrated work, a pitch competition, and a weekend where the young people will have recreational options.

Like last year, Camp BizSmart will again be held at Baylor School, running from June 17-30. Participants will stay in Baylor dormitories. Registration is $3,495, and Zemanek says the non-profit organization is seeking sponsors to help defray the costs for students who cannot afford the tuition. Those who would be interested in learning more can contact her at

During the eight program sessions, students will work in teams to create a concept design and write a business plan. Then, they will compete with other teams in the cohort on June 28 for the opportunity to pitch their idea at the Keiretsu Forum Angel Capital Expo at Microsoft Silicon Valley.

The specific schedule is as follows:

  • June 17 – check-in and move into Baylor dorms.
  • June 18 through 22 – daily programming and evening activities.
  • June 23 and 24 – weekend recreational activities.
  • June 25 through 27 – daily programming and evening activities.
  • June 28 – design and business plan competition.
  • June 29 – graduation, awards ceremony, and reception.
  • June 30 – move out of Baylor dorms.

“This year we expect to have more local entrepreneurs and business people involved as judges, speakers, and presenters of mini-case studies,” Zemanek said. “We are also focusing more on developing lifelong leadership skills and will emphasize communication skills, including giving feedback and working through conflict. We were also pretty wowed at the natural beauty of the area and will take greater advantage of the outdoor adventure activities.”

For more information including the registration form, you can click here. The Chattanooga specific webpage that also includes a video from the inaugural 2017 camp. You can also send an email to or Zemanek for more information.

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