WSJ: tot-sized entrepreneurs – early prep for the Shark Tank.

Hmmm learning to negotiate at age 5 would make it a LOT easier to negotiate later… I hope they are still playing outside like kids tho..


Jensen Bergman spent weeks preparing to pitch his team’s business idea to investors. Minutes before the meeting, he was playing ping-pong outside the board room to stay calm.

Jensen is 9 years old.

“If they say no, it’s going to be really upsetting for us,” he said as one of his teammates wheeled up beside him on a tiny scooter.

Jensen was taking part in a program called “8 and Up” that teaches young children about entrepreneurship. As a culmination of the class, which met for six weeks in Princeton, N.J., and cost $350, Jensen and his 15 peers would soon pitch their idea—”Tiger KidsClub,” a Friday night hangout space for children—to real, grown-up investors at Tigerlabs, a local seed fund.

“It’s best to teach them at age 5,” says Cristal Glangchai, founder of VentureLab in San Antonio, which offers a weeklong course for 5- to 7-year-old girls called Girl Startup 101. It costs $255 for five six-hour days of instruction, including lessons on 3-D prototyping, market research, business modeling and pricing.

In a similar course last summer, Ms. Glangchai says she helped a 5-year-old identify a problem: getting into trouble for eating Play-Doh. The solution: After polling students and parents, he created a marketing plan for a line of edible clay-like products in various flavors.

Frederick Mendler’s daughter, Isabel, age 6, has attended Girl Startup twice, last summer and in March. Mr. Mendler, who co-founded a recruitment-technology startup called TrueAbility, says he was skeptical of a class aimed at such a young audience. But he says he hoped the class would help her be “independent,” something she wasn’t getting from “all the princess books and the Barbies.”

He has been pleased with the result. One recent evening, Isabel—a big fan of the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog,” which is set in Louisiana—proposed opening a business to sell New Orleans-style beignets.

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