High school students are invited to participate in a highly experiential course teaching key concepts of engineering entrepreneurship focused on the theme of the “Internet of Things”. Students will learn how to think like an entrepreneur, develop a commercialization plan for an invention of your own design, and gain hands-on skills in developing electronic and digital prototypes. Topics covered include entrepreneurial team dynamics, technology and strategic assessments, creativity and business model development, communication to investors and technology managers, and technology plan development.

Students will spend four weeks at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where they will develop core skills in collegiate environments. Program activities may include field visits to the Viterbi Startup Garage Incubator in the heart of Silicon Beach and the USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing, as well as interview sessions with real entrepreneurs. The course culminates in a final “Demo Day” presentation.

This program was previously called the Summer Commercialization and Innovation High School Institute (SCIHI).

Details about housing and cost are available on USC Summer Programs.

On February 28, 2019, USC Summer Programs hosted a webinar, and you can view the TIE slides.


Key Dates and Deadlines

0April 2019
Application Due
0May 2019


4-Week Credit Program

June 16 – July 13, 2019

Monday through Friday,
9:00am – 4:30pm

Topics of Study:

  • Ideation
  • Customer Discovery
  • Electronic and Digital Prototyping
  • 3D Printing
  • Pitch Decks for Technical Products
  • Lean Canvas Business Model


Rosemary Rohde, PhD, was born in sunny Miami, Florida. She moved to LA and graduated from UCLA on a full scholarship. Dr. Rose studied chemistry with Jim Heath at Caltech and received her PhD in 2009. She was a co-founder and senior scientist of Indi Molecular, a biotech company that designed artificial antibodies for medical diagnostics. After working on that project for six years, now she teaches and develops science curricula for H-bar Tutoring, which she co-founded and where she currently serves as CEO; and Ad Astra School, where she is the Founding Science Director, Chair of Admissions, and serves on the Administrative Team.

Dr. Rose is an entrepreneur and educator at heart. From age 13 she and her mother co-ran a furniture company with interior and floral decorating; their new company will sell unique, handmade jewelry. Dr. Rose is looking forward to working with a motivated group of high students this summer at USC interested in entrepreneurship.

Elvio Sadun grew up in San Marino, CA, where he graduated from SMHS before attending MIT to study Physics and Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering. Following college, Elvio received his JD from the University of Minnesota where he specialized in patent law. He moved back to Los Angeles and works as a software developer with the area’s movie studios and remains passionate about all things engineering. Elvio enjoys sharing his love for science both formally and informally, having taught students in several different enrichment programs as well as test prep classes for Kaplan.


I found that the SCIHI program really sparked my interest in mechanical engineering. Although I’m probably not going to pursue it in college, I started a couple of my own little projects after the program. Learning about circuitry and microcontrollers also helped me understand a bit more about how guitars and amplifiers actually work, which was very insightful. I loved being able to visit the startup garage and seeing real tech startups and being able to talk with the founders. Lastly, during the course I had a lot of fun researching and creating my own project and actually making a working prototype.
S. Browne, 2018 Student
I enjoyed SCIHI more than I have any other camp. The process of applying was super easy and the program was amazing. I loved how much I learned about things other than just innovation. I learned about robotics, entrepreneurship, partnerships and so much more. The instructors were also amazing and super helpful. They guided me through the whole process of creating a product and helped me in more ways than I thought possible. They were collaborative and gave me more ideas to help me expand my views. So many guest speakers also came in to talk about their company’s and give us an insight of all the different insights and processes. Overall, I thought this program was very well organized, helpful and a great way to learn new things. I am very glad that I did this program and I will take all the things that I learned and apply it to my everyday life.
J. Liu, 2018 Student
I loved the program at SCIHI and learned so much in only a matter of 3 weeks. I learned about entrepreneurship and engineering by getting a hands-on experience at designing my very own product. I learned about the importance of getting customer feedback for any idea for a business and was able to create a great pitch. I also had a great time learning how to solder and working with different sensors to create an IOT product. Overall, my experience at SCIHI was amazing and I will definitely use the skills I learned to help me in the future.
H. Kaplanyan, 2018 Student
My experience during the SCIHI program has broadened my knowledge about creating a product or service that can change the lives of others. In the duration of this program, I was immersed in learning how to apply customer discovery, electronics, engineering, and computer science to create a viable commercial product. This course highlights the importance of trial and error while creating and designing a product. The faculty facilitated a positive learning environment which contributed to my exceptional experience in this program. The concepts and skills that I have acquired from this experience are applicable to any subject, field of study, or job I could ever immerse myself in.
B. Mandavia, 2018 Student

How To Apply

Apply for the Technology Innovation Experience on the USC Summer Programs site.

Applications are due on Friday, April 26, 2019, at 11:59 pm PST.