Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship

Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship

“The future belongs to those who endeavor to create it.”
— Steve Case (The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future)

In a world of accelerating change everyone benefits from the entrepreneurial mindset.

Whether you go on to work in government, for a nonprofit, as an intrapreneur within a larger corporation, or if you start your own business you’ll need to use the entrepreneurial mindset and invent new paths forward.

As Steve Case said in his 2008 Academy of Achievement interview: “You can be entrepreneurial even if you don’t want to be in business. You can be a social entrepreneur focused on the not-for-profit sector. You can be an agriculture entrepreneur if you want to change how people think about farming. You can be a policy entrepreneur if you want to go into government. The idea of an entrepreneur is really thinking out of the box and taking risks and stepping up to major challenges.”

To help students develop their entrepreneurial thinking, the CASE programs fit into three levels of engagement that invite students to go from enticing initial experiences to deep personal journeys in entrepreneurship.

Levels of Engagement

List of 3 items.

  • Level One

    This top level consists of 1 to 2 hour introductory experiences that fit into the school day as class modules, drop-in opportunities, and after school activities.

    We want every student to have at least three of these experiences during their career at Punahou: once in elementary school, then again in middle school and at the Academy.
  • Level Two

    The second level is a deeper dive from 2 to 50 hours. We aim to reach at least 30% of a graduating class at some point during their time at Punahou with these deeper dives.

    These deeper dives occur in clubs, courses offered during the school day, summer school, and as after school programs.
  • Level Three

    This third level encourages students to dive deep with their passions. Through an independent study, a summer business, internship or a service project, students spend 50+ hours turning their ideas and passions into concrete, marketable achievements.


List of 3 items.

  • Green Market

    Wade In
    In a 2.5 hour session we challenged 6th graders to invent new products and services featuring native species to help the planet and their community. They obtained loans from “Big Bucks Bank” to shop at the Wholesale Warehouse (tables loaded with dirt, seedlings, recycled odds and ends, and more) and crafted their original products.

    From new types of lotions to planters brimming with edibles to natural air fresheners in hanging pots of upcycled material – the students delighted everyone with their innovations at the Green Market.

  • Coding for Entrepreneurs

    Deeper Dive
    How does Apple’s FaceID recognize your face? How does an eBay auction work? How does Amazon recommend things you like?

    Students discussed these questions and built prototypes of these innovations for themselves in this introductory coding course mentored by Mr. Greg Mittleider, a former Preceptor in Computer Science for Harvard’s wildly popular introductory to computer science course, CS50.

    CASE, the Academy Entrepreneurship Club and Mr. Mittleider collaborated to debut this offering in order to keep Academy students engaged even after clubs could no longer meet during the pandemic. Students loved it!

    Learn More About Second Level Experiences
  • Students for PunsUnited

    Deep Deep Dive
    This new student-led campus group is working to address the rising need for financial aid caused by the coronavirus crisis. Inspired by the parent fundraising effort ‘21Together, more than 90 Academy students are working together to harness the creativity and intellect of the Punahou student body to help raise money in support of student financial aid. The students plan to sell original products like jewelry, personal care items, and accessories, and will donate profits to the PunsUnited Fund.

    Their products will be featured on House of Mana Up starting in July 2020.

    Learn More About Third Level Experiences