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8 and Up Entrepreneurship Program

July 16, 2024

In March of last year, Reuben Steiger had an epiphany. The moment came when his 8 year old son asked whether he could go to Brown University, Steiger’s alma mater.  Steiger said “Yes” but privately, he wondered whether the traditional American educational path would still be relevant.  With this in mind, he began 8andUp, a program that teaches kids to think like entrepreneurs.  In the company’s pilot, 22 kids aged 8 – 10 were given a $50 budget and challenged to “make something people want”.

Their inventions range from cute Etsy-style Sorigami (a scent-filled pack of origami paper) and MoneyBags, a wallet made up of three pouches marked ‘Spending’, ‘Saving’ and ‘Charity’ that helps kids categorize their allowance to the multi-purpose Rock, Paper, Scissors shirt, a game and apparel all-in-one which looks like it’s going to get some serious funding.

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Last September, Steiger expanded from his headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey into the heart of Brooklyn.  Since then, the company has grown rapidly and been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  “I think we’ve hit a real nerve” says Steiger.  “Kids love cooking up new ideas and their parents enjoy learning new skills, from craft to coding right alongside them”.  Reuben encourages parents to look into the 21st Century Skills movement – a broad set of principles designed to prioritize a different framework of learning and teaching. “The fact that entrepreneurship and the ability to create both novel ideas and opportunities is absent from the curriculum is why 8 and Up exists.  It’s a macro trend and enormous need – and very hard to incorporate into schools already struggling to keep pace with the increasing demands of STEM guidelines and the Common Core.”

Planning to take your young innovators to the next level? “Give us a call” says Steiger. “Sign up and volunteer to help out.  This is turning out to be bigger than we can handle and that’s really the fun – in some ways the parents have as much fun as the kids (or more). It’s one of the nicest things you can share with your kid – the creative process.

8 And Up’s Fall semester begins September 14th and will be offered at multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn: $359/6 weeks. 8andup.com

Reuben Steiger, Founder

8 and Up | www.8andup.com | m. 415 425 2482

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