The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
— Einstein

Can I apply?

For this summer, YoungLeaders is open to 14 to 19-year-olds, Canadian or American citizens.

Why should I apply?

Bored of sitting in a classroom or going to science fairs/ hackathons and watching your projects die? Curious about problems and about shipping products that disrupt industries and improve lives? YoungLeaders created the ultimate summer program to liberate you to unleash your inner crazy genius, learn by building products serving real people, and live memorable experiences making friends for life.

How do I apply?

Here. You will be contacted for an interview if things go well.

What do I get if I’m selected?

  • $1,000 to spend however you like. We trust that you’ll use the money to upgrade yourself somehow.

  • Access to the 7-week long program including a round-trip ticket to Montreal, full accommodation, and tourism (we cover everything).

  • Mentorship from some of the world’s most accomplished individuals.

  • Resources from some of the world’s top research institutions and companies.

  • Part of a community of daring genius teenagers.

  • Present at YoungLeaders Demo Night to a selected audience of investors, partners, and journalists.

What is the YoungLeaders’ Summer Program?

7-week boarding program to upgrade yourself:

  • You will be living in a curiosity-driven environment with passionate and driven peers.

  • You will meet and receive guidance from top research institutions, companies, and accomplished individuals.

  • No lectures. No noise. No bullshit.  We are there to guide you and make sure you get what you need to maximize your chances of success.

  • You will live memorable experiences working on a revolutionary product, discovering Montreal, and making friends for life.

In a nutshell, YoungLeaders’ summer program is the ultimate place for you to spend your summer. (We will be announcing more details about the program towards the end of March.)

How much does the program cost?

The program is completely free. We want you to solely focus on upgrading yourself. We take care of the rest — thanks to the generosity of our partners.

What types of people are you looking for?

We are looking for curious and passionate teenagers who have demonstrated an ability to self-learn.

Can teams apply?

Yes. You can mention that you are applying as a team in your application. Teams will receive $1,000 total, not per teammate.

How is YoungLeaders different from a startup accelerator?

YoungLeaders focuses on individuals, not companies. Our primary goal is education. You can apply as an individual. If your project happens to become a startup, there are multiple programs that try to accelerate your progress and growth — and we help you get ready or connect you with those if they happen to be relevant to you.

How is YoungLeaders’ summer program different from other entrepreneurship programs?

Most entrepreneurship programs for high school students focus on lecturing and feeding you with info about startups. We want you to build and surround yourself with the people and resources you need. No lectures, no BS. We try to be a signal in the noisy entrepreneurship circus. We care more about you building cool stuff than you bragging about yourself to be called entrepreneur or founder or CEO.

I have a great idea for a startup, but I'm not technical. Will you still accept me?

It's important for the founding team to have the skills to build their product themselves, rather than outsourcing it to someone else. For most products, that usually means you need a technical co-founder. That being said, if you’re passionate about learning the technical stuff, you’ll be in the right environment to learn in the most productive way.

Do you only fund projects that write software?

No, we'll consider projects in any field. We care about impact. We are looking for products that improve lives and disrupt industries.

Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?

No, we won't sign an NDA. No program would at this stage. The informal commitment to secrecy on our application form is more than any investor or program would make.

In this connection, you may want to read the first section of How to Start a Startup from Y Combinator on the value of mere ideas.

Why Montreal?

Montreal’s summer is just amazing. Great weather, nature, mix of cultures, and a lot of festivals. Also, Montreal has grown to become an AI supercluster and a booming startup ecosystem.

Logistics

Where will I live while I attend YoungLeaders’ Summer Program?

Have you ever watched the show Silicon Valley? You are going to live in a big “Hacker House” in Montreal. We will share the exact location soon.

How are rooms and roommates assigned?

Ideally, you’d stay with your teammates. We are flexible about rooms and roommates assignment. We will find a way to make you most comfortable.

Where and what will I eat?

One day you might live alone and have to cook for yourself! At YoungLeaders, you’ll experiment how it feels like to cook and feed yourself. Though don’t worry, you’ll be assisted. The food is on us!

Can I leave the House?

If you are a minor, your parent/ guardian will be asked to select from one of three campus leave permissions, allowing you to leave campus on your own, with a buddy, or only with YoungLeaders staff.

Will I get picked up from the airport when I arrive?

We do not offer transportation from the airport. You may arrange to ride with your peers arriving at a similar time.

Can I leave for a few days during the program?

We recommend that you do not leave during the program.  You owe it to yourself and to your teammates to be present, as well as to be available on weekends to work on your product. You should make an effort to keep your summer schedule open and available so that, if admitted, you may get the full YoungLeaders experience.

Regardless of your leave permission, you may only check out for up to 4 hours. Group excursions out of town are not permissible regardless of parental permission.

If you have a conflict with another event that requires you to be away from the program, the maximum amount of time that you may miss is three days. Parent permission for this is required at least 3 days in advance, emailing YoungLeaders staff, plus requiring you to notify your lead mentor.

Will YoungLeaders plan any activities or field trips?

Yep! We are planning memorable experiences for you to fall in love with the beautiful summer of Montreal, have fun, and bond with your peers.

Do we need to know someone at YoungLeaders to get in?

No. One of YoungLeaders' core principles is considering all applications equally.


If you have more questions, please reach us at jc@youngleadersgroup.org