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Benefits of Licensing Lifecycle

Hands-On Leader Training
Access to All Online Curriculum for Students and Leaders
Peripheral Learning Resources
Pay all expenses from Program Revenue--and keep the profit
Participate in Power Pitch

Leader Training

Licensees send leaders to participate in Lifecycle Training at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Summer training is offered Monday through Friday on specified weeks in June and July. A winter training session (first week of January) is also available, held only at IMSA. Leaders in training work alongside certified program leaders, running the program for middle school students (January session involves high school students). Every aspect of program administration, curriculum and implementation is covered. Attendees may stay on the IMSA campus during the summertime (room and board available--please inquire).


The Lifecycle curriculum was developed at IMSA, is updated annually and showcases the 'IMSA way' of learning in STEM. Based on Next Generation Science Standards in Engineering, the TALENT Lifecycle curriculum immerses learners as entrepreneurs. Students experience what it's like to start up a business, engaging in essential activities that include team formation, personnel agreements, business incorporation, accounting, problem finding, market research and validation, Lean Startup methods, business modeling, product creation and testing, marketing, fund raising, pitching to investors, sales and making an exit.

Designed as a simulation game, it is as real as possible. Students figure out how they can register their business; they conduct authentic market research; they pitch to real investors (but not for real money).

The curriculum may be delivered as a five-day summer program (6 or more hours a day) or an after-school or Saturday program (up to 48 sessions).

Program Components

The majority of Lifecycle is an online learning platform. Student teams follow instructions provided on 'member' pages for each day. Leaders follow instructional guidelines for each activity on 'leader' pages. Both require permission to access using a username and password. Students cannot access the Leader's Guides.

Lifecycle-in-a-Box. The majority of Lifecycle consists of online resources. These components are provided as part of a Lifecycle License:

  • Student Activity Pages for each task
  • Leader's guide for all activities
  • Handouts to be downloaded and printed locally (Roles, Challenges)
  • Emerging Situation sheets to be downloaded and printed locally

Peripheral Resources included:

  • one deck of BOSI cards and UV penlight
  • six decks of STACKS card games
  • six business model canvases, laminated for reuse
  • six dice

Not in the Box. The following components need to be provided or purchased separately. Some are optional.

  • lanyards/nametags/badges
  • daily snacks and lunches
  • Ramen (for prizes)
  • wireless Internet access
  • all technology hardware
  • markers, pens, pencils, erasers
  • journals/notebooks/paper
  • books, as desired, for team training
  • sticky notes
  • masking tape
  • prototyping materials
  • t-shirts
  • transportation
  • merit pins

Revenue Streams

An annual license is available for $5,000.

The suggested student fee to attend a Lifecycle 5-day program is $350. If 25 students register for one week, the total revenue is $8,750, all of which the sponsoring school or organization keeps. There is no limit on the number of week-long or after-school programs that may be offered in a year. A Lifecycle License pays for itself and more.

Lifecycle is one of the most popular summer programs at IMSA. All three sessions offered during summer 2016 filled in less than 60 seconds. Since 2017, IMSA uses a written application to select applicants based on interest and experience. All three Lifecycle programs for summer 2018 are filled.

Power Pitch

Students and teams that participate in Lifecycle of a Startup may register for IMSA TALENT's Power Pitch Competition, held each winter/spring. This STEM business idea pitching event is open to students in middle school and high school. Finalists compete for cash prizes at IMSA.

Contact IMSA for more information: TALENT Director