Mies Campus


Rising 10th–12th graders (ages 14–17)

Program Overview

The Stuart School of Business is hosting an engaging and relevant business-focused, week-long summer program for high school students called Running A Small Business: Food for Thought. Students will explore five pillars of business: economics, operations, entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing through the lens of owning, opening, managing, and operating a food truck. They will get to participate in hands-on business simulations and design their own food truck business model, plus, on the last day, the program will commence with a meet-and-greet afternoon lunch with a pair of high-profile Chicago food truck owners.

Learning Objectives:

  • Economics/food truck simulation and econoland simulation: We will jumpstart our business bootcamp journey with an entertaining game. You are about to establish a food truck business, and you will face the decisions over the menu items, location, and your food truck capacity! You will learn how your decisions affect the revenue of your food truck. In the afternoon session, you are going to have even more fun! You will take over a country and make its monetary decisions. Let’s see if you can improve the economy and make your people happy!
  • Operations: Now it’s time to figure out how to operate your food truck. Calculate inventory, its ordering process, employee needs, and equipment. We will discuss how decisions change as one moves from a small business to a larger, more established organization. In addition to using Microsoft Excel to analyze sales and costs, we will also explore an important data visualization tool, Tableau, in the process. 
  • Entrepreneurship: Having learned some basics of food truck operations from previous sessions and simulations, you will have the opportunity to develop a startup plan for a food truck or related business. In teams, you will choose the kind of food that you want to provide, develop a brand, learn how to decide where to run your food truck business, and get enough information together to complete the next step (finance)—finding funding for your food truck business! In a later session on marketing, you will learn how to tell the world about your special food truck!
  • Finance: In the finance session, we’re going to talk about money. We’re going to talk about how people raise money so that they can open a food truck, create a phone app or a video game, or even buy bitcoin. We’re also going to talk about trading stocks and bitcoin, and how people think about trying to make money from trading. It’s all super-cool stuff.
  • Marketing: Marketing is the key to success. You have a great product—how will you get people to learn about it and buy it? In the marketing seminar, you will learn the strategies and tactics that will get your food truck on the grid!

Example Activities:

  • Opening ceremony and orientation
  • Intro to the language of business
  • Food truck simulation
  • Macro simulation
  • Operations of a food truck
  • Food entrepreneurship
  • Finance 101
  • Stages of financing a food truck
  • Marketing a food truck
  • Food truck tour
  • Closing ceremony


Questions about the application process? Email them to precollege@iit.edu.