Program Overview

Learn lean start-up methods, coding, UI/UX, & leadership skills

Lean Start-up Methods



Critical Thinking


Program Partners

Challenging Young Minds

2017 Summer Program

Summer Program 06/12/17 - 07/21/17

What’s a goal without a deadline?

In six weeks, students learn the technology and business skills required to develop a civic-oriented startup. The application and admissions process is competitive, curriculum learned in lightspeed pace, but the achievement is worth the effort!


No previous experience in business or technology required

Who Can Apply

Students enrolled in 9th-12th grade and attending high school in Santa Monica are eligible to apply.

Residency: Students enrolled in 9th-12th grade currently residing in Santa Monica, but attending a high school outside of Santa Monica are also eligible to apply.


Free of charge!

Admitted Students

Must be capable of learning advanced technology and business concepts while working in a fast paced environment.

Behavior Policies

Students are required to follow strict behavior and attendance policies for the duration of the program.

Attendance Requirements

Students are required to attend Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Alumni Requirements

Alumni are required to participate in annual alumni events and quarterly mentor meetings until their college graduation to maintain their active status.

Competitive Application Process

Application Period 01/01/17 - 03/15/17


Online Application

Application closes 3/15/17 11:59 pm


In-depth Interview

Applicant interviews 01/23/17 – 04/06/17


Review by Selection Committee

Admission decisions by 04/13/17


Admission Decision Letters

Acceptance & rejection notices emailed by 04/13/17

A blast from the past

Here's what our alumni have to say

Previous Teams

Our students have built 18 companies during our 6-week program

Coblic's logo


Domo Chef's logo

Domo Chef

Dynami Systems's logo

Dynami Systems

Find Some Yum's logo

Find Some Yum

Foodonym's logo


Frame Finds's logo

Frame Finds

InFarmMe's logo


Interest Alley's logo

Interest Alley

Khordify's logo


Lyrnics's logo


Merit Hero's logo

Merit Hero

QckPrk's logo


SMFitNet's logo


Spinzie's logo


StreetGlyph's logo


The OddSpots's logo

The OddSpots

TutorPlug's logo


Zermely's logo



People are talking about us

2015 - The Youth Tech Program has been designated as a “Bright Idea” by the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The Ash Center’s Bright Ideas initiative identifies and promotes promising government programs and practices so that government leaders, public servants, and other individuals can learn about these ideas and adopt initiatives that work.

2014 - Santa Monica’s Youth Tech Program ranked 54th in InformationWeek Elite 100, a list of the top business innovators in the U.S. Santa Monica was the only local government to obtain an Elite100 ranking, attesting to a level of IT innovation on par with Fortune100 companies. The program was also featured in InformationWeek’s article, “Twenty Great Ideas to Steal,” which encourages the adoption of successful business models.

2013 - Santa Monica’s Youth Tech Program received the Technology Solutions award from the Public Technology Institute. This award recognizes local governments that demonstrate how they use technology to solve problems, provide enhanced services to the public, and improve internal operations.

Program Staff

Our alumni have joined the team

Carla Fantozzi's picture

Carla Fantozzi

Program Consultant


Gary Carter's picture

Gary Carter

Founding Program Director


Jamila Haji's picture

Jamila Haji

Lead Program Specialist

2012 Alumni

Kenneth Bales's picture

Kenneth Bales

Program Supervisor


Tawny Payton's picture

Tawny Payton

Program Specialist


Brownie Sibrian's picture

Brownie Sibrian

Program Specialist


Victoria Contreras's picture

Victoria Contreras

Collaboration Instructor


Vladimir Jimenez's picture

Vladimir Jimenez

Lead Coding Instructor

2012 Alumni

Kevin Grossi's picture

Kevin Grossi

Coding Instructor

2012 Alumni

Omar De Arcos's picture

Omar De Arcos

Networking Instructor

2013 Alumni

Samantha Hsieh's picture

Samantha Hsieh

Lean Start-up Instructor

2014 Alumni

David Xiao's picture

David Xiao

Coding Instructor

2012 Alumni

Kevin Tran's picture

Kevin Tran

UI/UX Instructor

2014 Alumni