Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) hosted by Gatton in Summer 2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – From online applications to on-campus experiences, exciting developments are underway with the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) and its Summer Startup program for Kentucky high school students.

Online applications for the 2024 class are now open until January 22, 2024. GSE’s new website includes an improved application interface at All Kentucky 9th, 10th and 11th graders interested in entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply. GSE does not consider grade point averages or test scores in its application. The program is free for students.

GSE identifies, inspires, and empowers Kentucky’s future innovators with its three-week Summer Startup program. The intensive, non-traditional learning experience develops entrepreneurial skills with lifelong impact. The goal is to help foster economic growth across the commonwealth by supporting the business dreams of students who have the drive and passion to be entrepreneurs and create jobs in Kentucky.

“Kentucky has so many bright, talented and creative students, and opportunities available through GSE can help those who dream of becoming an entrepreneur succeed,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “GSE teaches them how to take an idea and turn it into a product or service and then pitch it to a panel of judges in just three weeks. It teaches them how to work with a team and gives them opportunities to learn from successful businesspeople and fellow participants while getting a taste of living on a university campus.”

Two New Campus Partners

For the first time in its 10-year history, GSE’s Summer Startup program will take place on two campuses. Thomas More University and the University of Kentucky each will host one three-week session in 2024.

“GSE couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with these two fantastic universities for our Summer Startup program,” says Anne Jewell, president and CEO of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. “Both have demonstrated their deep commitment to and passion for developing Kentucky’s current and future entrepreneurs. We can’t wait for our students to experience the exceptional opportunities and environments at Thomas More University and the University of Kentucky.”

Thomas More University will host the first session from June 16 to July 6, 2024, on its campus in Crestview Hills, located in the northern Kentucky region.

“I am excited for Thomas More University to partner with GSE, marking a new era for entrepreneurship education in the commonwealth,” says Jeni Al Bahrani, director of Thomas More University’s Dr. Anthony and Geraldine Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “GSE has developed a strong reputation for entrepreneurial education, and as the innovation destination of the region, our collaboration will empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.”

The University of Kentucky session will run June 23 to July 13, 2024, at the Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington.

“Collaborating with GSE marks a significant milestone for the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Together, we are charting the course for a new era in entrepreneurship education within our commonwealth. With GSE’s expertise, this partnership will be the cornerstone for nurturing the next wave of leaders and entrepreneurs, shaping a dynamic and innovative future,” says Silas Deane, Chair of the Von Allmen School of Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Kentucky was one of the first states in the nation to create a Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. To date, 941 high school students have graduated from GSE’s summer program since it began in 2013. Graduates qualify for millions of dollars in scholarships at colleges and universities across Kentucky. Dozens of businesses have been launched in Kentucky by GSE graduates and several patents have been filed.

The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs

The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) identifies, inspires, and empowers Kentucky’s future innovators. GSE’s Summer Startup program develops entrepreneurial skills in high school students and qualifies them for college scholarships. GSE’s Collegiate Pitch program is Kentucky’s largest collegiate pitch competition, offering thousands of dollars in prizes. Program alums have launched more than 70 businesses and filed for multiple patents. Because of strong partnerships with entities like the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet and the Cabinet for Economic Development, along with private and public supporters, GSE programs are free for selected student entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

Thomas More University

For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, build upon its excellent return on investment (ranked #1 among private universities/colleges in Kentucky by MSN Money in 2021 and ranked #2 for long term gain in Kentucky by a 2022 Georgetown University study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit

The University of Kentucky

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the commonwealth. UK does that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything the university does — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. UK is proud of being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by UK's people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus. In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to the university's commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While UK's mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to the commonwealth and the world remains the same. UK is the University for Kentucky: