students in the lab

Berklee/Brown Creative Entrepreneurship

Develop a startup mindset on two college campuses.

This two-week summer program integrates Brown University Pre-College Programs' long tradition in developing critical thinking based in history, theory, and practice with Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship's philosophy that the creative process and the entrepreneurial journey share the same DNA.

Through lectures and workshops with creative entrepreneurs, students learn how to take an idea from prototype to presentation. Students will design a hands-on project and develop the startup mindset needed to be dynamic thinkers and makers. Over the course of the two weeks, students live on both the Brown campus in Providence, Rhode Island and the Berklee campus in Boston, Massachusetts, experiencing two college environments and the exciting artistic worlds each inhabit and help foster. Read a Q & A with co-program director Panos Panay and press coverage of the program.

Explore the summer program and hear first-hand from past students in this video:

Program Dates:

Sunday, July 7 – Saturday, July 13
at Brown University in Providence, RI

Saturday, July 13 – Friday, July 19
at Berklee College in Boston, MA

Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12 and are ages 15-18 by June 2019

Fees: $6,100

form How to Apply

magnifying glass Courses

Course of Study


This program is a unique partnership between a college of contemporary music and performing arts and an Ivy League University. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a joint certificate from BerkleeICE and the Brown University Pre-College Programs. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to permanently shift how you see yourself, to learn what it means to think like an entrepreneur, and to carry with you a lifelong ability to solve problems, analyze issues, and collaborate with others using your inherent creativity. See examples of final presentations here.

Core principles of this program include the following:

  • Good listening and observation skills are central to both artists and successful innovators.
  • The ability to present one’s ideas in thoughtful and clear ways promotes the creative process.
  • Arts ensembles are environments for learning how to collaborate.
  • Improvisation acts are analogous to the nimble instincts and experimentation of successful entrepreneurs.
  • The recording process is a metaphor for synthesizing disparate parts into a comprehensive plan.
  • Songwriting is used as a means of introducing the iterative and co-creation process that all ideas and products undergo, from concept to launch.


The program will include a week with the Summer@Brown Pre-College Program on the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island, and a week with BerkleeICE on Berklee's Boston, Massachusetts, campus. The program will culminate on the Berklee campus, with student teams pitching their final projects to a panel of top musicians, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.

Throughout the 13 days, you and your student team will work together to design a hands-on project, using entrepreneurial strategies to devise creative solutions to community and social issues.

  • At Brown, you will learn the fundamentals of presentation, storytelling, and narrative through lectures and workshops with Brown faculty and staff. Site visits to creative communities and class visits by designers and artists round-out the week. Outside of program time, Brown's Pre-College Programs offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities including yoga, art, sports, preparing for the college admissions process, and discussions about identity.

  • At Berklee, you will immerse yourself in the startup and music mindset through daily seminars with world-renowned music professionals, innovators, and entrepreneurs from the fields of technology, business, and art. You’ll be in recording studios and ensemble rooms, on concert stages, and in other environments that will demonstrate how the work of artists and creatives provides a model for entrepreneurs. Instruction will be enhanced by hands-on activities and visits to Boston-area innovation labs and organizations such as the global design firm IDEO and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Still have questions? Email the BerkleeICE team or the Brown Pre-College Advising Team for more information.


The Creative Entrepreneurship Summer Program instructors include:

Instructors are subject to change.

Note: Though not required, you are permitted to bring laptops, computers, tablets, etc. Wireless internet and electrical outlet plugs are provided throughout the campus. Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to keep your items safe. Berklee College of Music and Brown University are not responsible for the loss of these items.

How to Apply

Who Should Apply

Ambitious young innovators and entrepreneurs from all parts of the globe who are ready to be pioneers, leaders, and change-makers. If you love making art or being creative, are naturally curious and a great listener, like to question the status quo, work well with diverse groups of people (or want to learn how to do that), and enjoy combining disciplines in new ways, then this is the program for you. You must be fluent in English. You don’t have to be a performer or an artist, but you'll work closely with creators as well as entrepreneurs, faculty at both schools, and other leading experts and educators in the fields of design and creativity.

What You Need to Apply

  1. A complete application form, found on the Berklee website. Your application will include a short essay of 1,500 characters or less, responding to the following two questions: What do you hope to learn about creative entrepreneurship, communication and leadership? What concrete skills, attitudes, or knowledge will you contribute to this program?Applicants may also provide up to three links to relevant websites, products, services or other examples of entrepreneurial or leadership projects in which you’ve played a major role.

  2. An academic transcript that contains grades for the most recent academic term, and at least two previous academic years. Transcript submissions from schools outside of the United States must include an explanation of the scoring system in English.

  3. A passport-style photo ID and an optional scholarship application.

Please note: In some cases, additional application materials may be requested. Additional materials may include transcripts, essays, teacher recommendations or an English Language assessment.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the review committee.

About the Program Directors

Joi-Danelle Whitehead

Associate Director of Pre-College Programs & Diversity Initiatives

Joi is the Brown-based Co-Director of the Berklee-Brown Creative Entrepreneurship Program and also leads the development and implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across Brown Pre-College. Her professional background includes college access and persistence work, diversity and inclusion, teaching, and program administration. Joi received her Master’s in Urban Education from Mercy College and her Bachelor’s in History from Tufts University.

Nicole d'Avis

Director of Operations and Programming at Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship
Manager of Operations for the Open Music Initiative

Nicole’s work has straddled the intersection of technology, creativity, community organizing, and youth development, previously working with the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network at the Museum of Science, and in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood, supporting a generation of youth from middle school through college.

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