About The Ken Layden Program in Entrepreneurship

at St. Edward High School

The Ken Layden Program in Entrepreneurship

Named in honor of Ken Layden, class of 1980, the Entrepreneurship Program was founded in 2008 with the goal of promoting entrepreneurial competencies in the young men of St. Edward High School. This after-school program is organized around the business planning process as an instructional framework and is supplemented by mentors and guest instructors from the St. Edward community and the greater Cleveland area. The Layden Prize is a series of endowed scholarships to be awarded to winners of the annual business planning competition, the culmination of the entrepreneurship course.  Students apply for the program in the first quarter of the school year.

Program Goals

  • Instill in students an appreciation for entrepreneurship as a business strategy, lifestyle, and worldview
  • Engage students in real-world problems of practice through the business planning process
  • Inspire student leadership and teamwork in a competitive environment
  • Develop ethical and moral decision making skills in future leaders of society
  • Increase the general business knowledge and business communication skills of students

The Layden Prize

The Layden Prize is the name for the numerous scholarships, totaling over $20,000, for which class participants compete.  Divided among the members of the top teams, the prizes take the form of one-time scholarships to the students’ chosen colleges or universities upon graduation from St. Edward.  Funding for the scholarships has been endowed through the generous gifts of Ken Layden and his family as well as those of numerous alumni and friends.
The Layden Prize*

Grand Prize   $12,500

Second Prize  $5000

Third Prize  $2500

Fourth Prize   $1500

*The amounts represent one-time awards in the form of college scholarships to winning teams of the annual business plan competition. Non-winning teams participating in the business plan competition are eligible for a $500 award.

Students, working in teams, learn the entrepreneurial process by developing an idea through an iterative planning process, from opportunity recognition through concept development, management and organizational planning, market planning, and financial planning. Over the span of the program, students gain experience through simulations and real-world problems of practice. The participation of guest experts as instructors, advisors and especially mentors to students is a central feature of the program.  Each student team is matched with a mentor, who advises the project team for the year. The program is complemented by the school’s one-semester Business & Entrepreneurship elective class, though students need not be enrolled in the class to participate in the Layden Program.

About Ken Layden, '80

After graduating from St. Edward in 1980, Ken Layden received his BA in Business and Finance from The Ohio State University in 1984. His passion for business, combined with his entrepreneurial spirit, helped Ken achieve great success as a business and marketing leader for some of America's top companies. His fond memories of his time at St. Edward inspired him to set up a unique program to educate young men in the field of business and entrepreneurship.  Ken wished to enable future generations to achieve the kind of success that he enjoyed throughout his life, which ended in January of 2008 after years of courageous battle with cancer.

Promoting Business Ideas Online With Tackk

Tackk is the newest format to share anything on the web creatively, allowing users to customize and edit their messages with text and multimedia. Simply click and start typing. There is no login required. It's just like tacking a flyer to a telephone pole.

To compete for the Layden Prize, teams create a Tackk about their business idea, then promote it, using all of the means at their disposal. The number of unique "Likes" will be tallied at the end of the day (midnight) on May 9 , and the points will comprise 5% of the Layden Prize final score.