Sovereign Academy

Wanted: 50 Winners who truly want to change the world.

2017 Blacksmith Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp

July 6 - 10, 2017 Trakai, Lithuania

Want to attend? Apply here

Intensive business and financial mentorship from world class entrepreneurs

Let's face it. The world has changed.

You might have been told when you were younger that if you studied hard, went to a good school, studied even more, and landed a good job, that you could eventually work your way up the ladder to success.

That's just not how it works anymore.

These days that old path leads to a mountain of student debt and job (in)security in a go-nowhere career.

It's extraordinary to see so many young people come out of university these days in debt up to their eyeballs at a level that's so insurmountable they trade all of their hopes and dreams in for a bottle of wine and a Netflix subscription.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Despite all the turmoil in the world... what feels like constant war, corruption, and debt... this is one of the most exciting times to be alive.

The world isn't coming to an end. It's changing. The financial system is resetting. Wealth and power across the world are shifting.

Billions of people are rising into the Middle Class. Digital Technology is fundamentally changing the way we organize ourselves as a society and engage in commerce.

Today, borders, university degrees, and the traditional career path are increasingly becoming obsolete and irrelevant. And that's a good thing.

You can earn a living and spend time anywhere in the world today, thanks to modern communications and cheap transportation. The entire world is now open and available to you.

And there's an extraordinary amount of opportunity out there for people who have the courage and skills to take advantage of it.

Wanted: 50 Winners who truly want to change the world.

I'll be honest with you. I hate the term "lifestyle design".

There's an entire generation of young people who have been sold on the idea that life is all about travel and leisure.

I see so many people now who want to start a business for the sole purpose of generating enough passive income to finance their travel lifestyle.

What ever happened to wanting to change the world? If your aspirations don't extend beyond your surfboard, this camp is not for you.

We are looking for ass kickers, not tree sloths. We want to mentor students who have the drive to create and do amazing things that really count.

Your instructors walk that walk. We want to find and invest in the next generation of doers, and arm you with rocket-propelled knowledge and contacts to jumpstart your next project, business, or career.

Learn the critical skills you need to create value in a world full of opportunity.

It doesn't matter what you do... whether you have a job or start a business. Whether you are a musician or venture capitalist. Whether you come from a developed country or developing one.

Your success in life will ultimately boil down to how much value you can create.

Unfortunately, life doesn't come with an instruction book. And university educations are often devoid of practical advice to help you figure out what skills you need to solve the big problems.

That's our focus at the camp each year.

In 4 days you'll learn more about business than any educational program can give you. You'll learn from real, highly successful entrepreneurs who have done it (and learn from their failures as well) in multiple industries, offline and online.

You'll get highly actionable advice and insights in building a business, marketing, sales, finding and talking to investors... and much more.

You'll make connections with extremely talented and driven young people from all over the world-- the summit always brings together people from all continents that will, or already are, doing amazing things.

This will provide you with an invaluable network and contacts globally. Many past attendees have become close friends, business associates, opened many doors for other attendees etc.

Most of all-- it will be a lot of fun. Just imagine having 50+ highly energetic and talented young people from different cultures in one secluded lakeside resort. For many past attendees it truly was a life changing experience.

A typical day at the camp...

In these workshops, a carefully selected group of 50 students will be guided by successful entrepreneurs and investors who have independently achieved success.

Each morning will start with optional yoga, followed by breakfast, and then morning instructional sessions by each of the mentors.

This is where you'll get some really revolutionary inspiration, ideas, and actionable skill development.

We'll break for lunch for about an hour, then have another afternoon session with the mentors, followed by an optional group fitness workout.

Evenings involve a lot of time at the lake, bonfires, and more... all to ensure you have plenty of opportunity to develop lasting relationships with both the mentors and your fellow students.

Your 2017 Mentors

Simon Black established the Blacksmith Liberty and Entrepreneurship Camp in 2009. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, writer, investor, and free soul who has explored the entire world across more than 115 countries on all 7 continents looking for tremendous business and investment opportunities.

He is the co-founder of, one of the largest international investment and diversification websites in the world. In 2014 he also founded a $50 million agricultural fund and a boutique merchant bank.

Simon is an avid private investor, and his numerous holdings include various media websites, a baby products company, augmented reality technology, a Mongolian conglomerate, two marijuana producers, an energy supplement company, and a groundbreaking digital currency solution.

Craig Ballantyne is one of the world's foremost Internet marketing gurus, as well as one of the most sought-after fitness entrepreneurs on the Internet. As a workout routine and fat loss expert, Craig has taken his offline credibility from being published in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines, and turned it into a multimillion dollar fitness enterprise at

Craig is also co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of, one of the most popular personal development websites in the world. He is a true master of written communication and developing strong, lasting relationships with customers. Craig has been Simon's constant partner in this summit since the very beginning.

Matthew Smith is one of the most gifted entrepreneurs you could ever hope to meet. Like some of the most successful people in the world, Matt dropped out of college. Instead of wasting away in school, he spent his early 20s learning valuable skills from the most talented people he could find.

In doing so, he developed almost unparalleled business and marketing prowess which he has used to generate vast income streams and build successful businesses. Matt's most recent tenure was as CEO of Stansberry Research, one of the largest financial publishing firms in the world with a circulation larger than the Wall Street Journal.

Clifford Mee has been an online online entrepreneur for the past ten years, selling tens of millions of dollars worth of products direct to consumers. He currently resides in Koh Samui, Thailand where he also owns a restaurant.

Cliff is a four-time instructor at Sovereign Academy; his brain is probably one of the most incredibly resources you could ever hope to access, particularly when it comes to marketing products and services.

It doesn't matter where you are at in your business development... or how much you already know about marketing. You will learn a LOT from Cliff.

Why are we doing this?

Even though there is no cost to attend, this isn't some kind of charity.

No, this is an INVESTMENT in people. And we can't think of a better use of time and money.

Think about it... how amazing would it have been to make early investments in Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Larry Page, Mark Cuban, etc. when they were in their early 20s? Not to mention tens of thousands of other movers and shakers (that most people have never heard of) who were wildly successful in making a profound impact on the world..?

We have no doubt that many of the individuals who come through our summits each year have the potential to reach this point. And we are all privileged to be part of their ultimate success... to help mentor them, work with them, and invest with them.

This is why the acceptance bar is so high. This isn't some summer party week (though there's plenty of that). This is serious business... and we want people who are not only willing and ready to learn, but also people who have the guts to go back home and execute.

We don't want to waste our time, the other instructors’ time, or the students' time, on anyone who isn't willing to step up and put what they learned to good use.

For a huge number of past students, the summit has been profoundly life changing... in a positive way. If you're not ready for this, don't apply.

With only around 50 spaces available, it’s going to be a tough competition to join. Each year the attendees seem to get better and better, and surely this year will be no different.

50 Participants From 35+ Countries

Perhaps the part that’s most compelling for students is being around each other.

Year after year, the groups have been getting better and better. Last year’s participants (roughly 50 students) were selected from thousands of applicants.

They hailed from dozens of countries as diverse as Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso, Argentina, and Thailand. And it was an incredible week. But don’t take our word for it:

"The summit was an incredible experience for me. Never before have I met so many like-minded and motivated people. It was more than one of those typical ‘YEAAAAH you can do it seminars.’ I learned real tools and steps of how to research an idea and present it to investors. I know what to do now. I am going to do it. I have the confidence I will succeed with the knowledge I got.

But even more important was the shift in my mind I experienced. I am thinking bigger and I see more opportunities now. It is possible for me to start BIG ideas and I know the steps how to go through with them.

Coming to this summit was one of the best decisions in my life so far."

Kim, Hong Kong

"Being a part of the summit has enriched my life. Not only has receiving actionable, expert advice and guidance from the instructors been of immediate use upon my return home, but becoming friends with intellectually sound individuals from around the globe has enabled me to fully appreciate the importance of a quality network of like-minded individuals. This is the start of a new chapter in my life. My future is looking brighter by the day as I now have greater control of its direction."

L.W., England

"Before coming to Blacksmith summit, I felt trapped in the mindset of: go to university, get a job, and work for forty years. I had the desire to strike out on my own but I lacked the knowledge and experience to take action. In four days, I met some of the greatest people of my life. People who are passionate, knowledgeable, creative, and freedom loving. Beyond that, I learned an absurd amount about marketing, getting into the mind of customers, designing companies, and presenting projects to potential investors. I learned more practical skills and important mental models in four days than in two years of university. Beyond all of this value, I left the summit with actionable information to turn the business our group developed into a real company. Absolutely amazing experience."

Garri, USA

"Two of the most important pieces of practical advice that I received at the summit were about direct response marketing and targeting the audience. I never heard of the direct response marketing technique and did not know that it could be so effective while being very cheap and easy at the same time."

Iryna, Belarus

"Awesome. Outstanding. Extraordinary. Those are just some of the words that could describe my time at the Blacksmith Camp. Unfortunately, the reality is that they barely describe the amount of positive energy that we got to see at the summit. Whether we are talking about the 50 young people from all over the world, the amazing place, the sports program, the food or the entrepreneurs - everything fitted together into one wonderful team, motivated to change the world for a better. If you are wondering about visiting the summit in 2017, but are scared of the expensive flight from overseas, do not hesitate for a moment to book your trip. Not for a moment."

Latchezar, Bulgaria

"Participating in the Blacksmith summit was a really great experience. I met a lot of interesting people to share the ideas with, really enjoyed the inspiring lectures and discussions, and of course we had a lot of fun, sport activities and yoga classes!!!! So it was an informative, inspiring and memorable event…"

Julia, Italy

"It really opened my views about business and also gave me a lot of new ideas but the most important thing was that it gave me a direction about what I want to do in the future."

Parth, India

"The place was amazing, the food was great, and we had a lot of fun. I’m glad I met really friendly, smart and motivated people, who have interesting ideas about what to do in their lives. The phrase that perhaps stuck in my head the strongest was “nobody owes you anything”, you have to do something to earn money."

Inga, Lithuania

"The real value that I got from the summit was the opportunity to network with so many other people from around the world, who are fascinated by the same things I am. I think it's so cool that several of these students are going back and actually starting the businesses that they developed while at the summit."

Josh L., USA

"The Blacksmith Camp was just awesome. No exaggeration, really. For me it was one of the most informative events I've ever had, and quite exclusive. The things being discussed are truly important to know and quite exclusive."

Helen, Belarus

Who should (and shouldn't) apply

It doesn't matter to us if you have already started a business, or have any desire to start a business.

Entrepreneurship is fundamentally about creating value. And anyone can do that, whether you have a job, work at a startup or non-profit, or are an artist.

Enterpreneurship is a state of mind.

We don't care about where you're from, your educational background, or what you've accomplished so far.

We're interested in your direction. And drive.

If all you aspire to is travel and leisure, this camp is not for you.

If all you want to do is learn how to generate passive income so that you can go chill out somewhere, please don't waste your time or mine.

This camp is NOT some Internet Marketing nonsense where we talk about how to sell info products that teach people how to sell info products, or how to blog about blogging.

We're interested in investing in driven people who want to do things and create things that actually matter.

If that sounds like you, then apply to this camp for a life-changing experience.

Practical Information

The camp will be held in Trakai, Lithuania from July 6 - 10, 2017.

Participants who are accepted will be accommodated in a wonderful lakeside resort. There is no fee to attend the summit. Our foundation, SOVEREIGN ACADEMY, handles everything — bus transport to the summit, lodging, food, etc.

You are only responsible for your own travel to Vilnius, Lithuania (though our organization does occasionally offer scholarships for this). Should you require a visa, we may be able to assist.

How To Apply

Again, life doesn't come with an instruction manual. There is no “How To” guide. You just have to figure things out as you go, learn from your experiences, and grow.

It's for this reason I’m not going to give you a long list of questions to answer, or some multi-page application.

All I ask is that you make a video. I’m not going to tell you what to say, how long it needs to be, or what information you need to cover. No instructions. That’s life.

This is your chance to persuade me that you’re a good fit for the summit.

So just be real. Remember, I am personally reviewing potentially thousands of other videos. Demonstrate to us why we should accept YOU, and not someone else. No rules. No guidebook.

What to do:

  1. Record a video of yourself, keeping what you've read above in mind.

  2. Upload your video to the Internet. I don't care where... and if you want to password protect it, or make it private, that's fine.

  3. Just make sure we can see it. Every year, hundreds of people don't get accepted because they've made their videos inaccessible and I'm unable to watch their application.
  4. Along with the video link, please tell us your full name, age, country of citizenship(s), and country of residence (we need this information for visa purposes).

  5. Send the link and information to:


The application deadline is February 28, 2017... and you will be notified whether or not you were accepted by April 30, 2017. This gives you 2-months’ notice, which should be plenty of time to arrange your travel.