This Fall, Friendswood High School is launching an entrepreneurship program, INCubatoredu, to give students real-world experience as they create their own startup businesses.
The Friendswood ISD Call to Action states, “Through authentic experiences and relationships, FISD will graduate confident learners equipped with the knowledge, skills, and character to thrive in and contribute to a global society.”
“The Mustang Business INCubator is that authentic experience we were looking for in our business, marketing, and finance program of study,” Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of career technical education (CTE) at FHS said. “Students will research a real-world problem that is of interest to them and work to find a product or service solution.”
The program relies on a mix of classroom instruction and volunteer mentors from the business community guiding student teams through lean startup processes from ideation to their final pitch in true “Shark Tank” fashion. Students are grounded in many of the critical skills vital for successful business building including collaboration, adaptability, critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving.
Nishi St. John, who will be instructing the class, said, “When students come to the INCubator class they leave the school environment behind and step into a work environment. INCubator gives students an opportunity to actually be an entrepreneur instead of just learning about entrepreneurship.”
Students will be coached on a variety of subjects such as legal, financial modeling and marketing by actual business professionals including lawyers, financial advisors and entrepreneurs.
“We are bringing real-world experience into the classroom,” Jim Foreman, the community champion responsible for recruiting local business leaders to volunteer with the program, said. “These kids are going to have direct access to some of the best and brightest minds our community has to offer.”
INCubatoredu is a popular high school entrepreneurship course developed by Uncharted Learning, an education non-profit that launched its first incubator in 2013. The program has since grown to include more than 230 schools. In the course, student teams compete to take business ideas from concept to successful funding in an incubator environment designed to replicate real entrepreneurial challenges.
[email protected] will launch Fall of 2019 and will be housed in the school’s newly renovated creative space. A launch party for the program will be hosted in the space this Fall.
For more information visit myFISD.com/incubator.