Barrington High School’s Business Startup Incubator class has been so successful, seven additional high schools are adopting Barrington 220’s new INCubatoredu curriculum for the 2014/2015 school year. That includes Wheeling, Elk Grove, Lake Forest, Marist and Hononegah Community High Schools in Illinois plus Loveland and Mountainview High Schools in Colorado. A Pennsylvania high school also plans to launch the curriculum in the fall of 2015 and, in all, over 20 districts have expressed strong interest in duplicating the program’s success in their schools.
Barrington High School’s inaugural Business Startup Incubator class culminated with five separate student businesses receiving $80,000 in funding in late May. (CLICK HERE for more about the funded businesses.) A sixth business called Sound Llama, a website connecting local bands with local gigs, also received private funding and will be joining the others as they further develop their businesses over the course of the next school year.
To help promote the first BHS student businesses locally, we’ll be producing a series of videos about each individual company which we’ll be publishing here at 365Barrington.com in the weeks and months ahead.
But we’re kicking off this series today as 365BarringtonTV reporter James Owen takes us inside Barrington High School’s business incubator summer bootcamp where the funded businesses are putting plans into action, thanks to their newly acquired resources. James also talks to Lake Forest High School’s business teacher who says he can’t wait to launch the entrepreneurship program in his own classroom.
Now that outside districts have the opportunity to license Barrington’s INCubatoredu curriculum, word is spreading and interest is escalating. That’s according to Christy Scott, who has been tapped by the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation and the curriculum’s founders to assist districts interested in bringing the program to their high schools.
Christy says the interest can be best described with one word, “Buzz”.
“Barrington 220 educators and program volunteers shared news of the new program at a Career & Technical education conference last fall. Questions, cheers, and ‘Can my school offer this program?’ were the immediate reactions. Wheeling High School joined the new INCubatoredu community after that conference. Since that meeting, more schools have come on board.”
The schools license use of the curriculum on a yearly basis and it includes the year-long curriculum delivered via an online learning management system, professional development for educators and community volunteers, and ongoing quarterly training sessions. The cost is in keeping with other business education curricula.
Many business experts from the Barrington community contributed their vast experiences to create material for the curriculum’s foundational business topics and here’s a brief overview of how the program works:
The program is a year long elective course taught over two semesters. The content is a combination of Lean start-up methodology and business fundamentals and the course is led by the business teacher in combination with community volunteer coaches as subject matter experts.
During the first semester, students develop their business concepts. Students create a business model to determine if it’s viable for funding while learning and applying general business topics.
The second semester focuses on testing their concepts and presenting their findings to a volunteer board of directors. Some teams are invited to present at “Pitch Night” for startup funding from the Educational Foundation and, potentially, outside investors.
Those student teams who receive funding commit to attending a summer session as well as taking the second class during the following school year, with a curriculum focused on launching and running their businesses.
Christy says they’ve been hosting a series of open house events where those interested can visit the classroom and learn about the program. Right now, interested parties can CLICK HERE to sign up for an open house and, coming this fall, there will be a website which will include more details about INCubatoredu.
STAY TUNED! We’ll be featuring videos about Barrington 220’s first BHS Business Startups in the weeks ahead right here at 365Barrington.com.