Entrepreneurial Track Initial Plan
As part of our school culture, our administration and Board of Regents collaborates to construct a long range plan. Last year we took a suggestion from Pat Bassett, former head of National Association of Independent Schools, and created teacher led Research and Design groups. These groups investigated different aspects of our long range plan. A common idea that surfaced from these groups was the need for more opportunities to allow students to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and do more authentic work.
This year we are moving from research to implementation planning. My group is investigating ways to implement an entrepreneurial track into our Upper School beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. Our current plan would phase in over 4 years beginning next year with an entrepreneurial class. During the second semester of the class students would each construct their own business plan. This plan could be a for-profit or a non-profit organization. At the end of the first year, students interested would apply to be in a cohort that would select a business plan and become a true startup. Below is the four year track we currently envision. This would be scalable so that in year 2 we would have one cohort working on their pre-launch phase while a new group was taking the entrepreneurial class. Therefore in year 3 we would be launching or growing the first cohort’s business while the second cohort would be working on a separate action plan for a different business. This would then continue as lined up below with at least 3 businesses running concurrently in the future.
Throughout this whole process students will be using technology in multiple ways. The most continuous use will be the creation of their own website starting in the entrepreneurial class and continuing until they graduate. This website will contain all their learning and reflections on the entrepreneurial track. Some examples would be the formation of their business plan, podcasts or video interviews with established entrepreneurs, marketing materials for their business (video, print and digital) and creation of an app and/or website for their business. The possibilities are endless for technology use and will be learned “just-in-time” as they discover what is required to be successful. This website will serve as a great demonstration of the work they completed and differentiate them in future college and work applications.
Summary of Entrepreneurial Track
Year 1 – Entrepreneurial Class (anyone can register for)
- Traditional class with guest speakers/mentors from our parent body, alumni network and local businesses
- Second half includes creation of a business plan
- Creation of personal website to follow their journey
- Creation of video, print and digital advertisements for their potential business
Year 2 – Pre-launch Phase (cohort of students based on an application process)
- Converting business plan to action plan via OTIUM (opportunity, time, importance, urgency, and means)
- Meet with mentors for guidance in building their business
- Discover and implement the various technologies necessary for success (website, online commerce, bookkeeping etc.)
- Continue personal website documenting journey
Year 3 – Launch Phase (cohort continues)
- Continue with pre-launch phase mentors and technologies
- Starting of organization, sales, discovery and assessment of short and long term business goals for success
Year 4 – Growth and Internship Phase (cohort continues)
- Continuation of launch and pre-launch mentors and technologies and adjust as needed
- External internship
- Growth of business
- Decision on future of business upon graduation