As part of our Research and Design group we are looking at ways to implement an entrepreneurial track into our Upper School. This would phase in over 4 years beginning next year with an entrepreneurial class. Then from that class students would apply to be in a cohort that takes their business plans into an action plan that results in an actual student run business or nonprofit. 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 Process for Approval and Design of Entrepreneurial Track
August – Organize Steering Committee
September – Design Initial Plan
- Draft a summary on Entrepreneurial Track outline (below)
- Staffing? How are we going to staff this long term? (instructors)
- How are we going to pay for the business?
- How are we going to sustain these businesses?
- How does the scheduling of this course change as they move up?
- If they apply, who chooses the cohort? What’s application & selection process?
- Do we work with other departments (such as the MakerSpaces)? Or is this completely independent?
- How do we choose the business after year 1?
- When launching the program, do we only start with freshmen?
October – Present initial idea with questions above answered to administration for approval of concept
November to January – Design course pulling in other resources as needed to meet with the Steering Committee
- Use Understanding By Design concepts to build out initial course
- Start reaching out to mentors and experts
- Research funding models
February to March – Start “advertising” entrepreneurial track to students to get them excited about being a part of the program.
April to June – Finalize scope and sequence and other logistics of initial class.
Summary of Entrepreneurial Track
Year 1 – Entrepreneurial Class (anyone can register for)
- Traditional class with guest speakers
- 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
- 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