New Advanced Entrepreneurship Course To Be Offered At Freeport High School

Freeport, Illinois — May 8, 2017 — An exciting partnership between Freeport High School and the Freeport Community Foundation will provide entrepreneurship training for local students beginning next school year.

The Freeport Community Foundation announced last week a grant of $20,000 to allow Freeport High School to purchase the award-winning INCubatoredu curriculum for a new advanced entrepreneurship course to be offered at the school.

The INCubatoredu curriculum was first developed at Barrington High School and has spread to dozens of high schools across the United States. Its key points of distinction include:

● Blend of Lean Startup process with foundational business topics

● Authentic, real-world learning

● Hands-on problem solving

● Team teaching with classroom teacher and leaders from the local business world

● Ongoing professional development for classroom teacher and volunteers

Through the curriculum, teams of students work to solve a problem over the course of a school year by developing a business model canvas, gaining market input on a minimum viable product, and iterating all elements to improve their business plan. At the end of the year, they pitch their products to a Shark Tank style team who may recommend that they continue to work on their product in a subsequent year two course called Acceleratoredu. Since many students’ products may involve a 21st Century solution, a companion app design course that introduces students to coding can also be developed.

The effort to increase entrepreneurship training opportunities at Freeport High School first began in Fall 2016 as a group of Freeport High School students formed an entrepreneurship after-school club to start to brainstorm a concept of creating escape room puzzles. That group would go on to win the Freeport Fish Tank competition for their business concept.

Over the course of this school year, the group has worked to run through the steps of starting up a business. After considering a formal store front, the team has returned to their original intent of a mobile design and has provided two “pop-up” business locations for events for the YMCA and FHS Post-Prom this spring.

Freeport High School is elated to have the support from the Freeport Community Foundation to allow them to purchase this award-winning curriculum. The next step is to redesign the classroom space to look more like a start-up business rather than a typical classroom with desks.

If you are interested in helping to fund or design this space, please contact Principal Dr. Beth Summers. Contact: Dr. Beth Summers, Freeport High School Principal beth.summers@fsd145.org or 815-232-0405

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