Business Incubator offers students an opportunity to gain real-world business skills

Hoffman Estates High School's Business Incubator course teaches management, teamwork, economics, and all sorts of business-related skills.

Hoffman Estates High School's Business Incubator course teaches management, teamwork, economics, and all sorts of business-related skills.

Ryan Mendoza, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Ever watched the show Shark Tank? In the show bright, creative entrepreneurs pitch new business ideas to some of America’s top investors in an attempt to make millions. Business Incubator is a class at HEHS that works similarly, with all the planning and learning happening off-camera, of course.

This class teaches management, teamwork, economics, and all sorts of business-related skills. Coaches and mentors are brought in from the community to talk to the students all about their experiences in entrepreneurship as well as to share stories regarding how to become successful in the business world.

“It is the PLTW of business,” said Thomas Magan, the Business Incubator teacher, as well as one of
the main backers of the program when it was still being planned.

The first semester of the course involves solving problems and then applying solutions to a business
setting. The second semester consists of testing students’ original ideas. Creativity is key to success in this course.

“Corporations are looking for more entrepreneurial thinking. They want people who can come up with the next big thing,” said Kerri Largo, the HEHS Business Department Chair.

Grades are based on project-based learning and content tests. It is important to note that students are placed in a team to create, develop, and pitch their business ideas.

“Each team is guided by a mentor. Mentors give students advice and help develop their idea. These mentors are successful entrepreneurs like Jim Fabbrini from Fabbrini flowers,” said Largo.

This class offers more than just an A on students’ transcripts at the end of the school year if students do well. As mentioned, students pitch a business idea to some investors, so if the investors like the idea, then students have the choice to go through with their idea. They don’t have to if they still have some things to work out. And even if they don’t go through with starting a business students will still have idea-generation skills and a comprehension on how a business functions.

This is the first year Business Incubator is being offered at Hoffman. The idea of having the class in Hoffman has been in the works for two years. The program being used has been around for about four years. One of the reasons why it was initially considered was because of the opportunity it offered to students.

“It is a career opportunity for students. After high school, some students go to college, others look for jobs, and some people want to start their own business,” said Largo.

The curriculum, purchased from the organization IncubatorEDU, started through Barrington High School’s program. The room where the class is held has been completely renovated to suit the needs of the program. There are whiteboards and overheads to help students and staff display thoughts and ideas. In addition, there are long tables and desks to give students the room they need for collaboration and discussion. A walled-off meeting room where students can talk privately to investors, researchers, or mentors is also available.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email