St. Charles School District 303 is looking for local businesses and leaders willing to work with potential high school entrepreneurs in a new program beginning next school year.
District 303 officials announced INCubatoredu, a program in which students would build a start-up from the ground up. The course would take place in an incubator environment, intended to replicate real-world entrepreneurial challenges, district officials said.
“We are thrilled to be bringing INCubatoredu to the St. Charles community,” said 303 curriculum associate director Melissa Byrne in a news release. “This is a unique opportunity for our school district to partner with community members to implement an authentic, hands-on entrepreneurship experience for our students and provide a unique start-up environment and exposure to seasoned business professionals.”
The entrepreneurship program would start in 2018, at both St. Charles East and St. Charles North high schools.
Byrne said Thursday they plan to have at least one section at each high school, with the goal being every interested student can take the course.
Business incubators have been created in other local high school, such as Batavia, Dundee-Crown, Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools.
According to the 303 release, students would develop ideas from concept stage to funding. Skills intended to develop and improve under INCubatoredu include collaboration, adaptability, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving.
The 303 program would be in collaboration with non-profit Uncharted Learning, which has developed incubators in more than 85 schools in 15 states.
“Our programs are taught by a team of teachers, real-business mentors, and outside coaches drawn from local communities who help students learn the ins (and) outs of launching and managing a start-up business,” said Margarita Geleske, co-executive director of Barrington-based Uncharted Learning, in a statement.
The 303 school board approved INCubatoredu during a recent board meeting. The cost for the courses is nearly $60,000 for year one, $15,000 for year two and $15,000 beyond that, according to board documents.
Information regarding INCubatoredu will be available to businesses and individuals in the upcoming months, the release said. For information, contact Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers would fill in roles such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and board of advisors, Byrne said.