This is a guest post from Desiree Morales, the Entrepreneurship Coordinator at Austin ISD. Desiree oversees Austin ISD’s Student INC program.
The first Student INC Pitch Competition, held at Google Fiber in May of 2016, resulted in a total of $10,000 awarded to student ventures. That night, I rushed to check in with my students and congratulate them on a sum of money which must not seem real – what kid from South Austin has ever had thousands of dollars at their disposal?
But all they could talk about were the prominent professionals in the room who had offered their time, legal advice, access to their professional network, and office space. These students had just won enough money to get their ventures off the ground and what took their breath away was knowing these people valued their creative capital enough to offer their own resources in support of it. Since that day several more teams have received the same offers, and another class of burgeoning entrepreneurs started their ideation process just a couple of weeks ago.
About Student INC
We are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet – that is a statement thrown around by educators for as long as we have been considering how to update education for the 21st century. Student INC Entrepreneurial Learning Pathway fuses student-led, problem-based education with strategies that contextualize learning in the real world, create a positive environment for experimentation – and yes, failure – and give students a chance to launch startups to address relevant problems they identify in their community.
The pathway begins laying foundational skills for children in kindergarten, who practice collaborative problem-solving, pitching, and community outreach as they learn academic content. Student INC culminates in an Incubator class where students take an idea through the Lean Startup Method with support and guidance from entrepreneurs and private sector leaders.
We bring professionals into the classroom to teach lessons on solutions ideation, market sizing, navigating legal requirements, etc. Student INC introduces young people to the startup sector, brings them into entrepreneurial spaces in Austin, and gives them the skills to approach the world with creative agency for the rest of their lives.
Can you help?
Austin needs these young people to be ready for the future.
Can you help us ensure that their learning is relevant and real-world? Our Incubator curriculum features prepared lessons you can deliver and enhance by sharing your lived experience.