By Neal Patel
An entrepreneur-like class that gives upperclassman the chance to come up with a business is being offered at Batavia High School. This class even has investors that can put money into the student-owned businesses who impress them the best.
Juniors and seniors at Batavia are getting the opportunity to come up with a business in the class called Incubator. These students get the chance to form a team and come up with a product they want to sell. They keep working on this idea and eventually get to pitch it to real investors. Not only do these investors give them helpful tips, they can also invest money into these students’ businesses.
Incubator is a year-long class so it really gives students a lot of time to impress these investors. However, pitching an idea can be nerve-racking for some people, but for others, it’s not too bad. Danny Sterne, who is currently enrolled in Incubator, thinks that being able to sell something to a real investor is awesome. He explained that it gives students a “real feel” of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. “Being only 17 and 18 years old and experiencing what it’s like to sell an idea to a real-life investor is amazing,” Sterne said. “We get this outstanding opportunity to make our ideas come to life. We also get pointers from people who started out just like us, which is really helpful.”
Starting a business is difficult, especially at this age, but Sterne, along with many other students believe that this class has helped made it easier for them. “Having it as a yearlong class really gives us a lot of time to work on and improve our product,” Sterne said. “This class has definitely made starting a business easier.”
Sterne, along with Matt Sutherland, Quinlan Hagen, and Alain Ceja, had to pitch their idea last week. For some, standing in front of a group of people and talking is a nightmare, but for Sterne and his teammates, it was a walk in the park. “The presentation went way better than expected,” Sterne said. “We hit on all of our parts and looked professional while doing it. We used very good communication skills and conquered the nerves.” These seniors even got some helpful advice that they said they will be sure to improve on. Every business needs to improve on something or else everything would always be the same. Even if a real investor liked their presentation, they thought there was more that they could work on to make their business even better. “Even though our pitch went great, there are still things we need to work on, and we will benefit largely from that,” he said.
Incubator entrepreneurship is a great class for kids looking to start a business when they get older. This class has without a doubt helped pupils bring their ideas to life. Having real investors who can support these ideas helps out, as well. Incubator has received positive feedback from a variety of students, and it looks to be expanding class sizes in the near future.