Uncharted Learning_Student Entrepreneurs_2021

Student Outcomes?  Let's ask them...

We were thrilled to catch up with and spotlight student entrepreneur alumni of INCubatoredu and Mobilemakersedu at our National Summit in July where teachers and educators came together for inspiration and professional learning.  

Students answered our questions about what they gained from this student entrepreneurship or mobile app dev experience.  They shared stories and offered tips to students who may be considering the courses, and even offered ideas for educators, too. 😀

Question: Why did you sign up for this class?

"I was attracted to the type of learning that emphasizes a kind of ‘learning outside the classroom’. A lot of times in high school, you have to sit and ask yourself, ‘how am I going to use what I'm learning right now?’, but with this course, INCubatoredu, it's really hands-on, and that was a big draw for me.  And when you go to college—I’m in business school—a lot of what you're learning is hands-on, so exposure to that is super important." — Anya

"...it's really hands-on, and that was a big draw for me." — Anya

"Sometimes it's the teacher who pushes, and it kind of scares you, and it just ends up working out…It was life-changing, and now I'm literally running my business, DeoBlock, full time and I couldn't think of it any other way. I was planning to go to law school. But, ever since we won seed funding that night in 2016 (at our district Pitch night), my life completely changed and I never looked back." — Anthony

"The INCubatoredu teacher knew me and saw a lot in me. Originally I was just doing stuff to make money outside of school, and he said, ‘you should really figure out how to turn that into something’." — Jalen

What is the one takeaway from the class that has helped you in the real world?

"One thing that really helped me when I was transitioning to college from high school was using what I learned in the INCubatoredu classroom.  It puts you ahead of many people in the college setting because they're just trying to catch up with what I already know." — Jalen

"It puts you ahead of many people in the college setting because they're just trying to catch up with what I already know." — Jalen

"I mean, speaking humbly, in college, you're miles ahead because you've had this real-world experience.  Your professionalism and your business acumen are just so strong. Even more than that, I feel like I have a really close tie to business in a personal sense because I own a business. (Allergenius). I have a deeper purpose and passion for what I'm doing and that was completely born out of INCubatoredu, and the experience I had there versus people who might not really know why they're doing business—I know ‘why’— it’s so awesome."Anya

What would you share with INC students or those who may be considering the class?

"One of the first things you do in the class is identify a problem that needs solving. Once you’ve progressed through the class, it's always cool to lean back on your problem and realize that whatever I'm solving, it's a problem that I have AND other people have.  And I found that very motivating.  It makes working on your business so much more enjoyable, especially if it's something you're really passionate about. It doesn't feel like work.

"It doesn't feel like work." — Anya

"And, when you are forming your team, it’s important to consider what kind of team culture you want. Who understands the way you work and the value that you bring?  It shouldn’t be ‘it's you against the world’, but you should have a lot of team camaraderie—where you always have each other's backs." — Anya

"The product that we're building at Transeo is challenging, so picking the right people early, not just friends, is really important because it's a pain to unwind those decisions if you’re scaling a business." — Jimmy

"We (my business partner and I) decided to delay college to work on launching our business after winning pitch and receiving funding. We just had that big discussion…That this is a great opportunity. So, I would say, we learned that anything and everything is possible. We worked part-time jobs, attended community college, and got this business off the ground. We eventually finished a four-year college and graduated. It’s about prioritizing the things that are really important to you, and if you do that, then you're going to be successful in whatever you do."— Anthony

...we learned that anything and everything is possible. — Anthony

"I would say that a lot of students, once they get into high school, already carry around so many labels.  Kids think, ‘oh I'm not smart because I'm not in AP classes, so I can’t be successful in business or entrepreneurship', and they've already given up on themselves. I think that this class is re-engineered so you won't give up on yourself...here are the building blocks, go do it. That was the most mind-changing thing that allowed me to see value in myself and I think that's why I'm so driven.  It was the most mature thing for me, it was the best class of my life. And now, I’m a successful business owner." (Evendtor)  — Jalen

'This class is re-engineered so you won't give up on yourself...here are the building blocks, go do it.'— Jalen

What should teachers keep in mind? 

"I am a big proponent of alternative pathways and individual choice when it comes to options post-high school. I think it's really important for teachers and schools to give students the opportunity to find those options, you know, those moments that could change their trajectory.— Jimmy

"Everyone has different backgrounds when it comes to prior experience and skills, so just try and keep your teaching flexible to let your students excel—MobileMakersEdu is perfect for that."— Melissa

"Try to make a connection with your students because it can make or break a kids’ experience, and I had an absolutely amazing experience thanks to my teacher. And, set expectations high because when you show you believe in them, your students are actually capable of success. They'll meet that bar, and they will want to show you that they are capable."— Ally

"...set expectations high because when you show you believe in them, your students are actually capable of success. They'll meet that bar, and they will want to show your that they are capable." — Ally

"Keep in mind that students are more mature and more intelligent than you may believe they are, and they can handle a lot. They are capable of so much, so give them the space to craft their own path, and that's what these programs are for. Just really trust them and guide them."— Anya

"Every interaction that teachers have with students is an opportunity to meaningfully shape the path that they will find themselves on. I think that's an awesome privilege and also a big responsibility."Melissa

"Bring in as many mentors as you can. They give practical real-world examples. I would say 90% of what I've had to do to overcome obstacles to get where I am today, I never learned from a textbook or even any college course. So I think the more real-world examples and people who actually lived it, the better."Anthony

"Bring in as many mentors as you can. They give practical real-world examples because I would say 90% of what I've had to do to overcome obstacles to get where I am today, I never learned from a textbook or even any college course. — Anthony

See if INCubatoredu Is Right For Your School

The student panel consisted of six alumni of the INCubatoredu or Mobilemakersedu programs. 

Melissa Cobb
Elk Grove Village High School, D214
Student and App Creator

Ally Khoshabe
Barrington High School, D220
INCubatoredu Teacher’s Assistant & Co-Founder

Jimmy McDermott
Prospect High School, D214
CTO and Co-Founder |Transeo

Jalen Ponder
Hononegah High School, D207
Founder and CEO |Evendtor

Anya Ranjan
Wheaton North High School, D200
Co-Founder |Allergenius

Anthony Tamras
Palatine High School, D211
Co-Founder and CMO/Head of Sales | DeoBlock