The Winners Circle! A Conversation with 2023 INCubatoredu National Pitch Finalist Teams
We sat down to share reflections of what this group of winners took away from their INCubatoredu experience and what surprised them most about the high school entrepreneurship course. Representing five different high schools from across the country, they highlight how this program has significantly impacted their lives and prepared them for the real world. Their testimonials emphasize the practical and essential life skills gained through INCubatoredu, making it stand out from traditional academic subjects and traditional classroom learning environments.
Business skills & beyond
The students reflect on the opportunities the course provides to engage in real-world experiences and foster skills that are invaluable in life, regardless of one's chosen path. This departure from traditional classroom learning is spotlighted as both refreshing and relevant, providing students with practical knowledge that extends beyond textbooks and exams. One student expressed surprise at how much they learned about real-world business experiences through INCubatoredu. Working with mentors and industry experts was mentioned as 'eye-opening', providing exposure to the intricacies of the business world and providing valuable guidance as they created their startups.
Creativity and collaboration were mentioned several times as stand-out elements of the INCubatoredu experience. Creativity in this class is reframed as something beyond conventional art skills, and students are taught methodologies to effectively generate and share ideas, provide feedback, and collaborate with peers—a crucial skill that applies to any career path.
Communication skills are highlighted as a significant benefit of the program. While many students initially enter the class feeling nervous, they quickly adapt to presenting their ideas and interacting with people confidently. INCubatoredu teaches them the importance of effective communication and helps alleviate their fears about public speaking.
INCubatoredu's hands-on approach stands in stark contrast to traditional teaching methods. Rather than simply receiving notes and taking tests, students learn by doing. The program empowers students to apply what they learn to their own entrepreneurial journey. Working with mentors and volunteers and talking with potential customers enhance interpersonal skills and how to be resilient in stressful situations.
Team building is another skill that students find integral to their INCubatoredu experience. They learn what it takes to work collaboratively and build strong teams, which they believe will be essential for their future success in business and life.
One of the myths debunked by INCubatoredu is the perception that starting a business is exceptionally difficult. With the support of mentors, teachers, and the skills and tools taught in the program, students have found the process to be not only manageable but also enjoyable, fulfilling and confidence-building.
A lasting impression
It's unanimous! The INCubatoredu program has had a profound impact on students from various schools across the country. Aside from empowering young student entrepreneurs to create their own businesses, it has equipped them with practical, durable skills, encouraged creativity and collaboration, and instilled confidence in their ability to navigate the challenges of the real world. The program's unique approach to education, which prioritizes experiential learning, has left a lasting impression on these students and prepared them for success in both business and life.