Why you should take Business Incubator

Why you should take Business Incubator

Chloe York, Staff Writer

Dynamic is the one word most used to describe the Business Incubator Class in LFHS. 

Although it is only considered an elective, the juniors who choose to take the class have to possess a very distinct set of traits, a few of those being grit, drive, and passion. 

Overall, the class requires a dynamic student. It pushes you more than any other class I have been in. It encourages you to improvise and problem solve in real-life situations, helping you gain the most valuable experiences that prepare you well beyond high school. 

LFHS was one of the first five schools in America to offer this class to students, now there are well over 300. 

Eight years ago, when Mr. Joe Pulio, first was introduced to the program he realized how dynamic and unique it was, it was not like doing school. He realized the value it would have to the high school. 

The class is uniquely self-directed, “It is not the typical classroom, and even my role as a “teacher” really is more of an organizer,” said Mrs. Laura Clegg, the newest addition to the team of Business Incubator teachers. 

“I’ve been looking forward to teaching this class for years! I love entrepreneurship, and this is a next-level opportunity for students!” Clegg said. 

Students in the class are learning using something called the Lean Startup, a program which is creating buzz in the world of entrepreneurship.

The year starts with simple brainstorming, as they throw everything out as a possibility, which really challenges the students to think outside the box. 

“My favorite part about the class is watching groups go from the start of the year, where they have a million ideas, to researching and processing and then developing one product or service into a full-blown company,” Clegg said. 

Senior Pride Haggerty, took her business all the way to pitch night. Taking place at the end of May, the top four businesses compete to see who can deliver the best pitch and acquire the most money from the investors in order to bring their business to life. 

“My team and I put in so much work and effort leading up to pitch night and it all paid off when we won the best pitch award,” Haggerty said. “Speaking in front of a whole auditorium was daunting to say the least but it gave us an opportunity to exhibit all that we accomplished throughout the whole year.” 

EZ plus practicing for Pitch Night 2022 (Pride Haggerty)

The experiences and skills you learn through this class are ones you can carry with you throughout life. 

The biggest challenge of the class is that 16 and 17 year olds are being asked to come up with an idea and turn it into a business, while only getting 45 minutes a day to do so. 

But, they are not set to conquer this task entirely on their own. The business program brings in mentors, individuals who have been successful in their own business-related ventures. Each group gets a mentor, but the mentors choose which group they believe would be the best fit for them. 

“We have been incredibly lucky in our class to have excellent pairings, and all of the students in my class have really bonded with their mentors,” Clegg said. 

“Each team is paired with a mentor from outside of our building who has extensive experience in the business world.  We have been incredibly lucky in our class to have excellent pairings, and all of the students in my class have really bonded with their mentors,” said Clegg. 

The dynamic aspect of the class is what draws students to the course.

“I decided to take this class because I was very interested in what it would be like to create a business from scratch and see how successful an idea could be,” junior Will Goodsir said. “I also thought it was very intriguing how this class could create a business that I could be working on for years, even after the class is over and in college.” 

Goodsir is currently working on developing an app with his group. 

“Our product is Homework Haven , a homework app that pulls all your assignments from the different parts of Schoology and reminds you daily of your homework while also telling you how long it will take you,” said John Nikitas, a member of the Homework Haven team.

Lake Forest Business Incubator program (LFHS Facebook page)

This app will help you plan better for your night of homework and will help students across America be more organized, improving their grades and ability to perform academically in school.

Homework Haven, along with several other businesses have been working for months, all with the same goal, to make it to pitch night, and bring their businesses, which they are so passionate about, to life. 

Business Incubator has been my favorite class I have taken. I am only halfway through the year, and I have already learned so many valuable skills and have had such great experiences. 

The skills that I have acquired in this class not only inspired me to pursue a career in business later in life, but have influenced the confidence I have in myself and my own future.

Business Incubator prepares students for more, more than what you can learn in a regular classroom.

Business Incubator has broken down the walls of a traditional classroom, enabling the students to do what they never thought possible.