“This is 21st century learning at its best. We are able to provide our students with unique opportunities and innovative programs because of the supportive community in which we live. Their contributions will immediately impact the lives of District 155 students currently enrolled in the INCubator Edu program for the 2016-17 school year,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent.
This course is open to all District 155 seniors. Currently, 48 students are enrolled in two sections which runs for an entire school year. Students are placed in groups based on their strengths and abilities. Each team then creates a product or service. They will spend the school year developing a plan to build their business. A mentor in the business community will be paired with each group. Mentors will help students guide their group the entire year. Coaches who are experts in their field will be brought in throughout the year to co-teach specific lessons about production innovation, marketing, etc. At the end of the school year, each group will present to a group of local entrepreneurs and business leaders which will mimic “shark tank” presentation.
The INCubator Edu classroom is a state-of-the-art space for students to collaborate, create, and innovate. The room is designed to replicate a professional business environment. It includes a conference room, several HD monitors, mobile furniture, and whiteboard walls.
The Foglia Family Foundation and The Domek Foundation contributed funds to cover the total cost of construction for the 21st century classroom. Vince Foglia and Mike Domek spoke to both classes about their personal success in business on August 26.
Vince Foglia, who founded Sage Products, emphasized learning the business first. He talked about being in sales for 10 years before starting his own business. He also talked about the importance of character.
“Your resume and experience are important, but your character will get you hired. Live up to your potential. Business is an adventure, a wonderful adventure, and everyone should have some experience at it,” said Vince Foglia, Founder of Sage Products.
Mike Domek shared with students the idea behind creating his business, Tickets Now, and the challenges he faced and overcame.
“At TicketsNow, we had to fail to learn, and we continued to learn until we got it right. This initiative excites me as it will have a positive impact on students and the community for generations to come. Jobs will be created because of this class and that’s an awesome thing,” said Mike Domek, The Domek Foundation.
Students in the class were appreciative of the experience and thanked them personally when the class ended.
“I have never been more excited for a class. Mike and Vince reminded me the possibilities are endless,” said Trey Fuchs, a Prairie Ridge senior.
Foglia and Domek reminded students about the importance of relationships, networking, and never burning a bridge.
“I am so grateful I was able to be there and listen to everything they had to say. I am very thankful with all of the opportunities the two men have given to my classmates, future classes, and myself,” said Kiara Weil, a Prairie Ridge senior.