INCubator @ BHS

Batavia High School’s INCubator Entrepreneurship Program

Incubator Entrepreneurship coursework from INCubatoredu offers sophomores, juniors, and seniors a real entrepreneurship experience. During class, students have the opportunity to create and fully develop their own product or service. Local entrepreneurs and business experts serve as volunteer coaches and mentors, guiding student teams through Lean Startup processes of developing hypotheses about a business concept, testing those hypotheses, adapting, and further iteration. The program also includes foundational business topics such as marketing, human resources, business law, and finance.

Similar to the ABC television show, “Shark Tank,” the high school program culminates with a pitch by student teams to investors in hopes of funding to turn their business plans into reality.

How It Works

Over the course of two semesters, students work in teams and learn by doing. They develop a business model, gain market input, and test all elements rigorously to improve their business plan.

Students are taught by a team: volunteer mentors, coaches, business resources, and the classroom teacher.

Mentors: Assigned to one team of students and follow this team through the entire course, providing feedback and encouragement. Mentors connect with students weekly—either during class or outside of class via small-group meetings, email, video calls, etc.

Coaches: Provide authentic business expertise in a specific area. Coaches come into the classroom for a short period of time (one to five days total) to provide students with real-world context for a specific curricular area (e.g., marketing, finance, business law, etc.) The coach and classroom teacher plan and present together.

Business Resource: As-needed volunteers for business networking, judging pitch competitions, hosting on-site student visits, preparing INCubator students for presentations, speaking at BHS career fair, and more.

The Classroom Teacher is a certified teacher who manages the class and volunteers as well as provides continuity.

Course Modules

  • Unit 1: Ideation (competitive analysis, value proposition)

    Unit 2: Customer Discovery

    Unit 3: Customer Connections (positioning, marketing channels, relationships)

    Unit 4: Pricing, Estimating Costs, Financial Modeling

    Unit 5: Building Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

    Unit 6: Validation/ Experimentation

    Unit 7: Promotion and Sales Planning

    Unit 8: Pitch Prep

Based on Barrington High School’s successful Business Incubator Startup adopted in 2013, the Incubator Entrepreneurship course at Batavia High School is designed to create a foundational experience for high school students who plan to study entrepreneurship and business in college as well as for those students who will enter the workforce after graduating high school. The Batavia High School Incubator Entrepreneurship course also fulfills a Consumer Education requirement for graduation.

Share your career knowledge.
Be a volunteer mentor, coach or business resource!

To help facilitate this unique learning opportunity, Batavia High School INCubator Entrepreneurship program instructor, Dennis Piron, and INCubator program chair, Robert Hubbard, are seeking entrepreneurs and business experts in the community to serve as volunteer coaches, mentors, and business resources. Volunteers work with the classroom teacher and play a critical role in guiding student teams through the process of ideation, market research, business plan development, and launch.

If you are interested in the role of mentor, coach, and/or business resource volunteer, please complete this brief form.