CEDAR PARK, Texas — Vista Ridge High School's incubator and accelerator programs are responsible for training the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Students enter the program as juniors and are separated into groups.
"By October, we have them separated into teams and they stay in those teams throughout the rest of their journey," said instructor Dana Jones.
Jones also said that the courses benefit greatly from community volunteers.
Whitney Fenzel is a digital marketing specialist who is in her second year mentoring the students.
"I meet with my kids once a week," Fenzel said. "We meet before school on Friday and we email intermittently."
At the end of their junior year, the groups pitch their ideas in a "Shark Tank" style show to secure funding. Those that get funding advance to the senior accelerator class.
Jones explained that the ideas vary from apps to children's products and even food.
"We have a restaurant that sells air-fried chicken, we have a neighborhood safety app and we have a stuffed animal company with interchangeable heads and limbs," she said.
Garrett Powell's app is called B-Line. It's an app that aims to make the grocery shopping experience more enjoyable. His group is working with a volunteer who is employed at Google.
"He has a huge network throughout the city and we're able to use that as necessary because he's our mentor and it fits just perfectly," Jones said.
These students are building a great entrepreneurial foundation and are looking forward to being future leaders in business.
RELATED VIDEO: Back to Class: Hays CISD Firefighter Academy
Other KVUE Back to Class stories:
- Welding sparks interest at Elgin High School
- Butcher class at Florence HS teaching students how to cut and sell meat
- Cosmetology program at Hays HS is a cut above the rest
- Round Rock HS students learning how to fix, repair cars in automotive class
- 'Changing Lives' play teaching lessons to Pflugerville students
- Hutto High School's robotics champs don't plan on giving up title anytime soon
- Puppy training class at Wimberley High School lets students teach dogs to save lives