BATAVIA – A synergy between local business leaders and students has been heating up in the INCubator Entrepreneurship course at Batavia High School.
The creative spirit underlying the program has carried over to a makeover of the classroom, whose recent unveiling brought together some of the program’s volunteer coaches and mentors, along with school staff and students eager to talk about the business projects they are bringing to life.
The course’s program director is Brian Gamlin. Since last year, BHS teacher and football and track coach Dennis Piron has been the instructor. Attending the grand opening was the developer of the course curriculum, Margarita Geleske of INCubatoredu of Barrington. She said Piron is one of 60 participating teachers across the country.
Seth Winkle, a senior and teacher’s assistant for the course, called it the most hands-on class he has ever taken, adding he appreciates the perspective gained from coaching presentations by local professionals ranging from lawyers, web developers, accountants and financial advisers to small-business owners and marketing people.
“It helped me choose what I want to major in – finance,” Winkle said.
Mason Pifer, a junior, is part of the student team developing the Navigamers website.
“It’s really cool to see how real business works,” Pifer said.
The volunteer mentor for his team is Furkan Gur, a professor who teaches a hands-on startup model at Northern Illinois University and arranged for the INCubator students to visit the business school on the DeKalb campus.
Gur said his class at NIU draws on the “Shark Tank” television show concept, which…
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