Did you have an entrepreneurial spirit when you were young? Students in the Marietta community definitely do, and were excited to display their skills. Middle school students who participate in the Ely Chapman Education Foundation After-School Program, as well as high school students enrolled in the Marietta High School Entrepreneurship class were competing at Marietta College for the first ever Junior PioPitch.
Through a partnership with Ely Chapman Education Foundation and Building Bridges to Careers, an entrepreneurship curriculum was developed. Marietta College already has a PioPitch program established for its students, who compete for a $10,000 prize for a start-up business, and are excited to expand to a younger generation.
Throughout the course, students had the opportunity to interact with potential customers, stakeholders, experts, and mentors to test the marketability of their solutions.
Through the entrepreneurship curriculum, middle and high school students have learned what it means to have an entrepreneurial heart, and a love for creation. Both of the developed programs were age-appropriate and were based on a nationally-recognized Ice House Entrepreneurship curriculum, which teaches students to troubleshoot.
As a way to demonstrate all they have learned, each of the students will have the ability to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to members of the campus and community. By taking this course, youth in Marietta were able to sharpen the next generation of citizens to the mindset and behavior of successful entrepreneurship.
“We piloted the junior PioPitch program because we wanted to inspire the high school and middle school students to think creativity. We wanted to motivate students to search for opportunities to fill a gap in the market, and then work on developing their ideas further,” comments Jacqueline Khorassani, Professor/Director of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Business and Economics Department of Marietta College.
The Binkley Charitable Fund, as well as the unrestricted funds of the Marietta Community Foundation awarded the funding to help establish Junior PioPitch at Marietta College. The Foundation is pleased to know the youth in the community are excited in cultivating their entrepreneurship skills.