New Trier Business Education teachers are bringing INCubatoredu to the classroom to provide students with real world entrepreneurship experience. INCubatoredu — a nationally recognized program that provides a specialized curriculum to hundreds of member schools in over a dozen states — provides online instructional materials, consultation on how the classroom is designed, a coaching and mentoring framework, and professional development resources for teachers and volunteers.

In this year-long course, students will have the opportunity to fully develop their product or service. Business experts from the community serve as volunteer coaches and mentors guiding student teams through the processes. At the end of the school year, each team will present to a group of local entrepreneurs and business leaders mimicking ABC’s popular business pitch show, “Shark Tank.”

This year 62 students are enrolled in the first incubator at New Trier– Entrepreneurship: Start-Up U. This experience will model a start-up environment similar to spaces like 1871 in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The faculty believe some groups will produce business ideas that provide services to people in need. They also believe this course will motivate students to think differently and
more critically about issues or problems that can be
resolved in our school and community.

The Benefits


From Concept to Minimum Viable Product to Pitch, students are hypothesizing, testing, adapting, learning and improving. This cycle of experimentation is combined with foundational business content such as marketing and finance. Working and learning in teams makes the experience even more valuable.


Coaches provide students with real-world context for a specific curricular area. Mentors are assigned to one team through the entire process giving students feedback and encouragement. The classroom teacher manages the class and volunteers, as well as provides continuity.


The program culminates on Pitch Night in May 2018 when students present their business ideas to a panel of business experts and potential investors. The winning pitch typically receives a monetary reward between $3,000 and $5,000. Beyond the program, students can design their own career–their own pathway to success–based on what they love.

The Goal

The New Trier Educational Foundation has committed to raise $20,000
to secure the license for using INCubatoredu in New Trier’s Business
Education classroom.

Click here to support Start-Up U

INCubatoredu was developed by Uncharted Learning, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to bring authentic, rigorous, and experiential education to all students to foster the development of real-world skills.

The Foundation partners with the District and New Trier faculty to identify special initiatives that can benefit the students in multiple ways and have the potential to engage the larger community.