COLLABORATING: The table group works on creating their start-up business. (Gretchen Lucina)
COLLABORATING: The table group works on creating their start-up business.

Gretchen Lucina

CTE department implements INCubator class

November 7, 2021

The entrepreneurship class called INCubator made its way to DGN for the first time this year. Originally created in Barrington, Illinois in 2013, the class has now gone global. 

Business teacher Andrew Himes is now also in charge of teaching the INCubator course. He has been interested in this class since it was created, and he was the only entrepreneurship teacher last year leading him to accept this position.

Himes expresses the class as an entrepreneurship class on steroids. 

“It’s basically teaching kids how to trade a startup business. If you look further into it, it’s the most well-rounded business education that you can get because you are going to be forced to look at all aspects of business,” Himes said. 

Himes describes the research process, as it took years to achieve the class at DGN just like the Black American Literature class

“I went to go to see the class and talk to the teacher and the people that created it, that was maybe five years ago. In those five years we were constantly looking to see if it’s something that we wanted to eventually implement,” Himes said.

They talked to more schools and gathered data on what worked and what were the challenges of introducing this course into DGN. At the end of the day, DGN decided that there were enough schools that had success with the class so they approved it. The approval process was finished last year, and this is the first year of teaching. 

With the recent renovation, they added a brand-new classroom (room 215) specifically for the instruction of the INCubator class. It has five high-top tables and two regular tables placed throughout the room. Each table has its own flatscreen TV, totalling seven in all. 

Senior Ava Gallwas is planning on studying business in college and already taken Intro to Business, Sports Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Macroeconomics classes. Adding one more class to the list, she is now enrolled in INCubator. 

“Mr. Himes is taking us through the process of brainstorming properly, creating a Unique Value Proposition, and identifying our potential customers,” Gallwas said. “He is showing us real skills and steps people take to make their businesses, giving us the experience to do it ourselves in the future.”

The year long goal of the class is working on developing a company with their table groups. Senior David Duta decided to take the class because he had taken the semester-long entrepreneurship class but thought it was cut short. 

Duta believes that this class will provide him with the proper tools and knowledge so he won’t have to start from ground zero when he starts his own business one day. 

This class is an eye-opener when it comes to starting a business.”

— David Duta

“This class is an eye-opener when it comes to starting a business. My goal is to become an entrepreneur in the future, and the INCubator class is very beneficial for the start-up phase, which is arguably the hardest and most uncertain time that a business goes through,” Duta said.

The class is dynamic. Some days will be a lesson, others a work day, but many are coach’s days. 

“On coach’s days industry experts come in and they coach our entire class on different topics. Instead of myself trying to teach something that I don’t have expert experience on, [we] bring in somebody that does,” Himes said.

For some, like senior Devin Dupilka, these types of days are her favorite. 

“My favorite part of the class is working with people. Mentors and business representatives come in to talk to our classes. They help us expand on our businesses and how we can actually start our business,” Dupilka said.

Duta’s table group is working on a business idea that is a new way to enhance your sports performance. 

“We are creating healthy, sport-specific supplements as well as an edible form of pre-workout,” Duta said. “Currently, we are trying to figure out who our potential customers may be. We are trying to determine our customer segments to see if there is a demand for our product in the industry.”

Creating, developing and putting it together will be the long term goal. Duta is already enjoying the class only three months in.

“I also think that the INCubator class helps you build connections and network. This really helps me improve my communication skills and build relationships with lots of diverse people,” Duta said.

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