PITTSBURGH – The students in the INCubatoredu Entrepreneurship Class at Thomas Jefferson High School will present their final pitches for their business concepts on May 14th at Pittsburgh Business Show.
Students will have the opportunity to present their best product or service pitch to a panel of judges and potential investors in a “Shark Tank” style event modeled after the ABC TV series.
The class launched this year with five teams of students who have worked over the last nine months to develop useful business products, services, and applications such as an app that provides the lowest grocery bill at your local stores and a phone case that serves as a personal safety device.
The class of 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students is led by Lisa Kostella, Business Teacher and Program Lead of the INCubatoredu Entrepreneurship Class. “The INCubatoredu program overall gives the students the opportunity to have an authentic entrepreneurial experience building a business,” Kostella said.
Throughout the class, students have learned how to make mistakes, take risks, and learn to pivot while developing their product or service as a start-up. Kostella said this class is based on student-led learning with a support network of coaches, mentors, and board members who provide students with real-life learning, feedback, and advice.
Kostella said this support network includes community members, entrepreneurs, and industry experts who volunteer to help the students either as coaches who teach students current business styles and other fundamentals or as mentors who serve as the right-hand man or woman to student providing advice and feedback.
In the class, Kostella said, the students develop a hypothesis about their business concept, test the hypotheses while adapting and continually learning and improving. She said the students have completed their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) pitch and they will be giving their final pitch for their pre-launch at the show. Ultimately, Kostella said, students are looking to gain investment funds for their products and services and that they may have to do a few more pitches to accomplish that.
Kostella said this course helps to set students up with important life skills such as how to sell yourself in an interview, while also giving them the idea of how to start and begin to build a business. “We hope, and I hope that working with Linda Jo, that we can continue this relationship and have the students pitch every year at their show. That way we can work together and build relationships with coaches and mentors at the Show to give back,” Kostella said.
Linda Jo Thornberg, INCubatoredu Board of Advisor and President of the Pittsburgh Business Show, will serve as 1 of 5 judges who will determine which student will move on to represent Thomas Jefferson High School in the National Pitch.
“I am excited to serve as a mentor to these students and provide them with a venue where they can pitch their business concepts to a large network of business owners, investors, and executives. At the Pittsburgh Business Show, our focus is to make Pittsburgh business stronger and to help it grow. What better way to do that than to teach and help our youth grow within the business community, setting a strong foundation for the next generation of business owners.” Thornberg said.
The INCubatoredu Entrepreneurship Class will hold their final pitches on the Main Stage Hall A at The David L. Lawrence Convention Center on May 14 at 6:00 pm. Join us to hear their pitches and to participate in the region’s largest tradeshow, conference, and networking event May 14 and 15 by purchasing a discounted two-day ticket here.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“The only show you will need to attend this year”