Boerne ISD Incubator.edu

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The Incubator.edu Program

“I wish this was around when I was a kid!” was the most common sentiment shared by both parents and community spectators who attended the 4th Annual Boerne ISD Incubator.edu Pitch Night Competition last month at Champion High School. What a promising and talented group of students; committed to their innovations, determined to earn investment, and thoroughly prepared to deliver professional pitches that night. Incubator.edu is a program designed to allow students to truly experience entrepreneurship while still in high school; throughout the course of the school year they create a business, identifying a product or service they feel will solve a problem in their community. Students are even matched with local business leaders who provide mentorship throughout the process. The course culminates with students preparing for and delivering pitches to a live audience during the Pitch Night Competition. A total of $20,000 in seed money was distributed as awards during this year’s event, which made the stakes higher than ever before for the students participating.

Meet the 2023-2024 Teams

Boerne ISD’s incubator.edu program included nine different teams, or businesses, comprised of juniors and seniors. The 2023-2024 teams were:

Thin Ice- Thin Ice designed a flexible, sleek, leakproof, and eco-friendly ice pack for high school athletes, gym goers, or anyone else experiencing an injury. The ice pack is reusable and sticks to the injured area, providing quick and effective relief while tracking your icing time.

Fold-A-Flop- Fold-A-Flop invented a foldable flip flop for athletes, travelers, or anyone looking for a quick and easy fast-drying shoe solution. The design can also be conveniently attached to a carabiner for easy carrying.

MELD- MELD designed an innovative magnetic phone case, inspired by one of the team members’ fathers, which magnetically attaches reading glasses, Air Pods, golf tees, and other accessories.

Conservisink- Conservisink created a U-shape under-the-sink pipe that can be easily installed in both new and existing sinks to help with the community’s long standing water issues.

Club Scrub- Club Scrub built a portable brush that could be used to quickly and effectively clean golf clubs while out on the course.

Hygenie- Hygenie designed a portable hygiene relief device, intended for travelers who forget to pack their toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, or tongue scraper.

Serv- Serv invented a digital app to allow nonprofits and volunteers to communicate more effectively; facilitating registration, scheduling, and reviews of potential community service opportunities.

Channel- Channel created a healthy alternative to the typical energy drink, using natural ingredients but still yielding many of the same positive effects.

NoteGoat- NoteGoat designed an online platform for students to collaborate, communicate, and share notes, experiences, etc. based on their campus, professor/teacher, and specific courses.

 

Below are a collection of the prototypes, research, product progression, and demos that were shared by various teams during the pitch competitions. 

Coach Breuer

The Incubator.edu teams are led by Coach Jennifer Breuer, who has been a teacher in Boerne ISD for the past 10 years. In addition to teaching the Business Incubator and Entrepreneurship courses, she is also the Assistant coach for the school’s Cross Country and Track Program. The Incubator.edu program would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of coach Bruer. She really does it all; from designing daily instruction, serving as a source of inspiration, providing mentorship, questioning and encouraging her students to think deeper and more thoughtfully about their plans, to holding each child accountable for their work and helping them understand what it means to be a productive, respectful, and contributing team member. Coach Bruer is exposing these students to lessons that will remain valuable well beyond their years in high school.

Preliminary Pitch Competition at Das Greenhaus

The nine teams that were a part of this year’s Incubator.edu program competed in a preliminary pitch competition held at Das Greenhaus towards the end of last month. All nine teams pitched at the preliminary pitch competition, with five teams being selected to advance to the final Pitch Night. Das Greenhaus served as an ideal location to host the event, being that it is Boerne’s first business incubator. Hosting the event at Das Greenhaus even allowed students to take in a glimpse of what their entrepreneurial futures might look like. The mission of Das Greenhaus is to provide support, resources, and guidance to both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Kendall County community; with hopes that some of the students participating in Boerne ISD’s incubator.edu program will eventually find their way back to Das Greenhaus as business owners and community leaders. Several of the founders going through Das Greenhaus’ entrepreneur program served as judges during the pitch competition. At the end of the preliminary pitch competition MELD, Thin Ice, Club Scrub, Fold-a-Flop, and Conservisink had all secured spots in the Pitch Night Competition.

Pitch Night 2024 

On April 24th, Pitch Night began with a “Viewer’s Choice” competition, where the four teams who had not already secured their spot in the finals, competed for the remaining “Viewer’s Choice” spot. Families, friends, and community members visited each team to hear their “elevator pitch” before placing votes for the team they felt most deserved the finals spot in the pitch competition. In the end, Hygiene was the final team selected to pitch. Watching the six teams pitch their businesses to the crowd, one thing became quickly apparent – the future of Boerne is very bright thanks to our school system developing such talented, ambitious, and creative thinkers and leaders. The quality of the pitches were truly top notch, as was the content, delivery, and teamwork. At the end of each pitch, students were given 5 minutes to respond to questions from the judges, again showing just how much they had taken in and learned during this experience. At the end of the night, a total of $20,000 in seed money was won by the students.

2024 INCUBATOR.EDU PITCH NIGHT AWARDS

First Place: Thin Ice, $9,000

Second Place: Fold-A-Flop, $5,000

Third Place: MELD, $3,000

Conservisink, $2,000

Club Scrub, $1,000

Hygenie, $1,000 (Fan Favorite)

Do YOU Want to Get Involved?

Any community member looking to get involved in the Boerne ISD Incubator.edu program is encouraged to reach out to Jenny Breuer or Das Greenhaus. There is always a need for mentors, willing to commit their time to help the teams develop and prepare their business plans. The program is also made possible by generous sponsorships that allow the students funds to develop their ideas, as well as provide the prize money to the winning teams. It takes a lot to keep this program running, but anyone who attended Pitch Night, and especially the students will tell you, it is well worth it! We are already looking forward to next year’s Pitch Night, and cannot wait to see what will come next for these talented young entrepreneurs!

Article by Samantha Morganroth, Program Coordinator, Das Greenhaus

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Incubator.edu is a program designed to allow students to truly experience entrepreneurship while still in high school; throughout the course of the school year they create a business, identifying a product or service they feel will solve a problem in their community. Students are even matched with local business leaders who provide mentorship throughout the process.
We could not have chosen a better month or a more fitting theme to be featured in BOERNE LIFESTYLE. Investment, the theme of the magazine’s April issue, is not only at the heart of what we do here at Das Greenhaus, but it is also what inspired the creation of our organization and it is what our entire mission is built around.

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Published on: Boerne Lifestyle
Published on: Boerne Business Monthly