Problem: The public Incubator School in Los Angeles (USA) is a pilot-program, which began in 2013 with a mission to create entrepreneurs. It was founded by the educator Sujata Bhatt, who has been working in the public education system for more than ten years. The students are encouraged to open businesses and create startups, beginning in the 8th year of basic education.
Solutions: The values of the Incubator School are the following: audacity; integrity; tenacity and effort. A typical day in the school consists of three stages: two hours studying Mathematics and English through educational platforms like the Khan Academy and StudySync; one period in a design laboratory where they study sciences and develop projects; and a one-hour class on how to open a business, focusing on themes such as business planning and financial education. All of the activities are developed under the tutorship of the professor and technology is used at all times. The students also have two free hours per week to explore personal interests.
The school opened its doors in 2013 with 62 students from the 6th and 7th years of basic education and included a class from the 8th year in 2014, giving a total of 117 students. In 2015, a new group from the 9th year will be opened. This will continue every year up to the third year of secondary level. In the 6th and 7th years, students study the principles of entrepreneurship. From the 8th year onwards, they must put their projects into practice, opening companies or creating startups.
Outcomes: The school aims to instill a spirit of entrepreneurship in the young, making them capable of generating, testing and putting into practice their ideas on how to alter the world around them. It also seeks to develop the students ability to communicate in a clear and simple manner, as well as how to solve problems and learn from their mistakes. Although it is a relatively new project, some of the activities that have already been completed include: meetings with CEOs from companies; meetings with journalists; the creation of websites; projects to redesign beachfronts; conference presentations and statistical surveys.