“It’s a little bit more real world. It provides the kids the opportunity to start a real business as opposed to, you know, some little mini business they run for a few weeks during the semester,” said Brad Neubauer, business teacher at Naperville Central High School.
The Naperville Education Foundation (NEF) and Naperville School District 203 co-hosted INCubator Pitch Night on Wednesday at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall where teams of students from Naperville North and Naperville Central High Schools pitched business concepts to investors.
Four teams were given the opportunity to pitch the products they’ve been working on throughout the school year to get seed money to move their projects to the next step. New this year, audience members got to vote on the fifth group as a wild card, also allowed to pitch their product idea.
Business Teacher from Naperville North Gene Nolan enjoys seeing what students can come up with that would benefit the community and the consumer.
“There’s a problem or a gap in a market that is not solved yet through the setup of a business. So the benefits of the consumers in the community is that these businesses that are beginning are solving some problem that customers have said right now it’s not being met. And once the solution is viable, we’d be willing to pay for it. So it’s a win certainly for the businesses, but it’s also a win for the community,” said Nolan.
The Winners are…
The highest prize of $3,000 was awarded to Scent Sacks, a small, scented beanbag that kills bacteria and removes odors from shoes and gloves worn while playing sports. Gard-In-Home, an in-home garden support service, and Teen Force, an online job site tailored for high school students, were also winners, receiving $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.
Naperville News 17’s Tim Jacobi reports.
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