Unit 5 Innovative Entrepreneurs 3rd Annual Sweet Rewards Showcase

Posted by: Unit 5 Innovative Entrepreneurs - April, 30th 2018 @ 02:37 pm

This year McLean County Unit District 5 will complete year 3 of their unique entrepreneurial course for

students. The Innovative Entrepreneur course is an experiential learning course that is exposing 12 Normal

Community and 12 Normal West High School seniors to local business, engaging them in the design thinking

process, and guiding them through the creation of their own startups. Class is conducted in a different

area business daily. Students are learning invaluable real world lessons from their business hosts. In addition,

students are paired with local business owners to serve as their mentors. Students additionally, have had the

support of the ISU Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The course will soon culminate with students

‘pitching’ their startup ideas to a panel at the U5 IE Sweet Rewards Startup Showcase on May 11, 2018,

12:30-1:00pm elevator table pitches, 1-4pm 5 minute pitch presentations at the Parke Regency in

Bloomington. This will be large scale event as it is open to the public.

This is an exciting time for these 24 young entrepreneurs. They have spent the last year on an amazing

journey going from one area business to another seeking knowledge from area business owners. Also,

during this time in their mobile community classroom they learned about the design thinking process and

gained creative confidence to use the lean startup process. Their startups are innovative solutions to problems

that needed solved. They partnered with their community to identify and research the problems, and

created their own lean startup to implement solutions. It has been a truly rewarding educational experience

for everyone involved. With 24 completely different independent and 6 team non-profit business models  the course has offered the students an opportunity for a customized educational experience. Also, these talented young entrepreneurs were exposed to the local business landscape and opportunities right here in Bloomington-Normal. The showcase will unveil the results of their experiential learning and hard work in creating their innovative startups. Please join the community in celebrating their success this year, Visits www.u5ie.org for more details.