The New Trier Educational Foundation and The Wilmette Theatre have partnered this year to host Pitch Night — the culmination of the classroom experience for students enrolled in New Trier Entrepreneurship: Startup U providing real-world startup business development experience from concept to minimum viable product, working in teams with coaches and learning from mentors.
Thanks to everyone who made our first in-person Pitch Night happen: the student teams, business education teachers, judges, Wilmette Theatre.
Thanks to all who supported the event: parents, families, school board, school administration and staff, and to all the volunteers.
"Pitch Night allowed our students the opportunity to publicly share their ideas and put all their hard work on display. Pitching to an important component to our curriculum as it requires professionalism and preparedness, two requirements for a successful entrepreneur. We're proud of the students’ hard work and grit, and happy they were able to pitch in person this year at the Wilmette Theater."
— Sara Burnett and Bob Bolweg, Business Education Faculty
Our Students Build-Up to Pitch Night
Earlier this year, The Record North Shore published a feature on the students enrolled in Startup U when they pitched their minimal viable products to a panel of judges. Led by business education faculty Sara Burnett and Bob Bollweg, the class helped the students prepare their presentations that laid out their business models and even requested early-stage funding, if necessary, to bring the minimal product to life.
Among the students’ ideas were: physical products, like a headband with replaceable cooling packs and a tarp with weighted magnets in each corner; digital products, like sports NFTs; and digital services, like a platform that connects individuals trying to meet up for recreational athletics.
Following their MVP pitches, the groups had been following through on their products and putting them out in the world to gather and analyze feedback.
The process built up to the final pitches by the students on May 17 to a group of judges at New Trier. The top three businesses from this round advanced to Pitch Night on May 19 at the Wilmette Theatre and was open to the public.
2022 MVP Pitches
The Foundation supports the New Trier Business Education program with funding for teachers to access online instructional and professional development resources from INCubatoredu, a nationally recognized program.
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