The Barrington High School Business Incubator program hosted their 5th annual pitch night on May 22nd, 2018.
Four final teams were given the opportunity to present their businesses to a panel of judges who decided whether or not they would receive funding and continue their education in the program for a second year. The program has awarded over $100,000 to student startups to date.
First up to pitch their business was the Spotless Mobile Car Wash team. A mobile car washing service that comes to you, at your home or business to wash your car explained how they would capture customers too busy to take their car to existing car wash establishments. Already taking reservations via their website: https://spotlessmcw.com/the team of five took turns to share facts about the industry, potential market size, and anticipated profits.
Next up was Colt Employment a company created to connect students with prospective employers. This team of four students explained the difficulty finding available part-time jobs. They explained how existing online employment websites focus on large corporate business and openings for full-time employees, making a student's search difficult. In their research, they also found that many local businesses have job openings for part-time employees they are having difficulty filling. Their solution would not only allow employers to connect with potential student workers but through focused survey questions, find jobs that would be the best fit for the students.
Third to present was The Disc Company. The company plans to market accessories and training equipment to the growing Ultimate Frisbee market. The team of four frisbee enthusiasts shared the growth of the sport into competitive club teams and tournaments around the country. They also compared the numbers of new Ultimate Frisbee athletes to the declining numbers of golfers nationally. The product they want help funding the manufacturing of is a weighted disc that would help increase the performance of athletes in the support.
The final team, Power Pod, asked to help with funding and marketing costs to create their disposable cell phone power source. One of the team of four students explained her need for emergency power when her cell phone went dead at a large music festival preventing her from connecting her friends and not allowing access to her train ticket home that was stored on her phone. Power Pod, small and slim in design, would give 40% power to either Android or iPhones. Made from a vegetable based material, it is also biodegradable. The team showcased their product at the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Family Expo in April and sold out of their initial run of product.
After the teams presented, the judges' panel left the stage to deliberate. Popular BHS Business Incubator teacher Hagop 'Hags' Soulakian interviewed students from local elementary schools who took part in Freshinc, the 4th and 5th-grade version of the Incubatoredu education program.
Connor Boundy, a BHS Class of 2015 graduate who was funded in the first year of the program in 2014 for Find My Bus, explained what happened after they were funded and how the program shaped him. See his presentation in the video from BHS-TV below.
When the judges returned they awarded The Disc Company with $14,000 and Power Pod with $7500. One of the judges offered to personally fund Spotless Mobile Car WAsh with $10,000. The students participating on the funded teams will continue their education next year at BHS in ACCELeratoredu.
Barrington High School's Business Incubator class was the first of the Incubatoredu program developed by Karl Fruecht and Michael Miles. The program is now in over 200 school districts across the country. The program donates a portion of their funds back to the Barrington 220 educational Foundation to help to fund educational programs across the district.