Incubator class companies receive financial funding

Alex O'Connell

Huntley High School’s company and investment class, Incubator, kicked off last semester and was met with great praise.

The class mimics the hit NBC show, “Shark Tank,” in the sense that it challenges students to start a company – yes, a real company – and seek funding from investors to help their product grow.

With the start of the second semester came the proposal stage of the entrepreneur process. Jack Towne, the supervisor for the class’ two periods, broke down what the students are up to next in their company-creating journey.

“There are a couple of stages. So right now, they’re putting together proposals for the MVP, or minimum viable product,” Towne said.

On Feb. 6 and 7, investors will be coming in to listen to the students’ pitches. Should they choose to buy in, the funds will go toward the creation of the students’ MVPs.

“In some cases, [the MVP] is a prototype or even a website that demonstrates what the product will do,” Towne said. “[The students] have to justify why they need the money, and what they’re going to do with it.”

In the event that the students receive enough funding for their MVP, they would use it to run a test to find out if people would buy what they’re selling or use their service. At the end of the year, the students will sell one final pitch to a group of investors to gain funding for their definitive product/service and to kickstart the business.

“Maybe they have the data that shows that people want their product or their service. Then it’s up to the investors to decide whether or not they want in,” Towne said. “It’s the real deal.”

Incubator students have the opportunity to kickstart a successful company and earn real money – all from a class that offers dual-credit for business and McHenry County College. It’s a different class free of exams and gives students an in-depth look into the world of entrepreneurs.

According to Towne, there is a lot more to come in Incubator’s future and there is always something new to learn in the world of business.

“You’re not gonna make money if you’re not doing things the right way, so we go through the process of starting a business from scratch.”