June 20 2015

Workshop challenges teachers to instill entrepreneurial spirit


What do you get when you fill a room of educators with entrepreneurial ideas?  You get a handful of solutions to school problems with little to no resources.

A two-day professional development workshop June 18 – 19 on how to teach students to think like entrepreneurs was hosted by Boise State University’s Venture College and designed by TeachIdaho retired educators Kali Kurdy and Jim Coughlin.

Sponsored by other organizations, such as Northwest Professional Educators, the workshop’s featured speakers included area entrepreneurs and Venture College students and administrators.

The teacher audience heard stories from young and old alike, from owners of established businesses like White Cloud Analytics and the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage to start-ups launched by BSU students, such as Whitney Hansen Financial Coaching and VividRoots.

Teachers tapped into entrepreneurial insights, learned to pitch a business plan, and presented product ventures to make-believe investors, a panel of judges from BSU and local government: Rep. (D) Cherie Buckner-Webb; Venture College graduate, Whitney Hansen; and two Venture administrators, Asstistant  Director Marilyn Bickle and Associate Director Ed Zimmer.

Although the final product designs and pitches from participating teachers — the Mindset Indicator, Rosie the Lanyard Alarm, VividRoutes backpacks, Whiteboard Desktops, and Scented Oils that keep students in classes motivated up to nine hours — may never arrive on retail shelves, there’s a big chance they may appear for free in Idaho classrooms near you.

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Posted June 20, 2015 by Michelle Harmon in category News

About the Author

I have been teaching English and advising journalism and newspaper since 2004. This year, I was selected to represent Idaho for the Journalism Education Association. The state affiliate is Idaho State Journalism Association. Please contact me if you need any information about scholastic journalism in Idaho.

2 thoughts on “Workshop challenges teachers to instill entrepreneurial spirit

  1. Kali Kurdy

    The entrepreneurial ideas presented at the workshop were really fun, but amazingly, I would have liked to actually buy several of them. While I hoped for a creative approach, we certainly got much more. Perhaps our mini-lesson in the morning by Maureen O’Toole set the stage and gave the project a bit more structure. Thanks Michelle for the great article. I will send the rest of the teachers to it, and hopefully you will have a few more blog subscribers.

  2. Brenda Miller

    Awesome Michelle! You really captured the essence and guiding principles behind the entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks to TeachIdaho for always bringing quality professional development opportunities to educators. NWPE is proud to continue sponsoring these types of events and appreciates being included in the conversation! I can’t wait to hear more about these teacherpreneurs.


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