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Students, Education, & Entrepreneurs Can Win At Startup Weekend


This January, a unique chance to rethink education comes to Kansas, City, Missouri. The event, called Startup Weekend, offers participants a unique set of opportunities to launch and scale endeavors centered on improving education outcomes. (source)

From January 23rd through January 25th, 2015, passionate educators, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers will come together on a mission to create the best learning opportunities for others.

“Startup Weekend Education is a 54-hour experiential learning event designed to be a catalyst for education entrepreneurship, empowering people to think differently and to create better solutions to education’s biggest problems.” (source)

Startup Weekend events have also been held in Columbia, Springfield, and St. Louis.

Kansas City also hosts a non-education focused Startup Weekend in November, 2014

Entrepreneurship in education can be seen in two lights. In one light, entrepreneurial skills are a valuable career lesson for students to learn in the classroom. In the other, entrepreneurial thought processes could help advance the state of American public schools.

George Deeb, Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures told that students with entrepreneurial mindsets are more resilient to tough economic and job market conditions.

“I believe that the most important skills sets, are ones that promote business, technology and entrepreneurship. Two reasons: (i) those skill sets are always in demand; and (ii) kids can create a company or job of their own, if they can’t find one elsewhere.” (source)

The Hawken School (K-12) in Cleveland, Ohio, endeavored in 2013 to advance its students’ education by infusing entrepreneurship directly into its coursework. The school developed a “course where students would learn by working on actual problems in the real world instead of sitting in a lecture hall.” (source)

Its experiment worked: the director of the program received calls and emails from teachers all over America, asking her to hold an educators entrepreneurship workshop, and 30 teachers from 19 schools participated in the first two-and-a-half-day event.

Here in Missouri, local students are participating in similar courses. Students in Parkway Schools can “exchange ideas with business mentors” at the Spark! Incubator in Chesterfield Mall. (Watch KMOV’s story) The program is highly selective, accepting only 15 students total from Parkway North, Parkway South, Parkway West, Parkway Central, and Fern Ridge.

The goal of the Spark! Program is to “help student entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to move an idea from light bulb to launch.” More than 70 local business people and entrepreneurs have collaborated with the Parkway District on the nontraditional class. (source)

In Deebs’ story on, he says that students need “skill sets that are mapped in relation to what the overall workforce demands today.” He goes on to assert that “the sooner our kids come out of school with employable skill sets, the better their lives and the overall U.S. economy will be…” (source)

If the idea of changing your child’s career prospects or advancing the American economy through entrepreneurship appeals to you, then visit the Kansas City Education Entrepreneurship Startup Weekend website to learn more about how you can turn your energy and your ideas into a tangible model for Missouri students.


3550 Amazonas Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. 573-638-4825