A new partnership is giving Frisco ISD students a first-hand, real-world look at entrepreneurship.
LaunchPad City is a Frisco innovation center that offers coworking office space, business incubation for startups and professional development and training.
Designed to connect entrepreneurs, investors and the startup community, LaunchPad City hosts meetings and networking opportunities such as 1 Million Cups Frisco, a weekly educational program designed to support business literacy and startup community engagement. Every Wednesday morning, entrepreneurs pitch their startup companies and get feedback from the community.
Now, thanks to a partnership between LaunchPad City, 1 Million Cups Frisco and FISD, students taking the entrepreneurship course at their home high schools can connect to the weekly 1 Million Cups event via live web stream, giving them the opportunity to participate without leaving the classroom.
“What better opportunity to craft your passion and hone in on your skills and goals than learning from others in the very arena in which you wish to be,” said Allison Miller, director of the Frisco ISD Partners in Education program.
LaunchPad City and 1 Million Cups Frisco want to help create the next generation of leaders.
"The world is shifting. Fewer jobs are created because of automation,” said Kedreon Cole, director of partnerships and business development for LaunchPad City. “It's important to engage students at an early age because entrepreneurial thinking, a unique way of analyzing risk and opportunity, is becoming more important for professionals.
“The next generation of jobs have not been created yet and early exposure for students to entrepreneurship can strengthen their preparedness for the next wave of innovation. Programs such as 1 Million Cups and platforms such as LaunchPad City are great resources for students because they meet the students where they are and help eliminate barriers."
Jessica Vittorio, 1 Million Cups chapter leader and a 2008 graduate of Centennial High School, says young people are already an active part of the entrepreneurial community.
“Unlike many industries that the students may someday become a part of, these students are participating in the entrepreneurial process and community right now,” she said. “Some of our best presenters have come from Frisco ISD, and I know there are many more promising companies whose founders are currently in the District. That's why we jumped at the chance to partner with the school district; it’s our goal to make sure that entrepreneurs of all ages have the opportunity to connect with our programming every week."