The Lean Startup Education at Dunn School
Dunn School is a college-prep boarding school just north of Santa Barbara, California.
As an educator I’m challenged to prepare my students for the challenges they will face when they graduate. I first began teaching in 2011 and I quickly gained a reputation for being the “Idea Guy” on campus. At the time I was using the Business Model Canvas and Steve Blank’ customer development to test my ideas. When students came to their mentors on campus and said “I want to start a business” or “I have this BIG IDEA” they would eventually end up in my classroom asking the question “Where do I start? Soon I had ten eager young entrepreneurs ready for the Lean Launchpad.
Through the Lean Launchpad my students have learned customer development, leadership, and ultimately how to take their big idea and make it into a reality. Entrepreneurship and lean startup methodologies are important to teach our youth. When students learn how to validate their ideas they are inspired to build them. This in turn motivates them to study the Science and Math that many of them will need to succeed. Most importantly it teaches them to TAKE ACTION and FAIL FAST. I will be posting a blog about my class each week for the next six weeks. The posts will be on my blog TeachingTrep. My intention is to build an online resource that helps expand entrepreneurship education at High Schools and Middles Schools.
What are your thoughts?
Educator and Entrepreneur. Founder and CEO NextMover, Inc
Educator at Dunn School
Dunn School is a small boarding school with a long history of successful entrepreneurs. A colleague of mine and I started an entrepreneurship program here last year. We called our program Earwig Inc., named for the school’s mascot, and our mission is to inspire a spirit of entrepreneurship throughout the curriculum at Dunn.
We define entrepreneurship as taking a leadership roll in society through problem discovery and solution creation. To me this is the essence of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs see solutions where others see only problems. They take their vision and create something that never existed before. In doing so they make the world a better place. Teaching our youth to search for problems and test solutions is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable skills we can provide them with in preparation for a life of responsible leadership in society.
Earwig Inc. uses Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad to guide our curriculum and teach our students a repeatable process to test and validate their ideas. I’d like to see more High Schools and Middle Schools adapting the Lean Launchpad to their curriculum.
What are your thoughts?
If you’d like to build an entrepreneurship program at your school contact me below!
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