Entrepreneurship Program & Lab
At BWL, our goal is to provide all Upper School students with a varied range of experiences, helping them develop the skills and resilience they will need to meet the challenges of today's fast-paced world.
This Program, new for the 2023 – 2024 school year, will allow students allow students to develop a business plan and build a product or create a service that is uniquely their own. Over the course of four years, students will learn various business disciplines, including Finance and Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Management, and Operations and Economics to prepare them to become future entrepreneurs. The program culminates with groups presenting to a panel of entrepreneurs to demonstrate how their product or service meets a demand, either known or unknown, in the marketplace. In this way, the program will serve as an incubator where students will be able to leverage the resources of BWL and its community.
The Program is a novel and exciting 4-year program for Upper School students beginning in 9th Grade. The application process is based on a written essay and students’ GPA.
· Years 1 and 2: this Program does not focus exclusively on building a product or service but rather spends considerable time in years 1 and 2 on business fundamentals. It prepares students to understand all aspects of beginning a commercial venture, including Sales and Marketing, Finance and Accounting, Management and Operations and Leadership.
· Years 3 and 4: students work in teams to develop a practical business plan that meets a known or unknown need in the marketplace, culminating with a final presentation of the business to a panel of entrepreneurs. Students will roll up their sleeves and begin the market research process and prepare for an in-depth study of business plan writing and product development.
The Program will be spearheaded by our Head of School, Bill Kuhn, who has an MBA from Columbia Business School. He will teach the first cohort. Other advisors to the program include Maggie Sprenger, NYU Stern Adjunct Professor and Partner at Audere Capital LLC, Brian Lancaster, a Columbia Business School Professor of Finance and Economics, as well as the Founder and President of The Minot Group LLC, and Jayesh Punater, Founder and CEO of Nucleus DNA, and Founder and CEO of Gravitas.
The Program is housed in our new Entrepreneurship Lab located on the 9th floor. An initial Phase 1 of the Lab build-out was completed in September 2023. A more in-depth Phase 2 will begin in June 2024.
Who is eligible for the Entrepreneurship Program?
All rising 9th Grade and 10th Grade students are eligible to participate in the Entrepreneurship Program in the Fall of 2023.
When will the Entrepreneurship Program begin?
Students who apply and are accepted to the Program will begin their coursework in either 9th or 10th grade in the Fall of 2023. Each subsequent year will feature different content, where students will develop a unique skill set and knowledge base. In 11th and 12th grades, the students will work in teams to develop a practical business plan that meets a known or unknown need in the marketplace, culminating with a final presentation of the business to a panel of entrepreneurs.
Who will teach the Entrepreneurship Program?The first cohort of students entering the Entrepreneurship Program will be taught by our Head of School, Bill Kuhn, who has an MBA from Columbia Business School. We also have three experienced advisors to this Program: Maggie Sprenger, NYU Stern Adjunct Professor and Partner at Audere Capital LLC; Brian Lancaster, a Columbia Business School Professor of Finance and Economics, as well as the Founder and President of The Minot Group LLC; and Jayesh Punater, Founder and CEO of Nucleus DNA, and Founder and CEO of Gravitas.
How to Apply:
Students must be entering either 9th or 10th grade to apply for this program, and must have achieved a B average across all of their classes from last year in order to be eligible.
If students do not have a B average, they may still apply for the program by supplying two teacher recommendations and writing a statement covering why they should be admitted to the program and how they will manage the increased workload to maintain a healthy GPA (in addition to the program application).
Please send a one-page Statement of Interest for your desire to join the Program to Head of School Bill Kuhn (firstname.lastname@example.org). Include responses to the following questions:
- Why do you want to become an entrepreneur or what about entrepreneurship interests you?
- What are your interests and how do you envision turning them into a company, non-profit or product?
- How do you think you can manage the workload of an additional class on top of your regular schedule?
- Is there a business topic you are very interested in learning more about?