Innovative Design for Entrepreneurial Applications (IDEA)
Marist High School’s Innovative Design for Entrepreneurial Applications (IDEA) helps mold the business leaders of tomorrow. Launched in 2014, the course allows students to learn college level business materials, collaborate with industry leaders, and create a business of their own.
Senior and junior students enrolled in this course create and fully develop their own product, service, or app. Student teams work through the process of ideation, market research, and business plan development. They learn how to create a product, service, or app that solves a problem, gather and analyze customer input/data usage, evaluate competitive considerations, create financial modeling, launch marketing efforts, and achieve operational execution.
A few notable recent top teams:
Team Avasta: A GPS locator for car dealerships to find specific cars on the lots.
Team Head Phones Plus: Bluetooth earphones that glow synchronously to your music and allow you to walk/run in the dark, keeping you safe.
Team Tie Tool: A small plastic device that breaks down the process of tying a tie into three easy steps; geared towards young children, private high school students, and the elderly.
Team Eco-Straw: A single-use bio-degradable, vegetable-based straw to eliminate plastic and environmental damage.
Team Safe-Kase: A floatable, waterproof phone case that protects your phone from damage in various bodies of water.
The first winning team in the spring 2015, Candoo, proposed a task management app that matched customers with someone qualified to help with their specific task. Team member Kyle Gambla said the process really gave him insight into the business world. “The course not only taught me a lot about building a business, but prepared me for several classes I took in college,” Gambla said. “I have been able to apply much of what I learned to school and in starting my career in sales.”
The course also includes in-class speakers from a variety of industries, including Jan Fields, the former president of McDonald’s USA; Mike Bilder ’94, CEO of Jackbox Games; Tim McEnery ’94, founder and CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants; and Chris Ruder, CEO of Spikeball. Students also benefit from opportunities to visit companies in the Chicagoland area, including participating in a leadership program at Tuthill Corporation in Burr Ridge, Ill.
The class takes place in a specially designed space to mimic the look and feel of a corporate workplace.