Student Entrepreneur Team from Dundee-Crown High School in Illinois Wins $5000 Grand Prize in INCubatoredu’s National Funding Competition Featuring Five Top Student Teams

BARRINGTON, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 2016 winner of INCubatoredu’s national student pitch competition is the team from Illinois-based Dundee-Crown High School behind the concept, First STEP, a business idea aimed at converting restaurant food waste into fertilizer.

The First STEP team won top honors – $5,000 grand in startup funding – at INCubatoredu’s national summit on high school entrepreneurship that drew educators from the organization’s 60 member schools across 8 states. Dundee-Crown High School is located in the Chicago suburb of Carpentersville, Illinois.

The summit, which ran from July 19-21 at Loyola University in Chicago, featured entrepreneurs and experts addressing the challenges of creating a new business – from initial ideation, to customer segment research, successful funding, and launch.

Five teams from INCubatoredu high school programs competed in the National Student Pitch Competition, a Shark Tank-like event where students compete to win funding for the launch of a new business. Prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders serve as judges in the event.

“All five student teams impressed the judges with their grasp of business fundamentals, their creative solutions to real needs, and their confidence in addressing questions,” said Margarita Geleske, executive director of INCubatoredu. “It’s a shame that only one team can win the top honor – all five student teams were excellent.

First STEP is a food waste pick up service that converts restaurant food waste into compost and sells it to retail outlets, nurseries and landscaping companies. The other four runner-up teams are from Illinois:

Hoodie Hoop (Buffalo Grove High School): The Hoodie Hoop is a tool used to easily and efficiently thread a drawstring through any item designed to have one, including clothes, bags, etc.

Salted Art (Hononegah Community High School): Salted Art Inc. is a first-ever publishing company for teens designed to help them develop their creativity and convert their works into novels for sale.

ShopKind (Barrington High School): ShopKind is an online marketplace that connects products from companies with a social mission to Millennial purchasers or customers.

Peach Academics (Lake Forest High School): Peach Academics is an online tutoring platform that connects students in need of academic help with accredited peer tutors within their school, on demand, when they need it most.

INCubatoredu is a wildly popular program that provides students with an authentic entrepreneurship experience aimed at developing new product and service innovations. Student teams compete to take a business idea from concept to successful funding in a learning-incubator environment designed to replicate real entrepreneurship challenges.

The INCubatoredu curriculum is taught by a team of teachers, real-business mentors, and outside coaches drawn from local communities who help students learn the ins/outs of launching and managing a start-up business.

INCubatoredu recently announced that it doubled in size, an expansion that includes more than 60 schools and 2000-plus students across eight states. More information on INCubatoredu is at:


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