Despite having to make presentations via virtual means rather than in person, two of Mundelein High School’s business incubator teams were among the 13 national semi-finalists in the recently-held National Pitch competition.
The two teams’ journey began when MHS hosted its annual Pitch Night on May 12. It was the fourth year for the event, but the first time it was held through virtual media. That evening, four teams were selected to showcase their work. The Board of Advisors selected a first and second place team that evening who were awarded scholarships.
The first place team, Luna Rose, earned a $3K scholarship shared by the three team members Aileen Cirilo-Gomez, Tamara Jahen Melo and Keira McFarland. The second place team, Clueless Closet, earned $1K to be shared by its four team members Jocie Bank, Kylie Brua, Olivia Cartland and Sofia Feijoo.
After the event, business incubator instructor, Michelle Sherwin-Petrucci, submitted both teams for the Incubator National Pitch competition. There, both teams were selected as quarter finalists and then again as semi-finalists. Of only 13 national semi-finalist teams, two were from Mundelein High School.
“Even though the teams were not selected as one of the top five finalists, we are still very proud that they made it as semi-finalists,” Sherwin-Petrucci said. “Both teams worked so hard during the process.”
In the business incubator course, students learn about becoming true entrepreneurs. Students create and fully develop their own products or services. Real-world entrepreneurs and business experts serve as coaches and mentors guiding student teams through the process of ideation, market research, and business plan development. Over the course of the semester, student teams learn about marketing, accounting, human resources, along with the legal aspects of running a business to get them geared up for Pitch Week. Pitch Week continues the entrepreneurial spirit by putting student teams in front of actual investors to pitch their innovative ideas and possibly win funding to turn their business plans into reality during the summer and following school year.