PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Robert J. Finlay
, a business owner, knows it is important for high school students to explore career options before going to college. For Los Angeles juniors and seniors, a six-week course is doing just that. Entrepreneurship and the Start-Up Life Cycle -- for High School, is an innovative program structured by LA tech entrepreneur Jeff Solomon. The program is intensive, though the pay-off for these students was an educational experience they may not have received through traditional classes, according to an article
on the Los Angeles Times.
Solomon, the director of Amplify LA, tailored his program to give students a chance to learn the basics of business building before pursuing MBAs. Solomon mentioned how high school students are old enough to have intelligent conversations about entrepreneurialism, though schools rarely have enough curriculum flexibility to teach the subject.
"You're never too young or old to learn a thing or two about business," Robert J. Finlay says. "These accelerator programs are extremely valuable for students and allow them to think in ways outside of conventional classrooms. These programs take cooperation between outside companies and volunteers to take off -- two things a lot of areas lack. However, I encourage other high schools to mimic the success of the program in order to educate future entrepreneurs."
The program ends in a business pitch. One student had the idea to create a language translation headset device, one of many brilliant ideas to surface from the program. Presenting an idea to a crowd is a necessity for entrepreneurs. Public speaking is not a skill taught at many schools, though the program combined the topic with entrepreneurialism and the results were positive.
Solomon's company is a startup accelerator. He has worked with various startups since the company's founding and utilized his experience as a business owner to help shape the program. According to Solomon, his own education was not very useful. By breaking conventional teaching structure, he hopes to reach out to high school students by teaching them that business is more than what they learn in school.
The program is one of many to emerge out of LA. Upfront Ventures helps place college students into internship positions at technology businesses. Other colleges and high schools already host science, technology, engineering, and math boot camps and courses, though business-based programs are becoming the norm.
During the program, Solomon focused his efforts on allowing students to identify creative solutions and business ideas. The classes did not have textbooks, syllabuses, or traditional exercises; instead, students acted like business professionals.
"It's great to see these programs in action," entrepreneur Robert J. Finlay says. "A lot of students enter into college business programs without much of an idea of what they are. With high school entrepreneur programs, students who may have never considered studying business are exposed to the subject."
Solomon hopes to continue running the program every summer and offer high school credit. With the aid of business volunteers from the community, the students were able to meet head-on with entrepreneurial successes to pose their ideas. According to Robert J. Finlay, students who enroll in these programs are far and away ahead of others.
Robert J. Finlay
is the CEO of R.J. Finlay & Co., a construction and real estate company. Throughout his career, Finlay has learned that entrepreneurs who start young and are exposed to business tend to succeed more often than others. He avidly supports similar programs and other foundations as well.