AFS recently launched a small-group cohort, called BizEx, for students who are interested learning more about entrepreneurship and business. Nine Upper School students will meet with professionals over the course of a year to develop their own business ideas. The creation of the BizEx cohort follows the success of the MedEx cohort, launched in 2016, for students interested in medical careers.
Sophomores Yangyufei Du, Max Elderfield, Asha Fluellen, Joshua Eisen, Seth Pokrifka and Cole Lewis and juniors Evelyn Zhang, Arthur Wang and Chase Balik were admitted into the program through an application process. Senior Jake Segal, who was a co-leader of the Network Club last year, is serving as a mentor to the group.
Last spring, Rosanne Mistretta, Director of the Center for Experiential Learning, and John Rison, Chief Technology Officer, began conceptualizing the program by engaging in a series of meetings and conference calls with business leaders, entrepreneurs and others. Ross Shanken, P’17, P’20, P’24; Susan Bass Bolch ’70 and her husband, Carl; Julie Copeland, P’22, P’26, P’28, Margaret McGlynn P’09, P’11 and sophomore Cole Lewis were part of the design-thinking process that formed the basis for the new program.
Since then, other advisors have been added, including Sue Otto P’21, Mike Haberman ’97, David Campbell P’11, P’14, P’21 and Lynn Pokrifka P’20. The advisors will be providing opportunities for field trips, outside lectures and potential internships as they arise.
The cohort began by exploring principles and concepts in entrepreneurship, including design thinking, developing a business plan, marketing and financial literacy. On November 17, Julie Frieswyk, of the University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, led the first session in a conversation about the business concepts of divergent and convergent thinking.
Moving ahead, the students will generate business ideas, prepare business and marketing plans and then present their ideas to the advisory board for review and critique. Later, they will refine their ideas and have the option to take them to competitions.
If you are interested in becoming an advisor to BizEx, talking about your career at a cohort meeting or giving a tour of your business, please contact Rosanne Mistretta at email@example.com.