Startup Tech is a blended learning tech-entrepreneurship course that asks students to identify ways to improve their world and to build marketable digital solutions using MIT App Inventor. Students create an original app that addresses a community need, develop a corresponding original abbreviated business plan and marketing materials, and present in a Startup Showcase expo for the chance to win funding and publicity.
Course Requirements and Recommendations
- Grades 5–12
- Full-year course implementation
NFTE Career-Readiness Measures
- Academic: Student project and presentation evaluated and graded by teacher
- Employability: Entrepreneurial mindset evaluated through Startup Showcase presentations, teacher classroom rubrics, and NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI), a formative assessment of students’ noncognitive skills
- Industry: Application of tech entrepreneurship through experiential activities using MIT’s App Inventor
Student Startup Showcase
- Student teams present their functional mobile apps, business model, and marketing materials in a tradeshow-style setting, with opportunities to network with and demo to professionals from the local business community.
- Top teams selected by expert judges receive prizes.
- Volunteer Showcase expo judges use a scoring rubric to provide feedback to students and select winners.
NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Teacher Corps: Professional Development and Benefits
- Intensive face-to-face curriculum training (“NFTE U”), leading to Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher (CET) certificate
- Webinar-based MIT App Inventor training
- Quarterly in-person Professional Learning Communities
- Monthly Professional Development Webinars
- Annual Teacher Summit
- Online access to all instructional and training materials through NFTE Digital Classroom
- Other Support Services
Units of Learning
- Introduction to Startup Tech
Students will be introduced to the entrepreneurial mindset and skills that can help them achieve success in both tech entrepreneurship and in life.
- Introduction to MIT App Inventor
Students will start to explore MIT App Inventor, a drag-and-drop mobile app creation tool that they will use to create a functional mobile app that can be downloaded to any Android device.
- Technology and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare
Students will investigate trends, careers, entrepreneurial activity, and technology as it relates to the Healthcare sector. Students will learn new MIT App Inventor skills to build a healthcare app that shows patients a map of doctors in their area.
- Technology and Entrepreneurship in Business and Finance
Students will investigate trends, careers, entrepreneurial activity, and technology as it relates to the Business and Finance sector. Students will learn new MIT App Inventor skills to build a business app that enables small business owners to send group texts to their employees.
- Technology and Entrepreneurship in Environmental Science and Conservation
Students will investigate trends, careers, entrepreneurial activity, and technology as it relates to the Environmental Science and Conservation sector. Students will learn new MIT App Inventor skills to build an environmental app that enables businesses to showcase their sustainable products.
- Advanced MIT App Inventor
Students will work in teams to complete advanced MIT App Inventor tutorials that will allow them to create more innovative features in their final project apps.
- Final Project
Students will work in teams to create their own original app idea as a final project. To complete the project and participate in the Startup Showcase, students conduct market research, determine a sustainable business model, design persuasive marketing materials, create wireframes of their app, translate their wireframes into functional mobile apps using MIT App Inventor, and ultimately present all of their work to a panel of judges.
- Introduction to Startup Tech