Propelling Austin Forward as the Nation’s Center for Youth Entrepreneurship
Student INC, the creator of the nation’s first K-12 entrepreneurial education pathway model, announced today that they are joining forces with Notley to raise the bar on youth entrepreneurship in Austin. Student INC empowers local students to become innovative leaders in their city through entrepreneurial education. By tapping into Notley’s social impact and entrepreneurial ecosystem, Student INC will expand its programming to fill entrepreneurial education gaps for Austin-area kids and to more effectively connect businesses and entrepreneurs to students at scale.
As part of this announcement, Kelly Ballard joins Notley as the Director of Youth Entrepreneurship. Kelly will help Notley grow and extend its youth entrepreneurship programs to support widespread access to innovative education experiences that prepare youth for the pursuit of college and/or career. Kelly was previously Executive Director of the Bazaarvoice Foundation, which incubated Student INC as its signature initiative.
“Entrepreneurial learning has the capability to turn the tide on the future career success and prosperity of children from low-income families, unlocking new economic advantages and leveling the playing field. I’m excited to see Student INC join the Notley family as we continue to expand our vision to provide every child with entrepreneurial learning opportunities,” said Kelly Ballard, Board President of Student INC and Director of Youth Entrepreneurship at Notley.
“We’re thrilled to have Kelly join Notley. Kelly will be leading our team in catalyzing a robust youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Austin to ensure that every kid has access to entrepreneurial education and experiences,” said Dan Graham, cofounder of Notley. “As Austin’s entrepreneurial talent pool continues to grow, it’s important that we better educate the next generation by creating a pipeline of local entrepreneurs ready to tackle our society’s biggest challenges. Notley and Student INC are primed to prepare kids for the future.”
As the world of work has evolved, entrepreneurial education in schools has become a critical need for today’s youth. According to Public Sector Digest, 40% of jobs will be entrepreneurial in nature by 2020. Meanwhile, according to 2015 E3 Alliance data, 93% of Central Texas public high school graduates stay in-state for college or career. As the future of our economy, it’s important that children of all ages are prepared with adaptive thinking and problem-solving skills early in their development. Entrepreneurial education is a key factor to increase economic growth, innovation and future career success.
This is especially true in Austin, one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial hubs in the world. Austin was ranked the #1 city for entrepreneurial activity in 2016 and #2 in 2017, according to the 2017 and 2016 Kauffman Startup Activity Index. Working alongside the Austin Independent School District as the pilot partner district, Student INC and Notley are well-positioned to establish a new level of entrepreneurial education in Central Texas.
“Teaching entrepreneurial skills is critical for today’s students. Our antiquated education system does not prepare students for their futures, and especially not for Austin’s innovation economy. Student INC’s model has been the solution that allows us to align curriculum with the skills necessary for successful futures. We are proud to be the first public school system to have a K-12 entrepreneurial pathway,” said Craig Shapiro, Associate Superintendent of High Schools, Austin Independent School District.
Notley began working with Student INC in 2017 by awarding startup capital to the winners of the Student INC Pitch Night. Notley has since continued the company’s commitment to youth entrepreneurship by supporting nonprofits including Code2College, VentureLab, and Youth Code Jam during the Notley-operated 2018 social impact fast pitch competition, Philanthropitch. By combining efforts with Student INC, Notley plans to expand upon existing and future investments in a mission to make Austin the youth entrepreneurship capital of the world.
About Student INC
Originally incubated as a signature initiative by Bazaarvoice Foundation during Kelly’s tenure as Executive Director, Student INC spun out as a standalone 501(c)(3) in 2017. To date, Student INC is the nation’s first K-12 entrepreneurial pathway model, piloted in partnership with Austin ISD. As part of joining the Notley family, Student INC is expanding its programming to raise the bar on youth entrepreneurship and to engage a broader community of children, entrepreneurs and businesses in entrepreneurial education and experiences. To learn more, visit www.notleyventures.com/notley-programs.
Notley is a catalyst for social innovation unlocking opportunities with today’s impact organizations and changing communities. Our mission is to scale and support businesses, nonprofits, individuals, and programs making positive change in the world. Everything we do is motivated by social innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Through educational events, programs and initiatives, Notley is creating a national social innovation ecosystem where innovative approaches give rise to more purposeful and profitable outcomes. Notley is effecting change at the systemic level – not just nonprofit-by-nonprofit or cause-by-cause, but as an ecosystem. Notley was founded in 2015 by Dan Graham, founder of BuildASign.com, and his wife, Lisa as a way to leverage their own business and investing success.