GILBERT, Ariz. — An East Valley mom and math teacher is one of the brains behind a club that’s using startup thinking to change the way kids learn, through a hands-on experience.
Through the club, kids aren’t just learning how to create a business at a young age, they’re also developing confidence and communication skills along the way.
Gilbert Christian math teacher and mom of two Kate Daily has been teaching for 12 years.
“Tenacity and grit and adaptability,” she said.
Just a couple of years ago, Kate and a friend created the Startup Club, a safe place for kid entrepreneurs to learn the ropes of business, money management and to unleash their creativity.
“And then be featured at a market at the end of the club,” she said.
The response they received was incredible.
“We had about 50 participants that year,” she said. “We took a break last year while everybody navigated the pandemic, so this is its second year… we have over 70 participants and it is going with joyful anticipation.”
The businesses consist of everything from products to services. All the students participating, including her own daughter Ren, are learning entrepreneurial skills, like market research, price points, profit management, marketing, and customer service.
“She invented her own fidget this year,” Daily said.
They even have a Prototype Day where the students can weigh in on each other’s products leading up to launch day, but it's not all fun and games.
“Roadblocks are hit,” she said. “And we have to have the tenacity to adapt and grow through those.”
All their hard work is in preparation for a Christmas Market on Dec. 3, where the kids get to keep their profit.
Every student is encouraged to give back a portion of their earnings to charities making a positive impact throughout the Valley.
“It’s been neat to see them adapt and modify their ideas to really stand out,” she said.
The Startup Club, giving kids real-world experience, so that one day, regardless of what career path they choose, the skills they’ve learned become second nature.
Students from the 2019 Startup Club have even gone on to feature their products with nationally recognized companies.
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