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Podcast Episode # 120 - Empowering Young Innovators in Indiana: The Story of the STARTedUP Foundation with Don Wettrick

Move over, math class: Today we're building entrepreneurs.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
2 min read
Podcast Episode # 120 - Empowering Young Innovators in Indiana: The Story of the STARTedUP Foundation with Don Wettrick

Table of Contents

Episode # 120 of the Econ Dev Show Podcast is now live. Go listen.

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In this episode, Dane talks with Don Wettrick. He is the founder and CEO of the STARTedUP Foundation, which hosts Innovate WithIN – Indiana's innovation and entrepreneurship programming and competition.

He is also the author of “Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation,” which aims to create innovation mindsets in our schools.

Wettrick, a former teacher, recognized the need for practical, real-world skills in the education system. His foundation provides a dynamic environment where students can explore, create, and develop business ideas, gaining invaluable experience in entrepreneurship. The foundation hosts annual competitions, fostering a spirit of innovation among students and providing them with a platform to showcase their creative solutions to real-world problems.

This initiative not only equips students with entrepreneurial skills but also connects them with industry professionals and mentors. These connections provide students with guidance, feedback, and a deeper understanding of the business world. The foundation's impact extends beyond the individual, as it cultivates a culture of innovation and problem-solving within the community, making a significant contribution to local economic development.

Actionable Takeaways

  1. Encourage entrepreneurial thinking in education to foster creativity and innovation among students.
  2. Integrate real-world problem-solving and business skills into the school curriculum.
  3. Create platforms for students to pitch and develop their business ideas.
  4. Establish mentorship programs connecting students with industry experts.
  5. Organize competitions and events to stimulate student innovation and entrepreneurship.
  6. Facilitate hands-on learning experiences for practical understanding of business concepts.
  7. Promote a culture of creative risk-taking and iterative learning in schools.
  8. Highlight the importance of networking and professional connections in entrepreneurship.
  9. Track and showcase the success of student entrepreneurs to inspire and motivate others.
  10. Advocate for educational reforms that prioritize innovative and entrepreneurial skills.
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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Economic developer in Galveston County, Texas.


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