Earlier this month, Colorado Succeeds teamed up with the OtterCares Foundation and MindSpark Learning to host NoCO IgnitED, a two-day immersive event focused on educators and industry partners collaborating to spark entrepreneurship in education.
Over 100 attendees from five school districts, twenty industry partners, and several foundations participated in a full day of school tours showcasing some of the region’s most innovative and entrepreneurial teaching models, and a full day of workshops on how these models play out in classrooms and businesses.
Educators and businesses were elevated as key partners in developing entrepreneurial mindsets in students. Students must learn how to identify problems, work toward solutions, and embrace failure as a learning opportunity. These competencies can be nurtured by innovative teaching models and by hands-on experience gained through high quality career-connected learning opportunities provided by business. Participants in both the education and business sectors walked away from the event with ideas and relationships for making more of these opportunities available to learners.
Policy opportunities, program implementation support, available seed funding – participants discussed many ways to build on the promising practices they witnessed on the school tours. OtterCares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Otter Products, capped the event by announcing a $50,000 grant opportunity to fund a new program idea, rooted in partnership by multiple entities and focused on entrepreneurship. Colorado Succeeds plans to engage applicants where possible as they develop their plans and looks forward to continuing to nurture innovative approaches to education in Northern Colorado.