Students Transforming Great Ideas into Thriving Businesses

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) offers a unique opportunity for students in ninth through twelfth grades to gain hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and innovation by starting a business, launching a product, or offering a service. Accepted students attend the EIC part-time each day with the opportunity to gain high school credit through two unique entrepreneurship courses or assist with a student entrepreneurial venture without earning high school credit.

Student entrepreneurship opportunities are limitless, but examples include:

  • Offering a service, such as lawn care, babysitting, housecleaning, playing a guitar at events, pet walking, videography, or photography.
  • Finding innovative solutions to problems that face people around the world, such as the lack of water or power in third world countries, dead phone batteries on camping trips, or a variety of social and economic challenges within our communities.
  • Starting a business, such as a bakery, retail venture, or an automotive shop.
  • Launching an innovative product, such as a specialized agricultural tool, an assistive device, or a new product for the marketplace.

For more information about the EIC, view our Frequently Asked Questions below or contact Dr. Kari Miller, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. Additional information is also available through all high school counselors as well as in the following informational video.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) is a hub for high school student entrepreneurs and innovators from across Williamson County. The EIC is located in the Annex building behind Franklin High School, and beginning with the 2019-20 school year, will be open Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

All rising Ninth through Twelfth grade students in Williamson County Schools are eligible to attend the EIC. Attendance will be determined through an application process.

The EIC is open to all students, regardless of their CCTE pathway or their non-CCTE pathway. We want students from all ten high schools, in every grade level. The one common thread will be that the students at the EIC should have a drive or interest in offering a service, developing a product, starting a business, being an entrepreneur, or thinking outside of the box.

All EIC students will still attend their regular high school but come to the EIC at some point in the day to take a class for credit, or work on a project not for credit. We will work with each high school counselor to arrange the best time for each student to attend their EIC class. For some, this will occur during the regular school day, but for other students, after school or early evening will work best.

We encourage students to consider taking on Online Learning class in place of one of their on-campus classes, thereby giving them that open period to allow for travel time to the EIC during the regular school day. Students who intend to enroll in the EIC will be given priority enrollment in the Online Learning Program classes.

Yes. Williamson County Schools will provide bus transportation during the middle of the academic day, from approximately 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The high schools with the furthest driving distance to Franklin High School will have dedicated buses traveling back and forth between the EIC and their campus. Other high schools will share a bus, two high schools per bus.

Many high school students have an interest in entrepreneurship or being an innovator, even if they are not currently in marketing or entrepreneurship classes. Many of our WCS students are already running small businesses, or have a great idea for a business, product, or service.

The EIC will allow students with every interest, from every grade level, and in all types of courses to develop their entrepreneurship skills and launch their idea. The program will offer courses that are not currently available at any high school. Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (EI 1) is an introductory course, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Practicum allows high school students to earn credit for launching their business, product, or service.

This program will offer students many opportunities they might not receive at their current high school and experience:

  • a state-of-the-art facility with a Maker Space, Fabrication Lab, meeting rooms, and an Incubator-style environment,
  • access to over 200 business mentors from the area and invitations to attend sessions in the ongoing Speaker Series, hearing stories of success and failure from real entrepreneurs and innovators, and
  • pitch nights, an opportunity allowing interested EIC students to present their business idea to investors and advisors.

For the 2019 – 2020 school year, the EIC will offer two unique courses: Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (EI 1) and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Practicum (EI Practicum).

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (EI 1): For students who are just beginning their journey into the world of entrepreneurship, this new course will be different from traditional high school entrepreneurship or marketing classes. EI 1 provides project-based learning, hands-on experiences, and a focus on preparing students to develop and launch their product, service, or business idea in an incubator-style environment.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Practicum (EI Practicum): For students who are already operating their small business or are ready to launch their idea, this course offers them high school credit for their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Beginning with the 2020 – 2021 school year, a third course, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2, will be offered.

The EIC will be offered to all Williamson County high school students. Some students will take classes for high school credit, but others will have a non-credit support role at the EIC, perhaps helping a peer in a focus group, filming a commercial, or developing an advertising campaign.

All students who wish to participate, both for credit and not for credit, must complete the application process and be accepted to attend the EIC.

Every student will have a unique situation regarding their current and planned course of studies. Through the application process, students will work with their high school counselor and the EIC Director, Dr. Kari Miller, to determine how the EIC can fit into the student’s needs and pathway.

Both the EI 1 and EI Practicum courses will be available to all rising 9th – 12th grade students in WCS. We will work to ensure that the student’s EIC class will maintain alignment with their current pathway, whether the student is in any CCTE pathway or not.

Beginning January 10, 2019, students must complete the EIC application and submit their completed application by March 15, 2019. Students must use their WSC MyPlace log in to apply. From March 27-April 12, 2019, the EIC Director will meet with each applicant (and their parents, if desired) at the student’s high school or middle school to answer any questions. Applicants will receive their EIC application decision on April 15, 2019.

Accepted students and their parents will attend a registration and orientation meeting on April 22, 2019 at 6:30 PM to finalize enrollment for the 2019 – 2020 school year.

Parents of EIC students will be involved in the entire EIC process, from application to attendance.

We also need parents of non-EIC students and business community members to be involved! The EIC Advisory Board is seeking parents and business partners from across Williamson County to assist in the launch of this exciting new endeavor. The EIC is also seeking additional adult mentors for our student entrepreneurs.

To become involved in the EIC as an Advisory Board member, mentor, donor, or affiliate, contact or visit the Support EIC website for more information.

Contact EIC Director Dr. Kari Miller or your school counselor to learn more about the program.

Staff Directory

Contact the EIC personnel if you need help with information pertaining to our Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center program.

NameJob TitleTelephoneLinks
Kari Miller