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.

EIC Workshop Registration and Enrollment Application

WCS Students and Staff Only. You must have a WCS MyPlace account to access.

Apply to Participate

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 next to Franklin High School at 104 Claude Yates Drive – just look for the big, roll-up garage doors. We are open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Fridays from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but students must pre-register on the EIC Google Site before attending any EIC event. Please note that the EIC Google Site is only visible to Williamson County Schools students from their MyPlace account. Parents will not be able to visit the EIC Google Site.

All rising Ninth through Twelfth grade students in Williamson County Schools are eligible to attend the EIC during the day for credit. Attendance is determined through an application process.  Students in grades nine through twelve may attend after school workshops at the EIC.

The EIC is open to all students, regardless of their CTE pathway or their non-CTE 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 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 work with each high school counselor to arrange the best time for each student to attend their EIC class. For students seeking high school credit, this will occur during the regular school day, but for students seeking extracurricular opportunities, after school or early evening will work best.

The county will provide bus transportation during the middle of the academic day, from approximately 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This applies to students taking a “for credit” course during the school day at the EIC.

Many high school students have an interest in entrepreneurship or being an innovator, even if they are not currently in marketing or entrepreneurship classes. 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.

In addition, many of our WCS students are already running small businesses, or have a great idea for a business, product, or service. The EIC offers high school credit for students who are running their own business, a beneficial perk for teen entrepreneurs.

Also, the EIC offers courses that are not currently offered at any high school: EI 1 and EI Practicum. Attending the EIC allows students to access these innovative courses.

Finally, the EIC offers students many opportunities that they might not receive at their current high school. The EIC has a state-of-the-art facility with a Maker Space, Fabrication Lab, meeting rooms, and an Incubator-style environment. In addition, EIC students will have access to business mentors from the area and are invited to attend sessions in the ongoing Speaker Series, hearing stories of success and failure from real entrepreneurs and innovators. The EIC also hosts pitch nights, allowing interested EIC students the opportunity to present their business idea to investors and advisors.

The EIC offers three unique courses.

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (EI 1): This course is for students who are just beginning their journey into the world of entrepreneurship. Students work with a small group to launch a business, such as an innovative product, service, or other business idea in an incubator-style environment. Students do not need to have their business idea or any experience before taking this course. The focus is on learning the process of opening a new business using a Lean Start-Up methodology.
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2 (EI 2): This course will launch in 2020 – 2021. Student teams from EI 1 will return for a second year and take their business idea from a start-up to a fully-launched business.
  • EI Practicum: This course is for students who are already operating their small business, offering them high school credit for their entrepreneurial endeavors. This course is much more of an independent-study experience, focusing more on the student’s product than on the process of entrepreneurship.

The 2020 – 2021 EIC Application will open on November 4, 2019. The application includes short answer questions, teacher recommendations, and an interview. To apply, students will visit the EIC Google Site through the button on their ClassLink dashboard. Please note that the EIC Google Site is only visible to WCS students from their MyPlace account. Parents will not be able to visit the EIC Google Site.

The EIC’s after-school programming is open to all ninth through twelfth graders in WCS high schools. However, students must pre-register for these workshops. The EIC is not open for drop-in’s after school. Class space is limited and students will register for upcoming offerings about a month before each new quarter begins during the school year. High school students should visit the EIC Google Site through the button on their ClassLink dashboard. Please note that the EIC Google Site is only visible to WCS students from their MyPlace account. Parents will not be able to visit the EIC Google Site.

Staff Directory

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

NameJob TitleTelephoneLinks
Beth Foreman
After-School Workshop Teacher
Kari Miller
Director
Stephanie Thomas
Teacher
Val Shirley
Office Manager / Bookkeeper