As you may have heard, Williamson County Schools is launching a new program for high school students called the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, or EIC.  This creative endeavor allows 9th-12th graders from across Williamson County to launch a business, create an innovative product, offer a service, or try their hand at social entrepreneurship, all while earning high school credit.

This initiative holds great promise not only for these young adults, but also for our business community.  We recognize the importance of building future leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in our region, and the EIC students will be actively involved in our local community both now and in years to come.

The EIC is located next to Franklin High School and will open in August, serving 130 students during the school day and over 100 students every afternoon.

At this time, the EIC is seeking business professionals who are willing to volunteer at the EIC next school year.  The time commitment is flexible, and a volunteer might serve anywhere from one hour per year to one hour per week.

Volunteers are needed in the following capacities:

Mentors are the most involved volunteer role.  Mentors will work with a team of three or four students, helping them launch their business from beginning to end.   Mentors will meet with their student groups one hour per week from late August through May.

Coaches/Guest Instructors will teach a class of students in a limited capacity during the school year.  Coaches/Guest Instructors will be scheduled in advance, allowing volunteers to plan their calendar accordingly.  A spreadsheet of the Guest Instructor needs is available on our website:  https://eiccatalystnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/EIC-Volunteer-Needs.pdf   Guest Instructors will teach approximately four hours per day, for the number of days as indicated on the spreadsheet (7:00 – 11:15 am, or 11:15 am – 3:00 pm).

Industry experts will advise students whose businesses are within various industries, such as fashion, entertainment, technology, product development, retail sales, and countless others.  Industry experts also give specialized advice when students encounter challenges or need guidance in focused areas, such as website development, legal concerns, manufacturing, etc.  Industry experts will be called upon by student need, based on the expert’s area of specialty.

Guest Speakers will provide knowledge and tell their stories of success and failure as a member of our Business Leaders Speaker Series.  Guest speaking engagements will occur in the evenings and will be scheduled according to the Speaker’s availability.

Other volunteer opportunities include Sharks in Shark Tank-style events, Judges in Hack-a-thons and other competitions, and Advisors in Residence, who will serve as on-site resources for students in the EIC after school.

If you would be interested in volunteering at the EIC in any of these capacities, please visit www.eiccatalystnetwork.org for more information and to submit your interest form.