Free Classes for Children to Explore Entrepreneurship

Austin nonprofit organization $tart-Up! Kid's Club helps kids realize that they can do anything

Last year we wrote an article about ‘Kid Entrepreneurs From Austin And How To Become A Kidpreneur’ where we highlighted some of Austin's very own young entrepreneurs who turned their passion into business. We also listed some organizations and businesses that will help your little one get started. Today we’d like to introduce you to $tart-Up! Kid's Club, a non-profit that provides students with free access to entrepreneurial education. 

What is the idea behind $tart-Up! Kid's Club? 

“My daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade. While researching the disorder, I came across studies that have found that over 35 percent of successful entrepreneurs have dyslexia or other forms of learning disabilities.”, $tart-Up! Kid's Club founder and former teacher Amber Wakem explains. “It wasn't until I saw the way her mind ran and grasps on vision, that I realized, kids need to be taught that failing isn’t wrong, failing isn’t bad. Failure is vital in the evolution of ourselves and our ideas.” 

The more Amber researched the idea the more she felt compelled to bring $tart-Up! Kid's Club to life. “I’m not looking to create a bunch of successful entrepreneurs, I’m looking to help lay the foundation of out of the box thinking, self-worth and confidence, and an understanding that taking risk and failure aren't a bad thing.” 

What does $tart-Up! Kid's Club! do?

With the help of community entrepreneurs and small business owners, students have the opportunity to create, develop, and execute their own ideas. Each week students have the chance to meet new mentors, exposing them to different careers, ideas, concepts, and perspective, ultimately challenging them to think through their ideas. Classes always begin with a large group ice breaker, mentor presentation, questions, and end with project work. 

Students have two opportunities a session to sell/present their business and the option to continue their learning after it ends (first right to spots in next session). While presenting their business isn't a requirement, students are encouraged to stick with their idea and process for the duration of the session to actually watch it develop. Students are encouraged to analyze their experience and adapt their idea to help them ultimately become more successful. 

Who can sign up for classes?

By fostering a program that values idea over grade, $tart-Up! Kid's Club opens up the playing field to students from all academic levels. 

Where are the classes held?

Over the past six months, $tart-Up! Kid's Club has grown from one to five locations, incl. Austin Discovery School, Dittmar Park and Recreation Center, Eanes Elementary School, Lake Travis Community Library, and Orange Coworking. Several locations are on a wait list. 

How can I sign my child up for classes?

Registration is open and closes when classes are full or on the first day of class. Most classes start the beginning of February. You can register here

How much do classes cost?

Classes are free of charge, but students have the option to purchase a "$tart-Up! Briefcase" with official business items for their journey. 

Sponsors, mentors and volunteers wanted

As a 501(c)(3) organization, $tart-Up! Kid's Club runs with the help of volunteers and community members looking to give back. $tart-Up! Kid's Club is continuously looking for monetary and in-kind donations, as well as mentors and volunteers. Read more about how you can get involved

“We all have big ideas, dreams and goals. This is an opportunity to lift our kids up and teach them to be resilient and help them realize that they can do anything.”

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About Birgit Sund
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