Entrepreneur Program: Earwig Incorporated
When Dunn School rising senior Sunny McCluer approached Mike Beck (Head of School) with her request to start a student café on campus in 2009, she was just looking for a place to hang out with her friends. She didn’t imagine that the Earwig Café would one day be the cornerstone of the brand new 6,500 square foot Cindy Bronfman Leadership Center, the first new student space built on Dunn School’s campus in 18 years.
In the fall of 2010 when senior Jeff Wang presented his proposal for a student managed investment fund of the Dunn School endowment, he was looking for a way to make his investment club a little more engaging. He didn’t realize that eight years later that fund which was seeded with the net income from the Earwig Café, would be worth $125,000 and that the student manager’s investment performance would be returning 13.2% annualized (beating the market by 70 basis points).
In the fall of 2013 when Abe Storey and his instructor Alex Keheya created the Earwig Innovations club and began testing their business ideas using the Lean Launchpad method of entrepreneurship, they didn’t expect that their leadership and participation in Earwig Incorporated would help them launch their own successful careers in business.
Yet here we are wrapping up the ninth year of Earwig Incorporated, and the impact of this program is unquestioned. The data doesn’t lie. High school kids can run a business – successfully! High school kids can learn to invest – better than the professionals! High school kids are fearless and enthusiastic entrepreneurs!
But the real value of this program is not the $1 million dollar scholarship fund. The real value is the critical thinking that is required to listen to a customer’s problem and figure out a way to solve it – profitably. The real value lies in the communication skills honed while presenting a marketing strategy to a public company CEO. The real value is the courage required to invest in a stock that is trading at an all time low because much of the news about the company is negative.
The real value is the Leadership that Earwig Incorporated students display every day by holding themselves accountable to a team, commit to building a thriving business, and have the audacity to invest forever!
To learn more about Earwig Incorporated-- our exciting Entrepreneur Program-- from our students and faculty members, watch the video on the right side of the page.