Teachers & Volunteers Deliver Curriculum
The Business Incubator Honors class provides LFHS students the opportunity to experience a truly hands-on business curriculum through a unique community-school partnership. Students become real entrepreneurs by creating and developing their own product or service and not only learn in the classroom, but are coached and mentored by volunteer entrepreneurs and business leaders from the community. During the year-long course, students learn about ideation, marketing, accounting and human resources, as well as the legal and financial aspects of running a business in an interactive and practical way.

The class begins with problem-solution identification and product or service ideation in the fall; then turns into creating a product/service over the winter. In the spring, the focus is on preparing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) presentation to secure funding to test their product or service. The MVP presentation is a requirement of the class, and after reviewing the feedback from the judges and assessing their product/service viability, the teams themselves decide if they are going to continue to the Academic Pitch for a chance to win funding at Pitch Night each May.

Students in this year's program giving their MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Pitches.
Nearly a Decade of Foundation Support
In 2014, The LFHS Foundation funded the original $25,000 needed to purchase the Business Incubator curriculum and transform an appropriate learning space. Each subsequent year, the Foundation provides $5,000 to support products and services in development and recruits volunteer coaches, mentors, and judges to support the program. The Foundation also raises approximately $10,000 in community sponsorship to fund Pitch Night prize money awarded to teams during the event. Student businesses that are funded during Pitch Night go into the Business Accelerator class during senior year, where students work to bring their product or service to market.
Innovative Teacher Leaves an Impact
The Business Incubator program began through the initiative of LFHS teacher, Joe Pulio, who wrote a grant for the LFHS Foundation to purchase the curriculum. LFHS was one of the early adopters of the curriculum whose popularity has grown not only in our high school but is now delivered at more than 300 high schools across the country. 

Mr. Pulio, who retires this year, along with fellow teachers Phil Lascala and Laura Clegg provide students the opportunity to develop 21st century skills including creativity, collaboration, initiative and risk taking – all with the goal of increasing student agency and developing a growth mindset.
Volunteer Mentors, Coaches, & Judges
More than 40 volunteers make the Business Incubator happen at LFHS. Volunteer coaches come into the classroom to provide subject-area expertise on topics like ideation, value proposition, market segmentation, pricing, finance and more. Volunteer Mentors work with one team each week to help students create their product and fledgling business, and volunteer judges provide valuable feedback to help students hone their pitch. Working and retired business professionals, local entrepreneurs and LFC academic faculty all volunteer their skills to support the growth of the Business Incubator students at LFHS.
“The Business Incubator program at LFHS has grown into one of the most popular electives at the high school, enrolling about twenty percent of LFHS Juniors." -Pete Clemens, LFHS Foundation Co-Chair
Gratitude for our 2022-2023 Volunteers
Laura George
Matthew Sunderman
Michael Reinhardt
Carrie Bienkowski
Doug Warren
Sonia Boudreau
Joe Collins
Serena Lal
Brett Dugan
Catherine Yehle
Chris Hartrich
Samantha Boreland
Ned Boreland
Matt Kiesling
Rudy Dell

Accelerator Mentors
Rob Wilder
Kevin April
Sally Salzer
Shawn Folkes
Tom Condon
Kathryn Haydorn
Michael Obiala
Corbett Lamb
Peter Leech
Lisa Simone Porter
Cory Holmer
Jennifer Gattari
Doug Warren
Mark Allen
Sonia Boudreau
Paul Best
Jennifer Abernathy
Jeff Yehle
Greg Strauss
Chris Hartrich
Steven Whittington
Kate Jackson
Diane Fleming
Laura Crandall

LFHS Foundation Board BI Team
Pete Clemens
Susan Loiacano
Keevie Silvay
Foundation Grants Reach Across the Curriculum
LFHS Foundation grants make an impact not only on the Business curriculum, but on curriculum delivery across the high school. Highlights of enhancements from the last decade include virtual reality headsets and WeVideo licenses that are used across history, language and science classes, a weight room update, lifeguarding & climbing equipment, the conversion of the Forest Scout to digital delivery, TEDx LFHS equipment, Digital Arts Lab transformation including software, monitors, laptops, & furnishings, reimagined spaces including the Business Incubator, 21st Century Learning Labs, Maker Space and Student Services Suite, SmartBoards in classrooms across all departments, Underwater Robotics, Binocular LED Microscopes, Physics Air Tracks & Projectile Launchers and more.
NEW Video Equipment for
The Forest Scout
Upgraded Sound Systems
& Intelligent Lights
for the Theaters
Coming Soon ...
Plasma Cutter for Creating Custom Metal Pieces
None of this is possible without your support!
You're Invited to Our Annual Spring Luncheon
We hope you'll join us at Knollwood Club on Friday, April 28th for this year's Annual Spring Luncheon. Enjoy a lovely lunch with friends, win fabulous raffles prizes & bid on amazing auction items, too! Funds raised will go toward future grants at LFHS.
Learn more and get your ticket at https://lfhslunch2023.givesmart.com.
Mark Your Calendar for Pitch Night: May 18th
Pitch Night 2022

Lake Forest High School Foundation | lfhsfoundation.org