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Business Incubator Opened At Dorchester High School

BOSTON (CBS) - The non-profit organization 'BUILD' is developing a plan to introduce at-risk students to the startup business world.

Organizers have opened an incubator at Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Jeff Brown reports

"This is going to give students an opportunity," says Ayaylee Shakur, regional director of BUILD. "They actually can stay on school campus and work on launching those businesses right there at school."

An idea to reality, under one roof.

"So it's a really exciting opportunity to bring entrepreneurship and innovation into the schools, into the neighborhoods, where students can learn and grow and thrive as entrepreneurs right in their own backyard," Shakur said.

But BUILD is taking it one step further.

"We also have mentors and volunteers from the business community who come in on a weekly basis to coach students on helping them grow their businesses," Shakur said.

And if their ideas are good, they get real investors to put up the seed funding to launch those businesses. And like the real world, investors will want a return on their investment, but it's really about the kids.

"Students are running those businesses for a total of three years while they're in high school," Shakur said.

Made possible with a grant from the PWC Charitable Foundation, this BUILD venture builds on past success and a target for the future.

"We're in four partner schools, we have a plan to grow to about eight schools in Boston and then to start expanding to places like Chelsea and Lynn and Lowell and Springfield," Shakur said.

BUILD works with about 200 students each year and just like a real world venture, some ideas become successful, while others fail and valuable lessons are learned.

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