New charter school creating next generation of entrepreneurs

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 19:52:51-04

Kids are launching their own businesses through a Colorado Springs high school. 

It’s a new charter school called Launch High School. Its goal is to help students learn the art of entrepreneurship before they graduate. 

When thinking about employment post-graduation, a lot of people start looking for a 9-5 job right away. Adrian Dixon is doing something different. 

"I have big ideas that I want to try and change the world with, and I feel like I can’t do that in a normal job so I want to work for myself."

The 17-year-old is a junior at Launch High School. 

"I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t come to Launch."

The school teaches core subjects like math, English, and science, but its main focus is entrepreneurship with students creating their own businesses. Students at Launch are working on apps, games, jewelry, even an apothecary where they make herbal teas and cosmetic products. 

Eric Meldrum, entrepreneurship teacher at Launch, said, "Part of our long-term vision as a school is that we provide these students with incentive to start and grow their own businesses here rather than having to go elsewhere."

Dixon said, "I have ideas with renewable energy, hopefully increase efficiencies of solar panels."

Sophomore Mahala Hooper is pursuing a music career.

"I’m really into songwriting and I want to be a musician…musicians that write their own stuff, they’re entrepreneurs…here, we learn about digital marketing and other things that are really important when it comes to maybe starting a YouTube channel and trying to promote yourself."

Digital marketing was the focus of Friday’s class. 

Dixon said, "The presentation today was about search engine optimization…any business that has an online presence really requires SEO."

Meldrum said, "We’re just trying to really equip them with tools that they may use."

They’re tools that could be used for business endeavors that may someday boost the Colorado Springs economy. 

Meldrum said, "We really see this as an integral part and we want to be the hub for youth entrepreneurship in the Colorado Springs community."

News 5 learned from Launch that some of these businesses have actually cleared several hundred dollars in sales. 

Only about 70 students attend Launch High School. It’s hoping to grow and is accepting new students.