Chicago 8th Graders – Young Entrepreneurs Receive Crowd Source Funding

Elephant Family in SolidWorks

44 eighth graders from Chicago’s Nettelhorst Public School explored the world of brainstorming and idea, designing a product, developing a prototype, and funding a new business.  The Science and Entrepreneurship Exchange (SEE) provides elementary and middle school students the opportunity to design new products and startup young businesses.

The crowd loves the students’ new product, the Elephant Hook™ created by the dig-8 pilot project team and designed in SolidWorks.


Students learn the tough process of market research, raising capital, and product design revisions with the help of Northwestern University students and great mentors and teachers like inventor,  Joe Born and marketing consultant, Ted Ganchiff, Northwestern engineering professor, Mike Beltran and teachers Julieanne Van FleetMichelle Gunderson and John Nieciak.

 Elephant hooks drawing

Students document their work in engineering drawings and professional presentations.  Well done young entrepreneurs.  STEM learning just got smarter by adding the business element.  Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard