INCubator students pitch to local entrepreneurs


Camille Schweppe

Priya Gregerson’s INCubator group presenting Testing123 to two mentors for mentor match day.

Camille Schweppe, Staff Reporter

INCubatoredu is an entrepreneurial program offered globally. In Vandegrift, it’s exclusive to desiring juniors and seniors. INCubatoredu isn’t structured like a normal high school course. 

This year, INCubator students apart of INCubatoredu will work in teams to create and manage a product or company that will be pitched to judges, much like shark tank, in hopes their product will be funded or their company will be sponsored.

“When I first joined INCubatoredu, I honestly felt so out of place because I thought I was in the wrong class,” junior Priya Gregerson said. “God, I’m so glad that I turned out to be in the right place. I am passionate about the importance of our product and I hope that one day, we will be chosen to pitch at Google at a chance to win 100,000 in funding.” 

This opportunity holds a mentor match-up that pairs each team with a mentor who will aid them for the remaining school year concerning their product and company. 

“I feel very confident in presenting our information and answering any questions they may ask because our idea is something that I personally came up with at the beginning of the year,” Gregerson said. “I have a vision of what our product will look like and I hope to give others that vision.”

Gregerson’s company is creating a tool that will aid in the success of students during testing settings. 

“Our team’s company is called Testing123 that will sell testing privacy folders that has clear pockets for rubrics, instructions or formula charts,” Gregerson said. “The folder will be spacious and heavy duty so students will feel comfortable and much more confident handing in a test or quiz. Testing123 will help keep students organized and stress free, which is something I think is necessary for success.” 

Mentor match day is an important day for both the mentors and mentees to get to know each other. For the match-up, mentors rotated around the room every 10 minutes to meet each team. During each rotation, the teams pitched their product to the mentors who then made comments, suggestions and asked questions.The remainder of the year will be spent working with their matched entrepreneurs.

“It was kind of strange pitching the same thing over and over again every ten minutes but I found that every time the mentors rotated, I found new ways to phrase things and improve my pitch,” Gregerson said. “My favorite part of the day was seeing the smiles from the mentors. It was such a warm and assuring feeling, like a physical way of saying ‘you got this’.” 

Gregerson’s group will work in close proximity under the advisory of their mentor, but Testing123 isn’t a faux project. By working with their real world mentors, Gergerson’s group could have the ability to lift their visionary company into reality. 

“Our mentor will gives us connections to other entrepreneurs, company owners, advertisers, technical workers, graphic designers and more in order to help us get our product off the ground,” Gregerson said. “I can’t wait to build a bond with our mentor. I’m so grateful to get a chance to have mentor match day, a chance to get a glimpse into the minds of those who could potentially be aiding us in our company for years to come.”