The Business & Innovation Program

The business world of the 21st century requires innovative thinking, trustworthy ethics, and dynamic leadership. Teachers and volunteers at Wheaton Academy are committed to preparing students to be versatile, forward-thinking producers and consumers in a rapidly changing global economy. The Business & Innovation Program is an optional path students may take to better equip themselves to take the lead in today’s competitive marketplace by developing core business knowledge and skills with a Christian mindset.

Business & Innovation Electives

Business Principles

Equipping students in skills of planning, logic, analysis, organization, problem solving, and decision making in business.

Activities Include…

Students will apply a biblical worldview and principles of ethics while examining foundational business principles, case studies, and career paths in business while learning from guest speakers and mentors.

Economics

Students will be instructed on economic theory – micro and macro and personal finances with an emphasis on biblical stewardship.

Activities Include…

Students will participate in budget and finance projects while learning about consumers, producers, and aggregate economic behavior.

Marketing & Communications

Students learn marketing theories, personal branding and communicating in business using multi-media channels.

Activities Include…

Students will explore marketing models used by organizations, examine their personal brand, learn to make a pitch and create functional marketing plans or campaigns.

Entrepreneurship

Students will work through the entrepreneurial process examining issues, concepts, and methods involved in conceiving, planning, starting and operating a new business.

Activities Include…

Students complete a Business Model Canvas, competitive analysis, financial model, minimally viable product, pitch deck, communications plan, and future funding plan. Learn from mentors and coaches.
Business students present their plan to investors at Wheaton Academy

An Appetite for Business

After learning business innovation principles and touring some businesses, entrepreneurial students developed a business plan for a Wheaton Academy food trailer called “The Shack”. What started out as a concept, and after working through the challenges posed to the students, they now have the opportunity to put their business plan into market with a real business operating out of a food trailer.

Join the Business & Innovation Club

By joining the Business & Innovation Club, you will have opportunity to operate student-run businesses including the Shack, visit local businesses, work with mentors, and compete in DECA and other related events.

DECA Business Club at Wheaton Academy
INCubatorEdu at Wheaton Academy

Students Build Real Businesses

Wheaton Academy is pleased to offer uncharted learning’s INCubatorEdu curriculum—a full-year course offering an authentic entrepreneurship experience. In this class, you will develop your own product or service startup. 

Ideation

Customer Connections

Validation

Legal & MVP Experiment

Pitch Your Story

Customer Discovery

Finances

Building Your MVP

Promotion

Internships

At Wheaton Academy, you will have unique opportunities to engage in career-shaping activities that will help you discover how God has uniquely equipped you to impact the world. An internship will provide you with a firsthand perspective of the skills and tasks needed to be successful in a potential career path.

Internship Winterim 2021
Guest Speaker

Get Involved

The Business & Innovation Program welcomes volunteers to get involved to contribute to students’ education and to help to make a positive impact as they explore the world of business. Volunteers include roles of:

  • Subject Matter Experts – lead instruction in classroom for an hour
  • Mentors – work with a team through their INCubatorEdu journey
  • Internship Hosts – provide a real-life work experience for 2-16 weeks
  • Other – share how you would like to get involved

To get started, please complete a short form so we may contact you:

The Business & Innovation Program Advisory Board

The board is committed to aligning curriculum and training to real-world life applications while students experience innovative, cross-disciplinary learning opportunities grounded in Biblical truth during their time at Wheaton Academy.

Kevin G. Christenson
Executive Director, Global Coordinating Service Partner, RHC
Ernst & Young LLP

Geoffrey Cockrell
Partner
McGuireWoods

Jush Danielson
GM Channel Marketing – Retail, Manufacturing & Global Accounts
AT&T

Dave Demas
Vice President
Plexus Groupe

AnnaMarie Hill
Vice President – Alliances
Deloitte Consulting

Jason Schoepke
Co-Founder
Vistasuite and Cliqueshare

Danielle Valkner
Partner, US Family Officer Leader
PwC

Questions?

Phil Strzalka

Contact Phil Strzalka

Business & Innovation Program Director

630-806-6785
Email

Phil earned a B.S. in Finance at the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate at ITT, Chicago-Kent College of Law. He currently serves as Managing Director of Huron Consulting Group. Phil’s hobbies include horseback riding, bird finding/watching, and fishing. He also enjoys spending time with his family kayaking and hiking.