WeGrow

Grade school for budding entrepreneurs by WeWork

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WeGrow is a grade school for budding entrepreneurs, trying to reshape American education with their influence and investments.

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Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
This received a bunch of criticism when it was announced a few days ago, unjustified imho. This is a natural extension for WeWork, solving a problem for entrepreneurial parents (childcare). My parents are business owners, encouraging and support entrepreneurial endeavors at a young age (more on that here). I'd love to see more young kids given this opportunity.
Andrea Hernández@think_andreah · Founder, Pretty Eats
@rrhoover Yes! My friends who own a school have incorporated some aspects of this and it works!! The school system is one that was in MUCH need of disruption and tbh, my grandparents never even finished primary (back in the day in Honduras when there was basically nothing) he became one of the biggest businessman in my city so books and grades can only take you so far in the end.
Steven Rueter@rueter · Developer
@rrhoover I have to agree with you on that. The current one-dimensional approach in public and even private education is tragic. Here you have an organization willing to take on that challenge, and of course you’re going to get those people who have little understanding for what education needs to evolve into in order for future generations to be able to cope with an exponentially changing world. WeGrow may or may not be that solution, but at least they’re engaging the issue.
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover I was critical of this on twitter a few days ago, but I feel it's worth explaining my thinking in a more robust manner. TL;DR: Entrepreneurial education is important and valuable, but equally important is an exposure to art, music, and humanities (which ultimately give historical context to entrepreneurial lessons). Firstly, from a parental aide perspective, I think this is great. My parents, like yours, are small business owners, so even though I grew up with them working as attorneys from home (obviously excluding depositions court dates, etc.), I recognize this was a norm for Atlanta which may not extend to all cities or vocations. So for parents who work from an office, I can see the immediate value here in a childcare facility. Additionally, I was taught from a young age about the entrepreneurial mentality, so we share that education as well. Where my initial criticism came from was the reporting (which may have been misleading, I acknowledge) that these young kids would be introduced to and focused on studying business dynamics like brand identity, marketing metrics, etc. I fundamentally think that will lead to skewed perspective not only of business, but of the world. I'm no childcare professional, but from my own experience, that was sweet-spot age for exploration of humanities subjects and dynamics; art, reading, music, etc. I'm not sure I agree with the idea of swapping out introduction to art education for marketing and brand identity. One of the major drawbacks I see in this is a lack of context; so much of what we understand about business and entrepreneurship is a function of understanding context, usually through history. For example, regarding continuous failure, one need only remember the famous story of Thomas Edison and the invention of the incandescent light bulb (other non-tech examples like Winson Churchill and Herbert Hoover are also useful in this understanding). Regarding the realistic tolls that drive can have on personal affairs, look at driven people like Alber Einstein, Steve Jobs, Jackson Pollock, etc. who all had very complicated home lives--not what we would consider idyllic. The point that I'm making here is that in an age where it's become so much about your SAT score and what classes you took in college, I think it's more important now than ever to protect the initial curiosity that is expanded and stimulated through exploratory subjects like art, music, and humanities. Business knowledge and entrepreneurial drive can be a wonderful thing to nurture, but it's important not to forget the historical context surrounding legendary entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie, Glenn Curtiss, J.P. Morgan, Nicola Tesla, etc.
Steven Rueter@rueter · Developer
@adammarx13 you make some valid points, but like anything, I think it’s too early to tell. If anything, an entrepreneurial education requires exposure to the arts, music, and humanities; it if didn’t, it would be incomplete. What I think the real value in what this program aims to achieve is to provide context as to WHY you are learning math and WHY you are learning history. The kids that go through this pilot program, if it follows through on its promise, will have an advantage over others that don’t. Most compelling to me is the fact that once this expands outside of New York, parents may be able to travel with their kids with zero disruption to their curriculum. Just imagine receiving an entrepreneurial education from a young age across the globe—the people you meet, the cultures you adopt, the languages you learn. I only wish I could go back and take part in something like this. What better way to prepare kids for a dynamic and rapidly changing world, whether they become entrepreneurs or not?
Larry KokoszkaPro@larrykokoszka · Founder, Ghost Browser
@rrhoover as a former teacher that did project based learning I think this is great and don't think it precludes education in other subject areas. Technology projects can be rooted in history, arts, humanities and science and math are certainly covered in a very applied way. I don't see the downside. Plus it's a huge win for working families.
Joshua PinterPro@joshuapinter · Product at CNTRAL. Maker of ntwrk.
Maybe one of the most important things that WeWork can do. I hope it pans out so I can send my future offspring there.