How High Schools Can Teach Entrepreneurship - Slava Rubin

In Chapter 13 of 13 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, crowdfunding entrepreneur and IndieGoGo CEO Slava Rubin answers "How Can the Education System Better Prepare Entrepreneurs?"  Rubin details how middle and high schools should promote entrepreneurship curriculum that focuses on practice in addition to theory.  He compares entrepreneur skill development to that of a basketball player, highlighting LeBron James as an example of how practice shapes skills and how schools might use this concept in their curriculum planning.  Slava Rubin returns to CYF for his Year 3 interview.  As CEO and Co-Founder, Rubin has helped transform cause and project fundraising by establishing his company IndieGoGo as a global leader in crowdfunding.  He is also active in philanthropy, starting the Music Against Myeloma annual charity event to fight cancer.  He graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Erik Michielsen: How can the education system better prepare entrepreneurs?

Slava Rubin: Yeah, to me entrepreneurial thinking is just as important as teaching Math or Mandarin or Spanish or even coding. I think it’s a new language that kids should be learning. I think that an innovative idea is we should actually create a entrepreneurial class and add it to the curriculum where starting in 7th grade until you graduate high school or college every student had to run a business a year. See to me, when Lebron James was learning to play basketball, he didn’t just watch Michael Jordan on TV. He actually played every day with a basketball and we ask our students and our young people to be entrepreneurial with their thinking but we ask them to do with theory, which means without a basketball.

So, I would think that the best way to bring entrepreneurial thinking to our students, have them become innovative, have them – have the opportunity to go to the workplace or start something new very quickly and without as much fear and risk is give them the opportunity starting in 7th grade to be able to be entrepreneurs. This really goes back to kindergarten when your teacher taught you about what you aspire to be, she probably used words like lawyer and doctor and fireman and the word entrepreneur was never used and I think that needs to change.