Shockwave: A Course for Social Entrepreneurs

/Shockwave: A Course for Social Entrepreneurs
Shockwave: A Course for Social Entrepreneurs2019-02-04T17:04:04+00:00

LEARNING OBJECTIVE:  During the Shockwave Young Entrepreneur Course, students will learn how to identify a social enterprise business concept, develop a revenue model, and tell their story effectively through creative writing, graphic design, and producing a basic TED Talk presentation. The ultimate purpose of the course is to take students through all of the basic steps they need to pitch their business ideas to investors and lenders.  Upon completion of their work, they will then be given an opportunity to visit with some of the most innovative business leaders from around the nation.

What is StandWatch Academy Shockwave?

StandWatch Academy’s Shockwave course is a combination of classroom instruction, online classes, and an educational travel experience where students develop innovative business models that can grow into successful start-ups.  Many organizations help write business plans.  We want to focus on helping young people find their drive and build that passion into a successful business concept.

The Shockwave Course begins with a workshop where students learn from a nationally recognized business model development program created by Dr. Ben Eng, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marshall University’s Brad D. Smith Schools of Business. Dr. Eng’s “Find Your Drive” course helps students learn how to take innovative ideas and create sound businesses that can transform West Virginia’s economy.

In addition to this fantastic experience, during the Spring 2019 semester, StandWatch Academy students will also have an opportunity to participate in the production of a documentary that follows students from Buffalo, West Virginia as they learn how to change their communities through entrepreneurship.  Produced as a joint project between StandWatch Academy, Marshall University students, Professor Tijah Bumgarner, and Professor Daniel Dean from Marshall University’s College of Arts & Media, the 40-minute short film will focus on the transformation that takes place as students learn how to change lives through creative thinking, passion, and hard work.  Select Academy students will have an opportunity to shadow the production crew and learn about communicating through video and film. It will be an awesome experience.

All Work and No Play…

While the Shockwave course is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and tools they need to become successful entrepreneurs, our educational travel expeditions provide a real-world experience that is unmatched. In additional to touring successful companies and meeting with innovative business owners in the fastest growing cities nationwide, we also take the time to get outdoors and do incredible things.  Most of the time, these activities include day trips to national parks or other national landmarks.  Incredible things happen when young people get outside and we strongly believe that the educational travel experience we provide students is a key component to their future success. Subject to outside funding, our goal is to provide this experience free of charge to students who complete the Shockwave course. The expedition that’s available to each class is discussed at the Find Your Drive workshop that kicks off each course.

Next Shockwave Event

Shockwave Talk – A Forum for Discussing New Ideas for West Virginia’s Economic Future

Shockwave Talk Spring 2019:

  • Date: March 21st, 2019
  • Registration: Online
  • Introductory Remarks: 8:05 am to 8:15 am
  • Morning Session: 8:15 am to 12:00pm – Morning Speakers
  • Lunch Break: 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Afternoon Session 1: 1:15pm to 3:45 – Student Speakers
  • Closing: 3:45 pm to 4:00 pm – Closing
  • Location: Valley Park Conference Center, Hurricane, WV (Tentative)

Pre-Course Videos

All students must watch these two TED Talk videos prior to attending the Shockwave workshop.

Materials and Supplies

Students must bring writing utensils, notepad, and either a laptop or chromebook. If a student does not have access to a computer, please email me at, and we’ll see what we can do.


The academy is open to both boys and girls who are currently enrolled as high school juniors or seniors (public, private, homeschooled).  Each prospective student must complete an initial application to be accepted into the program. 

Reading List

Students must read the following books prior to attending the course.

TED Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking