Collaborative City Project combines creativity, teamwork, innovation and college credit

Imagine the convenience of a carwash at the airport … noshing on artisan cheeses in a medieval castle … or getting a healthy boost from a completely organic energy drink with no additives or excess sugar.

These are a few of the business concepts developed by 11th and 12th grade students for the Collaborative City Project, a year-end assignment for the college-level HVCC Marketing and Advertising course.

A student stands ready to present about a coffee house venture for a Collaborative City project A team of students stands ready to present on a affordable line of athletic wear for a Collaborative City project

Whether flying solo or collaborating in small teams, all students demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit as they presented their Collaborative City projects to teachers, administrators, staff and their peers for a vote to determine the top 3 businesses based on overall concept and creativity.

To get started, students brainstormed ideas for products, brand colors, logos and slogans that they compiled into a portfolio. From there, they created advertising and marketing strategies for commercials, print ads, and social media platforms.

For the Collaborative City to take shape, the entrepreneurs designed prototypes of buildings for their businesses, which included a bookshop, athletic wear and clothing boutiques, a burger emporium, a coffee house, a sports drink retail warehouse, a carwash and a surf shop.

Pitching the brand

As part of the pitch for their business — The Formage Castle — seniors Jaeden, Michael and Chloe offered free cheese and crackers to all students, teachers and staff who stopped to visit and learn about their unique enterprise. (Formage is the French word for cheese.)

Talk about using star power to sell your brand — junior Abdullah coaxed WJSHS Assistant Principal Michael Foust and Assistant Superintendent Kelly Webster to appear in a commercial for his ISB Carwash!

A student stands ready to present a Collaborative City project, a carwash located at the airport A student stands ready to present a Collaborative City project, a burger buffet restaurant that can be eat-in or takeout A student smiles as another student looks at a Collaborative City project presentation on an all natural energy drink

This is the third year students in business teacher Megan Matusek’s class have participated in a Collaborative City project, which she describes as a really engaging, hands-on learning experience that involves teamwork, entrepreneurship and creativity – and a chance to earn college credits.