Maplewood High School opens entrepreneur center on campus

“Shark Tank” young entrepreneur helps celebrate grand opening

Maplewood High School today celebrated the grand opening of its new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center called “The I-Spot.” The I-Spot, a 1,600 square foot space, is part of the Academy of Business & Consumer Services and the first of its kind in a Tennessee high school.

“Through a focus on creativity, marketing, and business success we can help students develop their next big idea and make it a reality,” said Dr. Ron Woodard, executive principal of Maplewood. “This center features state of the art computers with the latest graphic design and video editing capabilities. It will be a student creative laboratory for real-world marketing opportunities."

The center is modeled after the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center located downtown and will be focused on students who already have the foundation of a business idea, but have not yet created a business plan.

“There will be an application process for any student looking to use the space to make his or her small business dreams a reality,” said Dr. Woodard. “We already have our first student business called ‘Pin It’ which designs and sell pens with quotes and artwork on them.” Maplewood has also partnered with three area restaurants that are looking for new marketing materials and advertisements.

This center is more than just helping students develop the perfect business plan, but making the opportunity available to everyone. Dr. Woodard continued, “Diversity is a key focus to us. We believe that just making this type of facility available will help close many opportunity gaps, especially for students whose families often struggle with poverty.”

Dallas Robinson, CEO of Kisstix Lipbalm, help cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the “I-Spot.” He was featured on ABC's hit TV show “Shark Tank” and was labeled an “All-star” young entrepreneur by Forbes Magazine. Robinson inspired students by sharing his journey to entrepreneurship as well as the challenges of being a young CEO.

View more photos of the I-Spot and grand opening celebration.