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Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 14, 2019

In today’s episode, the team will be speaking with Don Wettrick, the founder and President of STARTedUP Foundation!

Don’s father was a teacher, and after attempting career #1, he decided to go back and follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher too. Don found that he enjoyed growing things and becoming entrepreneurial. After watching Dan Pink’s 2009 TED Talk entitled, ‘The Puzzle of Motivation,’ he knew similar principles could be utilized in the classroom and decided to apply them to his own teaching methods.

Don doesn’t believe that every student should become an entrepreneur, but he does believe that they should all think like one. They should be able to think critically, reframe problems, and collaborate and that’s what led Don to start STARTedUP Foundation. STARTedUP Foundation has the incredible mission to empower students by immersing them into an entrepreneurial way of being, inspiring them to start something new, and mentoring them through new ventures. Their goal is to prepare students to be enterprising contributors in this changing world!


Tune in to hear Don as he talks to Tom about what students should be learning and future plans for the foundation!


Key Takeaways:

[:14] About today’s episode!

[1:01] Tom welcomes Don to the podcast.

[1:05] Why did Don originally decide to become a teacher?

[1:50] About Don’s secondary education.

[2:01] When did Don’s fascination with innovation occur?

[3:11] Don talks about the innovation program that he’s run for the last 6 years at Noblesville Schools.

[4:35] Don speaks about the length of his career and what he’s looking forward to after leaving classroom teaching.

[5:09] About the STARTedUP Foundation!

[8:17] Is Don contemplating an incubator?

[9:15] Does Don anticipate that they’ll be expanding and working through multiple partner organizations nationally?

[10:59] Are they contemplating raising a venture fund?

[12:05] Don highlights the important skills young people need these days to be successful.

[15:43] Don highlights some more important characteristics for students and educators to have.

[19:43] About Don’s teaching of what the entrepreneurial mindset is and the basics of entrepreneurship.

[21:18] What are Don’s long-term goals for STARTedUP?

[24:42] STARTedUP Foundation’s mantra!

[27:10] Don describes how basic skills fit into their program.

[28:14] Don’s view of human development.

[29:14] How soon Don sees that this way of looking at human development will become the new norm for education.

[32:14] Where to find out more about what Don Wettrick is doing!


Mentioned in This Episode:

STARTedUP Foundation

Don Wettrick (LinkedIn)

Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level, by Don Wettrick

The Puzzle of Motivation,’ TED Talk by Dan Pink

Noblesville Schools

Innovate WithIN

Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, by Seth Godin

Akimbo (Seth Godins Podcast)

Sarah Hernholm Whatever It Takes (WIT)

Richard Miller (Olin Colleges President)

Gary Vaynerchuk

StartEdUp Podcast


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