Dive into Spark Tank, where we fuel innovation for student-entrepreneurs, who translate their ideas and ingenuity into their own businesses and non-profits.
Our Spark Tank incubator, founded in 2015 by The Dwight School Foundation, quickly became a Dwight signature program, distinguishing us as one of the first schools to empower students in grades K-12 to launch their own enterprises. Spark Tank teaches students entrepreneurial, innovation, and leadership skills beyond the classroom. From the germ of an idea to market launch, young entrepreneurs receive guidance, mentorship, and funding through Foundation innovation grants to bring their ideas to fruition.
Spark Tank is deeply aligned with the School's mission to ignite the spark of genius in every child. Here, students pursue their passion projects, ranging from designing new products and starting their own businesses, to making a difference in the lives of others through socially responsible initiatives and their own non-profit organizations.
Following the IB design thinking and problem-solving cycle, students develop their projects in the incubator through five stages. They bring their concepts — and real-world problems they want to solve — to Spark Tank after school to work closely with faculty advisors.
Throughout the journey, students present their projects to a panel of judges for feedback and funding to translate their ideas into reality. Along the Spark Tank pathway, students learn a range of practical and business-related skills, including budgeting, product development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, pitching, and public speaking, providing invaluable experience and preparation for the working world.
Judges are members of The Dwight School Foundation’s Spark Tank Committee comprised of parents and alumni in our community who are industry leaders. Their insights help students refine their projects and advance to the next stage in the development cycle. Those who reach the launch stage receive an innovation grant.
Dwight’s incubator stands apart from those at the college level — it's based on Dwight’s belief that students shouldn’t have to wait to join the over-18 sector to pursue their dreams. When I talk about Spark Tank with parents around the world, they all say, "I want this great program at my children’s school."
- Dave Lindsey, Dwight parent and former founding Chair of the Spark Tank Committee
Pursuing Passion Projects in Spark Tank
In Spark Tank — which is deeply aligned with our School mission to ignite the spark of genius in every child — we fuel innovation for young student-entrepreneurs, who pursue their passion projects.
Polina Nikitina ’23 Shares Her Voice and Champions Her Home Country
Senior Polina Nikitina, a singer, songwriter, and accomplished musician new to Dwight this year, brought her impressive talent and spark to campus — and in very short order galvanized attention for her passion project entitled “Gotham.”
Forming Futures: Helping New Yorkers in Need Today and Tomorrow
“Growing up, I was taught to leave this world a better place than I found it,” says Victoria Buendia-Serrano ’23, founder and CEO of Forming Futures, a non-profit created to help underserved New Yorkers.
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