The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Xanthe Meyer

Senior Allie Byergo stands with her business partners, Anna Kladiva and Camilla Mantilla, after being awarded $100 for their third-place performance at the Parkway Alumni Association pitch competition.


Spark! Incubator takes students through the major stages of launching a new venture. Students learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship through the development of an early-stage company, social enterprise or nonprofit organization. Senior Alex Jordan has pursued a social media marketing business, STUD Media, with senior Jack Goedde.

“Spark! puts you in a real-life situation. It gives you the freedom to do what you want. I look forward to Spark every other day because I learn new tactics and strategies to help me in my future,” Jordan said. “Our facility is very open and fresh; when I walk in in the morning, I take a deep breath and think, ‘let’s go.’”

This experiential learning program takes place at an off-site workspace where students can research, conduct conferences, hear guest speakers, work with mentors and essentially operate their enterprise. The current site is located in Chesterfield Mall. Senior Nick Malchanav owned a sneaker reselling business before Spark! and expanded to a fulfillment-by-Amazon and fulfillment-by-merchant company through Spark! with senior Luke Beveridge.

“The most beneficial resource Spark! has given me is mentors. It’s interesting to meet and speak to very successful and wealthy people. Given they were once in my position and made it to where they are today gives me motivation,” Malchanav said.

Some students in the Spark! program have received funds to help launch their business endeavor by getting an application approved for the Thomas Phelps Entrepreneurship Award or a grant through the Granting Dreams Program, both administered by the Parkway Alumni Association. Senior Allie Byergo has received $450 from these competitions for her business, Icona Apparel.

“The money has helped us to grow our business by allowing us to build our inventory without having to invest our own money,” Byergo said. “It has allowed us to advertise [and] build our brand.”

Parkway is the only K-12 public school district in the region that supports entrepreneurial ideas for high school students with funding from its alum association and educational resources from the district.

“I’m very thankful for Spark! allowing me to work on projects I’m passionate about and receive credit at the same time. It’s very convenient and allows for more individuality than standard school,” Malchanav said.

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