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Chase Koch on what business startups and schools can teach each other

October 4, 2019

min read

Identifying new investment opportunities for business and helping children take ownership of their learning experience have more in common than you might think. Both unlock and fulfill potential.

As president of Koch Disruptive Technologies, Chase Koch knows the importance of this goal well, in addition to developing partnerships and aligning visions. So does Annie Koch, Chase’s wife and co-founder of Wonder, a private pre-K-12 school on the campus of Wichita State University.

“We’re hoping (with KDT) to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace and help technology founders — just like Annie is doing with Wonder to help kids unlock their potential — we are trying to do the same with earlier-stage technology founders,” Chase Koch said Thursday during a discussion at Youth Entrepreneurs’ Business for Breakfast Event at Charles Koch Arena.

That kind of disruption is key to Wonder as well, Annie Koch added.

“We are first and foremost a learner-driven environment,” she said. “Our belief as a school is that every child is a genius who is on a hero’s journey to find their calling and change the world.”

Liz Koch, who founded Youth Entrepreneurs with Charles Koch in 1991, said the organization wants to spark even more innovation from students.

“Chase and Annie are the greatest because they can give us such a good example of what we're really trying to do,” she said. “I'm ecstatic about the prospects of Youth Entrepreneurs. When I look at our students ... we're trying to convince them to dig deep because they have so much to offer.”

With the support of Koch Industries, Youth Entrepreneurs provides meaningful learning experiences to more than 10,000 students in more than 200 classrooms each year.

See more about the discussion from ABC affiliate KAKE and the Wichita Business Journal.