Business By Design: Rêve Academy Launches New Class

Rêve Academy’s newest curriculum offering arrives at a time when educators are looking to deliver a dynamic, project-based learning experience that incorporates academic rigor, innovative thinking, technological skills development and opportunities to build professional aptitudes. Our new course, Business by Design, meets this desire and was co-created with Rêve Consulting, a strategy and service design consultancy that is co-located with Rêve Academy. Rêve Consulting donated its rigorous design methodology, which was then integrated into the new curriculum by Claire Carlson, one of Rêve’s Strategy Consultants. Two industry experts, Mike and Joyce Eyerly, also volunteered their time and talent, adding inputs from their careers and their business expertise to develop student activities.

Business by Design leads students through the steps of creating their own product or service. The challenge culminates with students learning how to craft a business plan, a layered process that combines their creativity with critical thinking skills, market research and website development.

Not only does this curriculum integrate research-based instructional strategies to deliver standards in English/Language Arts, Math, Economics, and Speaking, Listening and Media, the class also provides structured teaching opportunities where students gain skills in many other areas: developing empathy, giving and receiving feedback, active listening and other professional competencies. Additionally, the content is designed for responsive, data-driven instructional delivery through the use of pre- and post-testing, formative assessments, teacher/student conferencing, peer feedback and summative evaluations.

Business by Design is currently being piloted at Franklin Middle School in North Minneapolis. Michael Bratsch, a skilled and inspirational educator with an entrepreneurial spirit, embraces this course for his English-language learners. Not only does the curriculum offer strategic vocabulary development for his class, but his students were also engaged from the very first lesson. Soon after the first skills were introduced and rehearsed, students started looking at their community and the lives of others in ways that reflected increased empathy and a desire to design solutions. In one of our conversations, Mr. Bratsch told me that he is energized by the ability to equip his classes with academic content and marketable skills and that he intends to celebrate the conclusion of the course with a whole-group project that seeks to solve a real-world problem through developing a partnership with a local business.

All Rêve Academy curriculum is built on the premise that rigorous content, made accessible and engaging for students, will yield outcomes that integrate both academic and workplace objectives. Business By Design teaches a methodology that is used by organizations around the world to innovate and grow. Through school partnerships, our non-profit organization is able to provide opportunities for students to learn in ways that complement the impactful work of schools while offering young adults space to explore technical skills and digital careers. The skills learned in Business by Design equip students to dream with direction by evaluating what they, as our future leaders, have to offer to their families, their community, and their world.

If you are interested in implementing the Business By Design curriculum as a class or after-school programming, and would like to learn about pricing and how to get on our waiting list, please contact Amanda Janssen, Director of Academic Excellence, at

Rêve Academy

Rêve Academy helps students dream with direction by providing pathways to digital careers. We create marketable talent by combining immersive coursework with real-world experience.