Today we’d like to introduce you to Blake Sims.
Blake, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Epiic Solutions was formed to address a missing gap in our current k12 education system. Blake began her career as a middle school teacher, passionate about teaching social justice and civic engagement to her students. After five years in the classroom, she wanted to explore new opportunities to expand her impact and ensure all youth had access to programs that inspired them to be positive contributors to their communities. In 2012 she moved to Boston to earn her Master’s in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While there, she took a course called “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education,” as well completing a student residency at the new Innovation Lab.
During her time on campus, she realized that teaching students entrepreneurship was a great way to instill the mindset and skill set students need for success in the 21st century (collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication). She and a cofounder spent the semester exploring entrepreneurship education and digging into the core people, resources, space and programs young adults needed to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit. Upon graduation, Blake worked with a funder to continue investing entrepreneurship education and piloting programs across the United States for students from 3rd grade up to seniors in high school. Three years ago Blake began running Epiic Solutions programs in Boston in order to better connect local youth with the city’s thriving innovation economy.
She leads Epiic Solutions summer programs for teens in the Greater Boston area to explore entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking. Teens work in small teams during the one-week camps to develop their own startup ideas and network with local founders and startups through daily field trips. Blake also works with individual schools looking to infuse more hands-on programs and a design culture. Through all of this work, Blake is committed to empowering youth with core skills, an innovative mindset, and real-world opportunities to see different college and career opportunities so they become confident agents of change.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The entrepreneurial journey is always one of ups and downs. There have been many days where I’ve questioned the work if it’s the right way to spend my time, treasure and talent. I’ve bootstrapped Epiic Solutions and have needed side hustles at times to make sure I can pay my bills. While I’ve gotten a lot of great advice and mentoring, I’m a solo founder which can be stressful and prevented me from reaching the scale I know is possible. When I have doubts, I turn to emails and notes I’ve received from past teens and their parents which reinforce the impact programs have had in their lives.
Please tell us about Epiic Solutions.
Epiic Solutions are Boston’s coolest way for teens to explore entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking. Our one-week programs are hands-on, lots of fun, and created to expose students to vital 21st-century skills and future college and career pathways. We hope to spark interest in entrepreneurship and innovation and demonstrate the value of being a creative problem solver regardless of career pathway.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t have let my grad school co-founder move to Peru! I miss her and could use her brilliance, energy, and enthusiasm every day!
- We offer a $625 early bird rate (good till March 31)
- We offer discounts for attending multiple sessions
- Our 1-week programs are $725 (starting April 1)
- Address: 730 Commonwealth Ave
Brookline, MA 02446
- Website: www.epiicsolutions.org
- Phone: (617) 410-8602
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/epiicsolutions/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/epiic_solutions