Excellent story on innovative entrepreneurship education program that has come out of Stanford University. Gumball Capital is a simple entrepreneurship program that challenges high school and college students to think and act like entrepreneurs. From Matthew Lynley over at Venturebeat:
You have a week, $27, and 27 gum balls to create a business venture. That’s the mission of Gumball Capital’s student entrepreneur challenge, and so far it has been wildly successful, with some rising entrepreneurs generating as much as ten times a return on the initial investment.
Gumball Capital is a “startup” accelerator of sorts, encouraging students across the U.S. in high school and college to try their hand at building some kind of business venture with a seed fund of $27 and 27 gum balls. The students have a week to develop and execute the business idea and try to make some kind of return investment. Groups typically get return equal to double their original investment, but some groups have been incredibly successful, said Travis Kiefer, executive director of Gumball Capital.
A bit later in the piece, Lynley describes to creation of Gumball Capital at Stanford University:
The idea started in 2007 when one entrepreneur student at Stanford bought around 20,000 gum balls with the hope of making a little bit of an extra profit through sales, Kiefer said. After some limited success, the gum balls were eventually repurposed for an entrepreneur class challenge that eventually evolved into the gum ball challenge, including just five schools when it first launched. Since then, it’s grown to 50 schools — and should grow to around 100 schools by next spring.