Interesting insight into some of the undergraduate entrepreneurship offerings at the University of Delaware:
As the semester was winding down over the last few weeks, students in Matthew Terrell’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class ended their fall course on a high note with a special visit from Dansko co-founder Mandy Cabot, who created a $125 million company that began out of the trunk of her car.
The class, which is designed to help students understand the concepts, tools and practices of entrepreneurship and to develop their skills in entrepreneurial thinking, featured a Founders Forum that brought in entrepreneurs throughout the semester who specialize in everything from medical services and information technology, to real estate and footwear.
“Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking and acting,” said Terrell, a supplemental faculty member in the Department of Business Administration in the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. “This course encourages students to reevaluate their own views of entrepreneurship and the ways they are thinking and acting by bringing in entrepreneurs who share their own stories.”
Cabot, co-founder of Dankso, was one of the final entrepreneurs to share her story with the class.
She explained how a horse-buying trip to Denmark — the home country of her husband and co-founder Peter Kjellerup — over two decades ago turned into a clog-discovery trip, ultimately leading them to sign an exclusive agreement to distribute the shoes in America.
The power of a good class visit, to provide role models, voices beyond the instructors, and simple words of encouragement to students, forms an important part of most entrepreneurship curriculum.
The entrepreneur visit is especially powerful when the entrepreneur is an accessible heavy hitter such as Mandy Cabot that make big success reachable to undergraduates and others that may not be on the “fast track” (ie Stanford engineering, HBS, Wharton, MIT, etc.).