The University of Michigan, a leader across many disciplines (and my alma mater) has announced the creation of a Master of Entrepreneurship. Its great to see it is a joint venture between business and engineering. I was fortunate to interview Michigan Alum and supporter Sam Zell a few months back and it was evident in our short talk that Michigan, its leaders, and supporters were fully aware of the interdisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship. This is a great development for Michigan and the practice, research, and teaching of entrepreneurship in higher education. From the Michigan Master of Entrepreneurship website:
The Michigan Master of Entrepreneurship (MsE) gives students the ability to create new technology-focused ventures, either as standalone entities or within established innovative organizations.
This instruction is not available through conventional business or engineering curricula. Most business schools focus on the skill set required in larger, more mature organizations. Most engineering programs do not include market assessment and commercialization skills. The MsE program brings these two cultures together in a novel synthesis that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The first students will begin in August 2012 and the application is available online. Go Blue! (I can write that, this is a blog!)
via Master of Entrepreneurship | University of Michigan.
Posted in American Exceptionalism, Campus Eco-System, Education Policy, entrepreneurship policy, Entrepreneurship Programs, Research, STEM, Students, Technology Transfer
Tagged entrepreneurship education, Entrepreneurship Programs, higher education, Master of Entrepreneurship, Ross School of Business, student startup, University of Michigan
I have been writing and researching a great deal on how and why start-ups rise from U.S. campuses. I am not willing to say if and how entrepreneurship education and infrastructures influence the number, but I do know that accelerators such as Y Combinator and Excelerate Labs, events such as Startup Weekend and 3 Day Startup, and growing movements such as the Lean Startup Circle and Uncollege are nipping at the heels of university provided entrepreneurship structures.
The Founders Institute has been at it for a little over two years and have recently put out an infographic on what they have done so far (one of my wife’s colleagues is currently part of the group in DC I think — I have no clue what she is working on). From Yourstory:
The Founder Institute is a global network of startups and mentors that helps entrepreneurs launch technology companies. Through the four month idea-stage incubator program, you can launch your company with training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs, while not being required to quit your day job.In 2.5 years 483 individuals have graduated, and 415 technology companies launched through Founders Institute. The Founder Institute was incorporated in April of 2009, and the first class from Silicon Valley graduated in September of 2009. Now they operate in 21 cities across four continents. They say they will soon be launching an average of 2 startups in a day.
via How 415 Startups were launched by Founders Institute in 2.5 Years : Infographic.
Really solid radio interview with University of Maryland student entrepreneur Kevin Plank (CEO and founder of Under Armour). Some funny stuff because its ESPN, including “We really hate the guys out West.” But, Plank talks a lot competition and has some important messages about focus in the early days of a company’s existence. He stresses the focus in the original niche and not expanding too quickly. This is a very crucial point we make in working with young entrepreneurs who often think about mass markets before really achieving strong product market fit. I refer to this as the Amazon principle — early amazon made their name and earned customers through book sales and proved their platform for e-commerce. This early work and focus laid a strong base and value proposition that the complex corporation we see today exploits. Plank speaks about spending 5 years working on a shirt (the first five years of Under Armour’s existence) as crucial to the companies long term strength (well before women’s, shoes, uniforms, hunting, etc). Again, great interview for consumers and entrepreneurs alike.
Kevin Plank, Under Armour – ESPN.
For students studying entrepreneurship, Bloomberg’s The Mentor is back for another season starting today, November 1. Interesting first episode during which Big Bear Choppers, makers of custom motorcycles, face operational, cash flow, and profit challenges. Big Bear’s products are similar to Orange County Choppers (to an non-motorcycle rider like me) but the owners/operators of Big Bear are nothing like the Teutul family).
Lyndon Faulkner of Pelican Products comes in as their mentor and quickly assesses the situation and gives them assignments to tackle, including reaching out to customers (like that old united commercial), changing their cost structure, and creating a viable strategic plan.
Check out the 2 minute preview here.
Any other shows entrepreneurship students and young entrepreneurs should be watching?
Interesting piece from the Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of Enterprise UK on the need for more intensive entrepreneurship education at all levels.
The key to a more entrepreneurial decade is in part about the UK becoming the best place to set up and run a business; light-touch regulation, improved access to capital and tax incentives all have a major part to play.
However, the fiscal environment or better planning laws will not be sufficient to take the British economy to the next level. The role of enterprise education – in schools, colleges and university – must be at the centre of any meaningful growth strategy. Evidence shows that enterprise education doubles the likelihood of someone starting a business.
There are also some impressive principals, such as Fintan Donohue of North Hertfordshire College, who has stretched his college to the limit in terms of being more entrepreneurial: students are being supported to set up in business; college facilities are being handed over at the weekend to make money; and a joint venture is under way between the college students and a car valet company.
These are just some of the tentative steps being taken to help restore our optimism. The number one challenge for any educator in the next decade is this: how do I help my students make a job, rather than just take a job?
via If we want entrepreneurs, we have to train them | Education | The Guardian.
Imagine if you could earn a masters degree in entrepreneurship and graduate with not only an MS, but also a start up! That is the goal of a new MSin Entrepreneurship being offered by Pepperdine University in California.
From Business Wire:
Students complete two trimesters of foundational studies in accounting, economics, finance and marketing. They then start a series of courses designed to assist them in conceiving, modeling, planning and founding their own business. Launching a new venture is the goal for each student in the program.
Students first develop a personally compelling and feasible venture idea with large market potential in creative innovation classes. The following courses flesh out a business model that will generate profits, build an effective organization and connect the business concept with the intended market. The curriculum also exposes students to the legal aspects of entrepreneurship and conducting business in global markets; as well as helps them discover their own leadership styles and how to manage their personal development. The final step is a course that pulls it all together, resulting in a business plan that students are required to present to a panel of potential angel and venture capital investors.
The Masters program is the antithesis of a business plan-writing program for weak disposable start-up concepts, says Dr. Cox. “The M.S. in Entrepreneurship puts would-be entrepreneurs on the fast-track to bringing an idea to market in 20 months – to building a business that is deliberately structured and built for profitability,” he said. “Our curriculum arms them with the skills and know-how to create, innovate, lead and manage a new venture that generates profits and creates jobs.”
Pepperdine University to Offer Masters Degree for Entrepreneurs | Business Wire.
We posted on the new Duke LLM in entrepreneurship awhile back. Alumni have already ponied up some money to support the new program (which begins in the fall). From the blog post:
Stanley Star ’61, Scott Arenare ’89, and Glenn Sarno ’92 are among those who have provided financial support based in part, they say, on an appreciation for the program’s hands-on approach to training students in areas related to their professional work.
Star is the principal of Cliffstar Corp., a private-label juice manufacturer headquartered in Dunkirk, N.Y. Arenare is managing director and general counsel in the New York office of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity investment firm. Sarno is a partner in the corporate department of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, where he focuses on private investment funds and other facets of alternative asset management.
“It’s exciting and important for the Law School to undertake this type of program,” Star says. “We’re giving students a chance to work with entrepreneurs, with real experts in the field. It’s very appropriate. The program goes beyond general coursework to provide specific, useful skills and information.”
During a second-semester practicum, students will be placed in relevant externships with law firms, general counsels’ offices, venture capital firms, trade associations, government agencies, and similar settings in the field. A capstone project will allow students to work closely with faculty on scholarly research tied to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship policy.
Alumni demonstrate support for Law and Entrepreneurship LLM.