Entrepreneurship at UTSA started with Study Breaks.
The students from Management 4873 Entrepreneurship embarked on defining for themselves and for those watching them, the meaning of entrepreneurship. They took the tools they have been given during their years of business studies, and with passion, energy and perhaps no experience, produced Study Break. As Fast Company puts it, “Forget the experience curve. The most powerful force in business today is the inexperience curve. If you want your company to think outside the box, why not learn by working with people who don’t know there is a box.”
Writing a business plan, forming their strategy to implement the operation, marketing analysis and sales forecasts did not stump this group. They just took what they have learned, closed the book and hit the floor running. The students were challenged with time lines, deadlines, bottom lines, yet in the end demonstrated that entrepreneurs are not necessarily born, but certainly can be made. Relying on their gut instincts use to be the defining quality of entrepreneurs, but not today; they rely on their brains.
Student projects were t-shirt sales: “Come here park far!”
The students designed a calendar, using the artwork from the students in the Art Department.
And the koozies and beer and shot glasses. OMG if the Dean only knew!
I don’t think you really knew what this class has given to the UTSA community. So I want to keep you up-to-date. I want you to know what we’ve done, where we are going, and who the entrepreneurs are.
Two major changes have occurred that I know you want to follow. In the Entrepreneurship course, we are studying Social Entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society. Here is a link to an article in the December 2010 edition of the Sombrillo Magazine about an entrepreneurship student who has founded the Graffiti Foundation, a social enterprise that encourages the graffiti artists to paint on canvas. Check out their website: http://graffitifound.com
The article is located at: http://utsa.edu/sombrilla/fall2009/story/tagging-talent.html
The Practicum is different, and very exciting. Senior engineering and business students have teamed up to experience launching a new technology-based company. The engineering students have created a new technology as their senior project and the business students will develop a business plan. Each team will consist of 3-5 engineering students and 2-3 business students. The chosen teams have until the end of the semester to complete a prototype of their technology and prepare their final business plans. On November 30, 2007, UTSA held its first exclusive new venture start-up competition and each team competed for prizes. And we have now had 4 competitions. For many students, this is their first experience at “pitching” their ideas to a group of potential investors who may be interested in helping launch their business ideas. Each team has a Harvard Business Club mentor working closely with them.