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 New Business Leaders Sought for Entrepreneur Program

Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011

Building on the success of nearly 20 new business enterprises in last year’s California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE), Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business is accepting applications for the next highly selective six-month entrepreneurship program that begins in June 2011. (see www.scu.edu/business/cie/CAPE-Application.cfm)

Up to 30 companies will be selected by May 1 to participate in a series of classes, workshops, mentorships and networking led by Santa Clara business faculty and augmented by the School’s unique connections with Silicon Valley.  Selection will be based on the following criteria: a well developed business idea (or business in startup mode), guided by experienced leaders, and with a high potential to make economic contributions within a year of completing the program.

“By the end of this year, we will have provided California with 50 new job-creating organizations,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of the business school’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a former entrepreneur. “This program is leading the way to prosperity for communities around California.”

Emerging entrepreneurs are invited to apply for admission to the program by May 1. The  online application (www.scu.edu/business/cie/CAPE-Application.cfm) includes several exercises to assess potential for a successful launch. Applications will be screened by a committee of veteran entrepreneurs, funders, and faculty.

Starting in June, CAPE participants will start virtual exercises, work with faculty coaches, and join colleagues in two weekend onsite sessions. In September, the cohort will come to the Santa Clara campus for an intensive, week-long workshop, after which they will prepare a business ‘pitch’ under the mentorship of individually matched Silicon Valley executives. Two post-workshop weekend sessions will prepare group members to compete in a $5,000 business plan contest in November. 

“This curriculum equips the emerging entrepreneur with marketing, finance, and operations expertise essential to success in the marketplace,” said Aguiar. “The program also provides skills to navigate organizational dynamics, strategic management, and communication.”

“Members of last year’s CAPE cohort saw their products fast-tracked to major retailers and national distributors,” said Drew Starbird, dean of the business school and co-creator of the program. “We are eager to see what this fresh group of new business people will add to our economy.”

CAPE cohort members will participate in all classes, workshops, and events and no cost. Books, in-class materials, onsite meals, and housing for those who live outside driving distance to the University are also free of charge. Travel expenses to and from each session are not included in the program. The CAPE program is underwritten by the Leavey School of Business Executive Development Center and members of the School’s Advisory Board.

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