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  •  New Entrepreneurship Minor Created at SCU

    Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 5:12 PM

    To meet the growing demand for entrepreneurship education at Santa Clara University, the Leavey School of Business has created a new minor in entrepreneurship.

    The minor in entrepreneurship is open to students from all three undergraduate schools—the Leavey School of Business; College of Arts & Science, and the School of Engineering. Students must take three required courses focused on the basics of entrepreneurship; building a new business; and a 10-week internship at a startup, which will culminate in the student creating a business or growth plan for that startup. Students will learn how to assess the need for a business’s products or services, identify opportunities, establish brands, attract customers, and analyze business plans and revenue models.
    “This minor is an exciting opportunity for students to harness the power of entrepreneurial thinking that is pervasive here in Silicon Valley,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of SCU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We continue to leverage our ideal location, Jesuit educational tradition, state-of-the-art facilities, and distinguished faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to create a highly robust program of entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.”

    Minoring students also will need to take at least two more elective courses from the following list: Entrepreneurial Finance, Solar Revolution, New Venture Finance, Business Valuation, Managing Family Businesses, Managing with the Internet, Internet Marketing, Market Analysis, Innovation and New Product Marketing, Ethnic Enterprises, Management of Healthcare Organizations, Economic Development, Environmental Technology, and Engineering Practicum.

    The minor and other initiatives underway at SCU’s Leavey School of Business are part of a push to prepare graduates to make meaningful contributions to economic growth and prosperity in California and elsewhere, said the school’s dean S. Andrew Starbird. “The skills to turn ideas into opportunities, and to turn ideas into jobs, into economic growth and prosperity—those are the skills we want our students to have,” he said.

    The courses will be geared both for students who already have plans for starting their own businesses upon graduation (or continuing businesses they created while on campus) and those who have a good chance of landing their first job at one of the thousands of startups in Silicon Valley.

    “Entrepreneurship is very sexy and popular, but not necessarily all students getting the minor will be founders,” said Prof. Robert Hendershott, who is teaching a new entrepreneurial finance class. “It may be better for some to work at a startup first, and learn by doing, and then maybe start their own company in a few years.”

    That’s what happened with recent SCU alumna Chloe Halstead, a finance major who last year interned at a startup, iCoupon Online, as part of a two-credit course at SCU. She never envisioned being on the ground floor of a startup, but upon graduation, she got a job at iCoupon as the company’s first employee. She’s worked in everything from sales, customer service, marketing, and finance. She loves the pace, diversity of tasks, and ability to have a tangible impact on the shape of the company—all classic hallmarks of life at a startup. 

    “It’s just a constant growth, constantly changing environment, and that’s a great place to be when you are young,” said Halstead, who said she discovered the she prefers marketing to finance. “It’s also a great platform from which to lay out the rest of your career.”

    According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Intl., of the 1,600 U.S. colleges or universities offering business degrees at the undergraduate level or higher, there are at least 174 that offer some sort of major, minor, or certificate in entrepreneurship—a number that’s been growing in recent years.

    The minor “brings tremendous value to SCU and students, who are now able to acknowledge the well-rounded skillset it takes to become an entrepreneur,” said senior Anthony Prieto, president of the student-run Santa Clara Entrepreneurs Organization.


  •  This Ain't Your Father's Internship

    Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 12:00 AM

    A Feb. 22 Startup Expo at Santa Clara University offers students the chance for an internship at one of dozens of Silicon Valley startups in areas like Internet coupons, solar power, online retail, and customized iPhone apps.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 16, 2011--- Santa Clara University business student Katherine King’s first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there.

    At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company’ s CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

    For King, a junior majoring in finance, it’s a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it.

    “I feel like I’m really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I’m doing,” she says.

    With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

    Other students get internships through the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university’s entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

    The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. “We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

    To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University’s career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies – some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

    Employers are eager for the interns. “Every company needs that energy,” said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that’s hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees.

    For the interns, it’s an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. “At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,” said Sollman.

    Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

    *Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.
    *Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.
    *Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.
    * Full-time job opportunities.

    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | |  (408) 554-5121

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