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The First-Year Experience

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How many 18-year-olds have the opportunity to pitch an original business idea to real investors for real money? The answer: every first-year student at the Clarkson University School of Business.

How It Works
The Clarkson First-Year Experience is a yearlong crash course in entrepreneurship. You will form a team with your classmates to develop a business plan for a new product or service, pitch real investors and launch a business. You won’t be on your own, of course. Everything you need to know to get started will be taught in two first-year seminars called “Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation I and II.”

In the first six weeks of your first semester, you will:

  1. Build a team
  2. Learn how to identify and measure market opportunities
  3. Develop a product and/or service idea
  4. Create a business plan: marketing, financials, human resources, supply chain, and more
  5. Pitch your business plan to real venture capitalists and bankers
  6. Receive real-world feedback, and if your plan cuts it with your investors, receive funding

In the spring semester, you will launch and run your business, pay back your investors, and deposit company profits in your student account. Throughout the year, you will gain firsthand knowledge and real-life experience in every aspect of planning and running a business. Want to keep running the company after the class is over?  We'll help you navigate those waters, too!


E&M First-Year Experience
Engineering & Management majors participate  in your own yearlong entrepreneurial project built around two seminars called “Team-based Design and Innovation” and “Technological Entrepreneurship.” You will form teams to design, produce and potentially commercialize a product. Along the way, you will get real-life experience with all of the varied disciplines packed into E&M like digital design, materials engineering, process management, supply chain management and more.

Learn more about the undergraduate core curriculum,our business majors and find out how to apply.

First-year entrepreneurship class