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06-20-2005

Planned Expansion Of Clarkson’s Renowned Entrepreneurial Studies Program Supported By Coleman Foundation Grant

(POTSDAM, N.Y.) - Clarkson University’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program has received an Entrepreneurship Excellence in Teaching Colleges Grant totaling $150,000 over the next three years from the prestigious Coleman Foundation. The competitive award program recognizes and supports existing entrepreneurship education in colleges and universities with total enrollments of 4,500 or fewer that exhibit strong plans for program expansion, cross-campus outreach, and/or community involvement. Clarkson’s successful grant proposal integrated all three of these distinct objectives, reflecting the University’s long-term vision for the Shipley Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship as well as plans for programmatic growth.

Specifically, the Coleman Foundation funding will be used to build on the strengths of Clarkson’s already unique program. “Unique in that students enrolled in the School of Business and the Interdisciplinary Engineering & Management program are exposed to the foundations of entrepreneurship in the very first year,” notes director of Entrepreneurial Programs Marc Compeau.

“Clarkson’s entrepreneurship education moves beyond the traditional business school curriculum. A true entrepreneur embodies the ideals of independence, creativity and self-confidence — values that can only be forged through authentic experience,” says Compeau of the experiential, hands-on learning focus of the program. “Entrepreneurial skills are not only valuable in establishing a company or business venture, which many of our program graduates often go on to do, but are also essential in driving innovation in all facets of the workplace,” he says. This premise underlies plans this fall to introduce a two-semester, first-year course sequence to students entering Clarkson’s School of Engineering, enabling a much larger percentage of incoming first-year students to be exposed to Clarkson’s pioneering approach.

Funding from the Coleman Foundation will also be used for curriculum development to strengthen subsequent years of the existing program model to compliment the early exposure that current students receive. A new second-year course will facilitate the support of business development around concepts developed in the first year and will focus on intellectual property and market research. The third year of study will include Clarkson’s nationally recognized Venture @ Moore House course, in which students focus on developing long-term strategies for product launch with an emphasis on the management team, leadership issues, innovation and product positioning. The program will culminate with students electing one of three distinct paths in the final year to help them focus their career goals. This includes a product-oriented focus for students with interests in technical innovation and product design; a product or service-oriented focus for students more aligned with commercialization; and finally, a focus on venture capital, for students interested in the funding side of entrepreneurship. This uniquely structured hands-on program increases in complexity and demands greater levels of managerial responsibility as students progress through the four-year curriculum.

“At Clarkson, we work to provide students with the expertise, experience and entrepreneurial spirit they need to thrive, whether they end up with a company of their own or instead choose to work inside a large organization,” says Compeau.

A portion of the grant funding will also be utilized to expand the existing My Small Business 101, a Clarkson program that pairs businesses in need of technical or business assistance with Entrepreneurial Studies students who have a great level of expertise related to a specific area of need. “We are pleased that the generosity of the Coleman Foundation, in its recognition of Clarkson’s innovative Entrepreneurial Studies Program, will enable Clarkson to more than double the number of businesses served by My Small Business 101,” says Clarkson University President Tony Collins restating Clarkson’s commitment to technology transfer and strengthening community partnerships. Business owners interested in receiving technical or business assistance or participating in the program’s topical forums are encouraged to contact Marc Compeau at 315-268-3840 or via e-mail at compeaum@clarkson.edu.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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