100 Alumni | 30 ventures | 20 countries – Lessons Learned Educating Entrepreneurs

As we recruit our 7th cohort of international entrepreneurs, I was reflecting on the changes, accomplishments, and challenges of our innovative MBA program at Colorado State University. And don’t worry – if you aren’t a prospective, current, or past student, this post will hopefully still be of interest to you. I wanted to communicate some insights into educating entrepreneurs, incubating ventures, and scaling up.

  • You can teach business skills such as accounting and finance, but you can’t teach passion, experience, or failure.
  • Team work is hard, multi-cultural team work solving problems at the Base of the Pyramid is harder, but going at it alone is the hardest of all.
  • There is no right or wrong way to start a business, and there is no right or wrong type of business.  More importantly, there are outcomes, impacts, and stakeholders.
  • While mentorship and business planning are crucial, early stage entrepreneurs also need time to test business models, and that means finding funding to support them to work on their ventures full-time, before their ventures are investment-ready.
  • The allure of hockey-stick growth patterns is strong, and assumptions are easy to make, which quickly leads to an infeasible business model.

And so as we start 2013, it is not just a fresh beginning, but also an accumulation of learning brought to us by our fabulous students, ventures, partners, faculty, and staff.

-Kat

Student entrepreneurs in the Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA Program

Student entrepreneurs in the Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA Program

This entry was posted in Entrepreneurship, Highly Applied Curriculum, Sustainable Enterprise and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 100 Alumni | 30 ventures | 20 countries – Lessons Learned Educating Entrepreneurs

  1. It’s astonishing just how main-stream social enterprise is becoming and how many groups are looking for that perfect machine to pop-out skilled entrepreneurs and new ventures. Having experienced the challenge of doing this with aspiring entrepreneurs who we at CSU get to work with for 18+ months, it boggles my mind that others are operating incubators, accelerators, and institutes that aim for the same result in just a few short months or even weeks. I suppose it matters what skill level you start at, but my sense is that educating entrepreneurs and incubating their ventures is a much longer term project than most of us in this business expect.

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