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Teaching students to think and work like entrepreneurs

Teaching students to think and work like entrepreneurs
September 5, 2018

For Michigan State University Spartans, entrepreneurship is more than a skill or academic subject—it’s a mindset. It’s a way of thinking and working that opens doors, creates connections and accelerates innovation across disciplines.

Spartan undergraduates in all areas of study—from business to engineering to music—can pursue a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation, a vital foundation that prepares them for careers in an ever-changing professional landscape.

“Given the changing nature of work, the most successful people will be the ones who are most adaptable,” says Neil Kane, director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at MSU. “The lasting advantage for a student is to think like an entrepreneur—whether they choose to start their own business, work for an established company or create social change.”

The 15-credit minor pairs rigorous classroom learning with an experiential, hands-on approach that leverages dedicated spaces for students to hatch big ideas.

“It’s experiential. Just as you can’t learn to swim at the library, you can’t learn entrepreneurship unless you have experienced it.”
—Neil Kane

“Entrepreneurship must be practiced to be learned,” says Kane. “It’s experiential. Just as you can’t learn to swim at the library, you can’t learn entrepreneurship unless you have experienced it.”

The entrepreneurship minor is just one element of an MSU ecosystem that supports student entrepreneurship. Other resources include the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which teaches students about entrepreneurship; the Hatch, MSU’s student incubator; Spartan Innovations, which supports student startups with resources and funding; and Red Cedar Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to companies formed by MSU students, faculty and alumni.

Since its introduction in spring 2016, MSU’s entrepreneurship minor is growing and making an impact. Here’s how.

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