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For Immediate Release
Missouri S&T Faculty and Graduate Students Develop Entrepreneurial Skills
Workshop Participants Celebrate Their New-Found Entrepreneurial Knowledge
ROLLA, Mo. -- On March 21, 2016, participants of an Entrepreneurs Workshop conducted by Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) presented their business model canvases to workshop facilitators at the Technology Development Center at Innovation Park. Participants worked with members of Missouri S&T’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development (TTED) for nine weeks to learn exactly what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. On the last day of the workshop, participants and facilitators met in the conference room at the Technology Development Center, dined on various entrees from Panera Bread Co., and listened to participant presentations while providing feedback to each other.
John Woodson, a senior licensing and business development specialist at TTED, led this semester’s workshop. The workshop began on January 27, 2016, and was offered to Missouri S&T faculty members, graduate students, and post-doctorates. The workshop focused on transforming research and discoveries into successful new businesses. This is the second year that TTED has offered the Entrepreneurs Workshop.
Woodson says that he was honored to lead the Entrepreneurial Workshop and acknowledges the hard work of the workshop’s participants. “I was surprised and pleased at the turn out week after week. Even though the attendees were given a vast amount of information in a very short period, their many questions assured me they were understanding the information and learning from the class,” says Woodson.
Each week, the workshop addressed a significant topic in technology commercialization and savvy business development. Examples of topics covered during the workshop include entering the consumer market, customer relationships, business partners, and costs and revenues. Aspiring entrepreneurs attended weekly meetings and completed “homework” assignments to reinforce and apply the learned topics to their own business models. The workshop ended with participants presenting their business models to the group.
Woodson used methods from Lean LaunchPad, which is an eight week class taught at Stanford and Berkley that investigates how to validate a business idea. Lean LaunchPad has been adopted by the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site Program (NSF I-Corps). NSF I-Corps partners with academic institutions that have existing entrepreneurial units, such as TTED at Missouri S&T. Woodson also integrated the Business Model Canvas, “a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool,” created by Strategyzer, into the workshop. This web-based application, used by successful businesses such as Microsoft and MasterCard, helps budding research-entrepreneurs describe, design, and document their business models.
Participants expressed appreciation for the Entrepreneurs Workshop and the assistance provided to help them achieve their personal entrepreneurial goals. Neven Ali, a workshop participant, noted that “the discussions and the information in the class were very helpful and valuable.” Another participant, Joshua Rovey, expressed his gratitude stating, “Thanks for all your efforts this semester, and for helping us get the patent process moving.”
For more information about the Entrepreneurs Workshop and other workshops, resources, and programs offered by TTED, please visit ecodevo.mst.edu.