Entrepreneurship Spirit

“Entrepreneurship comes in many different forms. Some entrepreneurs create scalable technology companies others create humble, but essential, small retail businesses to serve their hometowns. The reality is that both types of business need one another to thrive, and although perhaps very different in regards to the type of product or service they provide they both have the same end goal which is to provide a solution that is valued by their customers.

Over the years many have tried to define the term “entrepreneurship,” but my favorite comes from Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson who defined the term as:

“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

I like this definition because it implies that successful entrepreneurs pursue their passion regardless of what challenges lie ahead.

During your time at MSU I challenge you to develop this type of forward thinking mentality. With the right mindset and skillset to acquire resources, you can have a profound impact on the world.

And the good news is that MSU is here to help you along the way.

Over the last several years we, as a university, have begun to invest a good deal or energy and resources to provide students with the ideal setting to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit. The list of resources is quickly becoming too long to explore in one blog post but I would like to mention a few: we have a dedicated student business incubator called the Hatch (ideahatch.org), a rapidly growing MSU Entrepreneurship Association student group (msuea.org), multiple business plan competitions including the Broad College Competition (ie.broad.msu.edu/bplancomp) and Green Light Michigan (greenlightmichigan.com) as well as our own Entrepreneurship Librarian in the Business College! All of these resources and learning experiences are open to you, so make sure to make the most of these opportunities.

In closing my post I would like to talk with you about a few curriculum based course opportunities that you should consider while at MSU.

First, this fall marks the opening of a new space in Wilson Hall called The Hive (hive.msu.edu). The Hive is a very unique “idea laboratory” classroom, which was developed under a partnership between the Broad College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Communication Arts & Sciences, MSU Innovation Center and Residential & Hospitality Services. This 4,600 space plays host to a number of unique student engagement opportunities, but the primary user is a new course called “Intro to Business Model Creation” – BUS 201 (740) for Spring 2015 (the course becomes BUS 170 next school year). This one credit course is a semester long experience where students work in teams to propose a new business idea and develop an actionable plan to take a product or service to market. It is a dynamic and engaging class that will get you thinking about the components needed to launch a venture.

Secondly, I would also like to encourage you to consider taking the course “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” – BUS 491 (002) for Spring 2015 (becoming BUS 190 next school year). This is a 3 credit course where students are exposed in much greater detail to the mindset, ideation process, and business plan development process necessary to launch and build a business. The course features many guest speakers so that you can learn firsthand from experienced entrepreneurs. It should be noted that this course is a requirement for those who are interested in pursuing the Entrepreneurship Specialization in the Business College which will soon be a university wide Minor.

I wish you all of the best in your endeavors and feel free to reach out to me if I can ever be of assistance. Go forth and do great things and as always, Go Green!”

Ken Szymusiak is Managing Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (IEI) at the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. The IEI is charged with developing and supporting entrepreneurship within the student body of Michigan State University through the development of curriculum, events, business plan competitions and support structures. Prior to joining MSU, Ken served as Co-Director of the New Economy Division at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) where he co-managed a technology focused business incubator and worked to develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the Lansing region. Ken has been instrumental the development of Lansing Startup Weekend, The Hatching – Business Pitch Competition and Spartan Innovations’ Startup Boot Camp. Ken received his MBA from Northwood University and his Bachelors in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University. Ken lives with his wife and daughter in East Lansing.

*Ken Szymusiak will be speaking at the Entrepreneurship Event on November 19th from 5:00-6:00pm in room 115 International Center. He’ll be among an expert panelist speaking about entrepreneurship and answering questions. Comment your questions below to have them submitted before the event!

One thought on “Entrepreneurship Spirit

  1. This question might not have a definitive answer but, is it better to turn an idea into a business with like-minded partners, or on your own?

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