- 525 students have provided 17,500 hours of pro-bono business analysis.
- More than 170 firms in Montana have participated including:
- RightNow Technologies
Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Bozeman Public Library
Shakespeare in the Parks
The program was one of 19 recognized by the SBA in 2005
and 2007 for demonstrated market-based results.
The mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship is to help Montana businesses flourish by connecting them to Montana State University students and resources. The Center incorporates hands-on experiential education by pairing students with start-up or growth technology companies and serves as a connection to businesses and organizations throughout Montana.
Student Consulting Projects
In BMGT 463, The Entrepreneurial Experience and BMGT 475, The Management Experience, students provide pro bono consulting to businesses and not-for-profit organizations every semester, including clients such as RightNow Technologies, Yellowstone Bees and the Ellen Theater. Projects for these clients include market assessments, creating promotional materials, writing employee handbooks, and assessing the feasibility of new technologies. Students gain valuable, real-life experience working with start-up companies, while entrepreneurs gain valuable consulting for their businesses. Since 2002, when the Center was founded, 525 MSU business students have provided more than 17,500 hours of pro bono consulting to 170 clients, which resulted in more than 400 new jobs in these companies.
Check out this interview of a student and local business owner who participated in one of the consulting courses:
Alderson Minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Each year approximately 50 students graduate with the Alderson Minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. The Center for Entrepreneurship recently added two new elective classes to the 30-credit minor—Community and Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Business Practices—to round out this solid offering of entrepreneurship classes. The minor is open to students across campus.
Benefits to MSU Research Faculty
The Center for Entrepreneurship facilitates in helping to commercialize science that exists on campus. Research faculty in agriculture, bio-agriculture, plant-science, chemistry, engineering and biology hold literally dozens of patents that have high commercialization value. The activities of the center will provide interaction between scientists, students and business practitioners that can help bring this science to market.
The center has been recognized with generous grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Labor totaling $450,000. The center received $25,000 from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) in 2009 and has also received grants from the Kauffman and Coleman Foundations.
The Alderson Program and the Center for Entrepreneurship were named by the SBA Office of Advocacy as an Economic Development Best Practices Program national finalist in 2005. The Center was also a Finalist for EDA’s 2007 Excellence in Economic Development Award.
Future of the Center for Entrepreneurship
Thanks to the recent $3 million gift from Jake Jabs, the Center has permanent funding for a variety of new programs and services. This year we have started the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which brings in experienced entrepreneurs to spend a week with students and faculty. In addition, the Family Business Day on the Road program will expand next summer to bring business skills to 11 communities across Montana. The Center will also provide funding for student and faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows and other opportunities in entrepreneurship. Stay tuned for more exciting news.
IN THE NEWS!
Other Center and entrepreneurship highlights:
MSU alum and successful businessman gives more than $3 million to College of Business
College of Business Entrepreneurship Course Provides Students with Real-World Business Experience
MSU and Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West Highlighted in Entrepreneur Magazine
Jim Alderson: A Whistleblower's Odyssey