Top Ten Rating Highlights the Entrepreneurship Center's Third Year Anniversary !
"We are, of course, thrilled to have the College's Entrepreneurship Program ranked in the Top 10 in the nation along side schools like Purdue University and Texas A&M, and ahead of such great schools as Pepperdine and the University of San Diego -- especially after just three years in operation," said Rich Semenik of the College and Executive Director of the Center. "This sort of success is the result of a lot of hard work by many people including the faculty who conceived of the curriculum, our two Directors of Student Research Services, first Megan Healke and now Laura Black, our Entrepreneur in Residence Ron McAdams, and the entire faculty who teach the Entrepreneurship curriculum."
"This Center was founded to provide an important educational experience for students but also to have a positive impact on economic development in the state. I am certain that our partnership with TechRanch, where students work side-by-side with entrepreneurs, was a key issue in achieving this lofty ranking," Semenik said.
Since opening the doors in April 2001, The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West at Montana State University - Bozeman College of Business has provided a framework for outstanding educational experience for students. Within the College curriculum, entrepreneurship coursework is offered to students from any major in the University through a 30 credit-hour Entrepreneurship minor. In the three years, 22 MSU students have earned a minor in entrepreneurship and small business management and an additional 64 students currently are enrolled in entrepreneurial classes.
Laura Black, Assistant Professor of Management and the Center's Director of Student Research Services, has the overall responsibility to manage the program, implement outreach courses, coordinate executive visits and manage the student research assignments. She also recruits students, allocates scholarships from the Center and helps students find funding for outstanding start-up business ideas.
The Center's private sector partner is TechRanch (www.techranch.org), a non-profit business incubator serving entrepreneurs and investors. The Center coordinates student groups who are minoring in Entrepreneurship to provide research and analysis services to the incubating firms.
The Center has received high praise from individuals and organizations. Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) has stated, "The Entrepreneurship Center is a perfect example of the University working with the private sector to commercialize University research."
Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) added, "That by working together, (education and private sector), we can create jobs, boost our economy and ensure Montanans have the skill to compete in the global economy." Both statements are powerful examples of the strength of the Center and the potential educational and research benefits.
The National Science Foundation recognized the potential for the Montana State University-Bozeman College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West, and awarded the program a grant of $116,500. The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West is fast gaining momentum and is being recognized as a leading educational program. Its affiliation with the NSF is a solid validation of the Center's model, and a key to the continuing success of the program.
Another important feature is the facilitating role the Center can play in helping to commercialize science. TechLink (www.montana.edu/techlink), our other key partner, is a federally funded organization whose mission is to stimulate economic development in the region using technology developed within various federal agencies, such as NASA and the Department of Defense. The Center for Entrepreneurship works with TechLink and TechRanch staff members to assess business viability and commercialization prospects.
Partnerships with both a business incubator and a technology transfer organization make the Center unique among university-based centers. Representatives from the National Center for Entrepreneurship and from the American Association of Business Incubators have commented positively on this potent structure and its potential for stimulating economic development, as well as providing first-class practical education for student entrepreneurs.
Another important feature is the facilitating role the Center can play in helping to commercialize science that exists in other departments of MSU-Bozeman. The interaction among scientists, students and business practitioners can help bring this science to commercialization. While the science has passed the rigors of laboratory and field-testing, it still needs to be put through tests for commercial viability. The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West will provide the mechanism through which commercial viability will be assessed.
(You can view this listing at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges than Entrepreneurship Emphasis Programs)