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Are you interested in a Student Venture?

Here are some tips to get started! Clark University students have the opportunity to create their own entrepreneurial projects, engaging Clark students and faculty and making an impact in the community. These student ventures allow Clark students to gain valuable organizational skills, give them the opportunity to design and implement a business plan, and create critical connections between students, faculty, and community partners. Some examples of Clark Student Ventures are the Local Root, an organic farm stand that sells local produce on-campus, and the Clark Community Thrift Store.

  1. Make an appointment with the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, located in the Graduate School of Management, is an essential resource for students looking to begin independent ventures. Amy Whitney, Director, and John Dobson, Professor of Practice in Management and Entrepreneurship, will discuss your interests with you, give you feedback on your project ideas, and work with you to design and potentially launch a venture.
  2. Connect with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. If you have questions about how to get support or traction with a business idea, the I&E Program has a number of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who mentor students. The EIRs will teach you valuable skills and share their success stories. EIRs have successful entrepreneurial careers in a wide variety of fields.
  3. Connect with other Clark students. If you are not ready to start your own venture but want to build your skills, you can start by volunteering or working with one of the established campus based student ventures. Learn from and connect with your peers — find out who shares your passions and could help you launch your ideas. Student ventures are often more successful when pursued by groups of students uniting for a common goal. Moreover, the shared responsibility will alleviate some of the pressure.
  4. Design a business or project model. After you have connected with the office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, EIRs and your peers, there are a number of resources you can use to begin a proposal for your business venture. What does the venture entail? Who will it affect? How will it benefit Clark? The community? What are some potential obstacles? Answering these questions will give you a better grasp on your ideas and will force you to consider potential difficulties.
  5. Consider applying for the U-reka Big Idea Challenge. The U-Reka challenge invites Clark students to design an entrepreneurial project.  It is open to all Clark students.  If you believe your idea is competitive, consider applying for the challenge. The top three ideas are given funding to implement their projects, university support, and advisors that mentor through the project management.
  6. Connect with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship adviser. If you decide not to participate in the U-Reka challenge but still have a project that you would like to pitch, visit the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and connect with an adviser. The I&E program has a diverse ecosystem of mentors and connections to draw upon.  They can help you prepare for the next U-Reka challenge or figure out the next best steps for your project. 
  7. Implement your project! There is a bias for action in the I&E Program.  After consulting and working with staff and faculty in the department you will have developed a support system to launch your venture.  Your advisors and mentors will celebrate your success and help you navigate the unforeseen obstacles as a team.  Connect regularly with the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship staff, and get your peers involved!