The Center for Entrepreneurship, the fully staffed center for students to access information about entrepreneurship, has recently moved to a new space in Carol Simon Hall.
The CFE was developed two years ago to be the comprehensive source for entrepreneurial information and opportunities at UR. It is staffed by Director of Entrepreneurship Activities Duncan Moore, Managing Director Gayle Jagel and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Bob Tobin.
The CFE provides administrative structure for a University-wide initiative to encourage discipline-related entrepreneurship, not only in the business field, but also in a broad range of areas across the different schools at UR.
From 2004 to 2006, CFE was run as a virtual center, but in September of this year it acquired physical space on the first floor of Carol Simon Hall. The space and resources are available for workshops, seminars, lectures and other events.
“The center acts as a portal for the University – information flows in and then out of it in the form of entrepreneurial programs in the University,” Tobin said. “Faculty, students and community members can use our resources.”
CFE programs include internships, mentoring and networking opportunities. They also encourage students to apply their entrepreneurship skills in a broad range of fields.
One of the main goals of the CFE is to create a comprehensive learning environment that supports entrepreneurship at UR.
“The center encourages students to embrace entrepreneurship, whether from an economic or social change perspective, because it is all about achievement, excellence and freedom,” Jagel said. “It is important to recognize students’ entrepreneurial instincts and develop them.”
Entrepreneurship is becoming a defining trait of the UR education.
“In 2004, UR was chosen as one of eight universities nationwide and the only one in the Northeast to receive a multi-year grant to embed entrepreneurship into its programs to make entrepreneurship a comprehensive and defining institutional goal,” Jagel said.
The foundation awarded the University $3.5 million, part of a $10.5 million plan over the next five years to incorporate entrepreneurship into programs directed at pre-college students, UR students, faculty and the Rochester community.
One program aimed at middle and high school students is the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), developed with the support of the Kauffman Grant. A yearlong academic program, YEA! teaches students entrepreneurial skills meant to help them succeed in life, whether in creating and running their own businesses or working for a company. Throughout the course, students brainstorm business ideas, write and present their business plans, find potential investors, obtain funding and launch their company or social movement.
“Once learned, the process of creating and running a business will stay with students throughout their lives. Learning this process is like learning to tie your shoes. If you learn how to tie one pair of shoes, after you outgrow it, you will know how to tie others,” Jagel said. “The goal of the CFE is to make ideas into entities that create value, both social and monetary.”
William E. Simon School of Business Administration Dean Mark Zupan is very supportive of the CFE.
“The CFE is a great initiative to support business-plan competitions and to promote and develop entrepreneurship on and off campus,” Zupan said.Barbosu is a member of the class of 2010.