On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, The Entrepreneurship Club hosted a mixer for USD and Dartmouth students and alumni, to have an insightful discussion about entrepreneurship.
The event was held in the IPJ, where USD students took advantage of the great opportunity to network with Dartmouth faculty, experienced alumni, and other Dartmouth students. This allowed for small group discussions about entrepreneurial ideas, and the role of entrepreneurship at Dartmouth and USD. After the discussions, USD Business School’s Dean, David Pyke, began speaking about his former professorship at Dartmouth. Following this brief introduction, a professor from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and entrepreneurship expert, Gregg Fairbrothers, began speaking about Dartmouth’s entrepreneurship community.
Prof. Fairbrothers explained the importance of developing a “self-directed entrepreneurial personality”− to be someone that “looks to identify and solve problems.” He said how important it was to “have students not just follow a procedure,” such as teaching them to only study for a test, but to actually have students think entrepreneurially. In his experience consulting with companies, this was the most important quality, because all businesses look for entrepreneurial and self-directed people. Prof. Fairbrothers concluded by speaking about the importance of being a “change agent,” and stimulating more entrepreneurial learning, to help people start companies. He humorously claimed, “it’s good when students come to me with bad ideas, because it’s a great learning experience.
However, if they bring a good idea, [and are inexperienced] they are probably just going to mess it up.” After Prof. Fairbrothers spoke, USD Entrepreneurship Professor, Mike Lawless, talked about his objective to start an Entrepreneurship Center here at USD. He identified the great opportunity here; an opportunity to potentially expand entrepreneurship classes offered, along with the need to re-evaluate entrepreneurial activities, currently implemented at USD. As a result, our entrepreneurship environment would be more tailored to what is currently found in the real world, and it will be more conducive to helping students that are seeking funding, after graduation. For example, business plans are becoming an archaic method of attaining investors.
This is why USD is potentially implementing the Pitch Deck competition for students with business ideas. It is a competition where students create a succinct 10-slide PowerPoint presentation, as opposed to a 25-page business plan, which is directly adapted from the common method entrepreneurs pitch to investors.
written by Anwar L. Husain