Eastern Michigan University
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The College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship Takes Work to A New Level

Published October 29, 2013

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Sanjib Chowdhury

Sanjib Chowdhury, Director of the
College of Business's Center for

The Center for Entrepreneurship, a co-curricular program of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business, is lending a hand to its Management 488: Field Studies in Entrepreneurship course this semester.

In Management 488, students collaborate with existing small businesses on entrepreneurial projects and present their findings at the end of the semester.

This time around however, the Center for Entrepreneurship is becoming more involved in the selection process to ensure higher-quality projects by assigning specific businesses to students.

Paul Nucci, communications coordinator for the Center for Entrepreneurship, says although they’ve always worked closely with the Field Studies in Entrepreneurship class, they’ve sought out ways to improve that process over the years.

“[In the past], it was [the student’s job] to go find a business, so they wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time finding a quality business,” says Nucci. “They’d find somebody they know, a buddy, or they’d walk across the street and the projects–while they were learning, they weren’t all they could be. By us getting involved and screening that process, students are coming in and starting right away on their projects [and] it’s just making everything better.”

The idea is that students take everything they’ve learned in their courses and apply it to real-life situations.

“In entrepreneurship, it’s such a broad, intangible thing–if you go into a business and they have a problem and you can help them solve that problem–whatever that is–you’ve shown that you’ve taken all these courses and [put] them into practical usage,” says Nucci.

On December 13 at 9 a.m., students will present their findings to the business owners and other VIPs at SPARK East in downtown Ypsilanti.

In addition, the Center for Entrepreneurship will host a series of other events next year, including the Sesi Conference, which takes place February 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as the Elevator Pitch Competition, which is set for late April.

“[The Elevator Pitch Competition is] similar to some of the shows where you see people pitch an idea,” says Nucci. “[The students] have two to three minutes and they have a PowerPoint and there’s a panel that judges them and gives feedback. It’s very fun.”

In the long run, Nucci says the Center for Entrepreneurship Program’s decision to select and screen the small businesses that take part in the Management 488 course “creates a stronger relationship with the community as these businesses have met with faculty and staff several times through the semester, culminating with the formal presentations at the end of the semester. Part of the project-based service-learning mission is to serve the community and small businesses.”


-Written by Princess Gabbara, a senior at Eastern Michigan University, where she will soon earn her bachelor's degree in journalism.

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