Missouri Technology Corporation provides $145,000 to grow number of student entrepreneurs in state
The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is delivering all of the online courses for the Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program (ESIP) for each of the UM System campuses.
Each of the four System campuses offers a combination of in-person and online courses through the program. Each campus delivers its own in-person courses, but all of the online courses offered at all four campuses are sourced from UMKC.
“The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School recruits quality participants from across campus to provide curriculum on-campus for UMKC, and online for each of the four System campuses,” said Jeff Hornsby, Ph.D., interim director and department chair of the Regnier Institute.
“We have a strong Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation – the only one in the System – and one of the strategic initiatives is to build high-quality online classes,” said Hornsby. “To that end, we are in the process of reviewing the classes to update and integrate better technology to fully engage students.”
The University of Missouri System recently announced a $145,000 award from the Missouri Technology Corporation’s (MTC) Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) program effective January 1, 2016. In addition to the funds from MOBEC, UM System Office of Academic Affairs will provide a partial match, allowing the ESIP to increase the number of its students from an average of 12 per year to 16 per year.
“President Wolfe wanted to reflect the entrepreneurial mission of the UM System and the four campuses and to directly impact their students,” said Hornsby.
“Providing more students with an opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile experience is a win-win for the state,” UM System President Tim Wolfe said. “The entrepreneurial culture on our campuses has already opened doors for students, and we look forward to the additional growth this grant will bring to the program.”
The first cohort of the ESIP is comprised of students from all four UM System campuses, who enrolled in courses to build their entrepreneurial academic foundation and participated in summer internships where they worked alongside business owners while also developing and growing their own startup companies. Of the 14 students, seven have launched startups, five are learning more about corporate innovation in Missouri companies and two are still exploring entrepreneurial options.
“This program was designed to increase the number of students who will become entrepreneurs upon graduation,” UM System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development Hank Foley said. “With generous support from MTC and UM System strategic funding, we’re creating a new wave of well-educated entrepreneurs that will benefit the entire state.”
Under the leadership of President Wolfe, the UM System is engaged in a five-year strategic plan to meet the university’s mission and achieve excellence. One of the strategic goals is to collaborate with internal and external constituents to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Missouri; the goal of the ESIP is to graduate 48 students through the program by Fiscal Year 2018.
Hornsby said one of his goals is to get all the students to work together and to further share course offerings across campuses.
“UMKC strives to be an entrepreneurial campus, and this program fits with its mission and the mission of the Bloch Regnier Institute,” concluded Hornsby.
Hornsby and Ben Williams, assistant director and Enactus advisor, serve on the ESIP Advisory Council.
For more information about the program, visit www.umsystem.edu/esip.