Students in my MGMT 4252 Entrepreneurship class spent the semester developing business concepts from idea to business plan. A major component of most business plans is finding funding through granting agencies, investors, or banks. The final project is a presentation either to granting agencies and investors or to lenders at their locations.
All students gained valuable experience that they otherwise would not have received unless launching a venture. Some students spent the semester developing plans around technologies owned by ECU through a collaboration with ECU Technology Transfer, while other students developed their own ideas for entrepreneurial ventures. After preliminary assessment of the ideas, students developed funding plans, created LLC or Corporate filings, built loan applications or investor term sheets, and created a business plan while developing their final presentations.
This semester, three banks, Bank of the Albemarle, Southern Bank, and Select Bank offered up their time and board rooms to host the lender presentations. Pitt County Development Commission, NC Eastern Region, and ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development provided locations for investor presentations. ECU’s Entrepreneurial Initiative, IMAF East Angel Fund, the Eastern NC Angel Network, NC Biotech Center, Pitt County Development Commission, and the ECU’s Office of Technology Transfer all provided feedback on the presentations.
At the conclusion of the semester, each student knows the commitment level that it takes to become an entrepreneur. They have modeled success and failure in the low-risk environment of the classroom and have learned the practical steps required to increase the chances of success. About 50% of students say that they are planning on opening a new business within the next 5 years, while about 80% say they could be a successful entrepreneur.
David Mayo: Teaching Instructor, Department of Management