LAWRENCE — Success may begin with an idea, but it is achieved with know-how. An annual program designed to build entrepreneurial knowledge among students, faculty and staff at the University of Kansas is now open for registration.
Startup School @ KU, a weekly evening program on the process and skills to create a startup company, begins Sept. 28. The free program, now in its second year, is open to any KU faculty, staff or student regardless of discipline, although registration is required.
“The greatest benefit for all attendees is the opportunity to begin to develop an entrepreneurial mindset — the ability to innovatively solve problems — which has great application regardless of discipline or job environment,” said Wally Meyer, director of Entrepreneurship Programs in the KU School of Business.
Interested individuals do not need to have a specific startup idea in mind to take part in the program. In fact, the only thing participants need to bring is a questioning attitude.
“Learning and experiencing is the objective, however, there is some likelihood that new concepts and ideas will result from attending,” Meyer said.
Past participants are already reaping the benefits.
“Ten of the students who attended last year’s Startup School @ KU sessions have gone on to successful startups, have completed successful Kickstarter campaigns, have raised north of $1.2 million and have achieved hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales," he said.
Individuals from outside STEM fields or business are also encouraged to sign up for the program.
“Research is very clear that the best entrepreneurs come from a variety of disciplines,” Meyer said. “There will be information of interest and benefit to the most diverse attendees.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Business School created the curriculum and structure based on a course offered at Stanford University. Meyer partners with KU Innovation and Collaboration, which works to bring KU-developed innovation to the marketplace, to offer the program to campus.
“The goal of Startup School @ KU is to empower future and current KU entrepreneurs,” said Julie Nagel, president of KUIC and associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship.
KU’s program places a focus on accelerating the startup process and increasing chances of success. It incorporates lessons from successful entrepreneurs and offers guest lecturers and mentors. Participants will learn to generate ideas, build products, finance a startup as well as operate and grow it. Startup School marries with another event, Celebration of Innovation, which features an investor panel, networking and a Demo Day of startups founded by KU students, faculty and recent alumni.
Startup School @ KU takes place Wednesday evenings between Sept. 28 and Nov. 9 at Capitol Federal Hall. Dinner is provided to help address hectic schedules of participants. The program is possible through involvement and support from KUIC, the School of Business and KU School of Engineering. Visit the KUIC website to learn more about the program, view the curriculum or register.