Students interested in learning about starting and managing businesses can now minor in “Entrepreneurship and Innovation,” a new minor that the University revealed on Monday.
Susan Fleming ’08, minor director and senior lecturer at the School of Hotel Administration, said the minor was created in light of the “tremendous interest” in the subject on campus, citing successful entrepreneurship programs such as eLab and entrepreneurship at Cornell.
“People [think] entrepreneurs are born,” Fleming said. “We think entrepreneurs can be made. They can be taught how to manage and approach world problems in innovative and entrepreneurship minded ways, and that’s what we want to teach.”
Starting in April, students in any major can declare the Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor. Within the program, students can take classes specializing in technology, social, or food and beverage. They can also choose to concentrate in new venture, small business and private enterprise or corporate entrepreneurship.
Fleming said that the minor is not just for students passionate about establishing start-ups.
“The perspective that we are bringing is to expose students to an entrepreneurship mindset and style of management that they can apply to any career,” she said. “Whether it is working for a big company, a small company or even managing their own lives and careers in an entrepreneurial way.”
Prof. Michael Roach, entrepreneurship, said that the minor was designed to be very open so that students with different backgrounds and interests could all benefit from it.
“Any student interested in learning more about entrepreneurship, starting their own company, working in a startup, being involved in entrepreneurial types of firms, or even being a consultant … should consider this minor,” Roach said.
According to Roach, although many other colleges offer entrepreneurship programs, what makes Cornell unique is the large number of alumni that have pursued entrepreneurship
“Cornell has a lot of alumni, from engineering to Dyson to hotel to ILR, who have gone on and become very successful entrepreneurs, and who have given back and pushed for these programs,” Roach said.
EaC and eLab have benefited greatly from Cornell’s alumni network, who often serve as mentors and provide fundings to students’ start-up projects.
“Educational programs like the minor can help make people better entrepreneurs,” Roach said. “There’s a lot of students who are aspiring entrepreneurs, and courses are a good way for students to learn about entrepreneurship and hone their idea.”
Zachary Schulman, director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell, said that the new minor will help boost initiatives for entrepreneurship at Cornell.
“The new minor will clearly help advance our mission in that it will enable students to advance their entrepreneurial thinking in a coordinated academic setting,” Schulman said, calling it a “wonderful addition” to Cornell’s entrepreneurial offerings.