Entrepreneurship is not just about start-ups and small businesses; it is way to think and behave. Highly effective people are adept at, and relentless about, identifying the obstacles in the way of making an idea a reality and they focus on problem-solving across many business disciplines. The most effective people start with an awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses and build from there.
In higher education, we place great emphasis on critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning, learning communities and other instructive strategies that are grounded in the idea that no discipline exists in a vacuum from all others. Entrepreneurship is about identifying opportunity, building a financial model and strategic plan, identifying the capital and human resources necessary, setting metrics, and continuous execution toward the vision… in essence, entrepreneurship is interdisciplinary “doing.” It is therefore at the heart of business education; it is the ultimate capstone for applying the knowledge and skills of the discrete disciplines to a product or service for a specific market niche.
That is why we are investing significant resources in the growth of our Entrepreneurship program. This month we will officially open our new Entrepreneurship Labs at 163 William Street in Manhattan and the Goldstein Academic Center in Pleasantville. We expect that each campus will develop its own identity and focus over time. The Labs will provide the tools and mentoring for the development of business plans and the seed capital for new ventures. They will host speakers, workshops and competitions. Though the Labs will be assets of the Entrepreneurship program itself, our hope is that students throughout the University will be attracted to participate and collaborate. Every academic discipline can be the source of inspiration for new ventures, new software applications and new products.
Professor Bruce Bachenheimer is ideally suited to lead the Labs and grow the program. He is a board member and past chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum, serves on the Board of LeadAmerica, and consults to New York City’s department of Small Business Services, Economic Development Corporation, and others. He is widely interviewed on entrepreneurship and frequently quoted in print, radio and television business media. His relationships throughout the New York City venture community and beyond will be an important building block as we seek to further enhance our standing in, and access to, professionals in the field.