31: Entrepreneurship Programming at University of Colorado Boulder w/ Kyle Judah

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Kyle Judah, Director of Entrepreneurship at University of Colorado Boulder (College of Engineering & Applied Science) discusses the recruitment, corporate, and fundraising benefits of launching entrepreneurship and accelerator programming at your institution.

...entrreneurship programming by it s verynature, is applied learning in real time. It's a very different sort ofexperience than what you get in most traditional classes: You're, listening to enrolment, growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Rolment at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to an Roman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Evu podcast network, Imar,Golson, AVP of marketing and helics education, and we're here today withKyle Judah, director of entrepreneurship at the University ofColorado, Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science. Kyle.Welcome to the show thanks a much for Avy Eric, really excited to talk withyou today about the recruitment, the corporates and the fundraising benefitsof launching octre, preneurship and...

...accelerator programming at yourinstitution. But before we digk into that CIE, can you get the listeners alittle bit better understanding of both the University of Colorado, bolder andyour rule there yeah absolutely so. SEU Bolder is the flagship campus of the CUsystem. We have three other campuses kind of across the state of Coloradoand it is a fantastic and interesting case because it's a place that has hadtraditionally all the wrigt ingredients of fantastic business, school and law,school, very vibrant arts and sciences and kind of creative community oncampus- and you know one of the best engineering programs across disciplinesin the country and certainly amongst kind of public research, focuseduniversities and you know a great place that also has a very supportive startupin innovation ecosystem. I just learned last week that Colorado has the moststartups percapita of any fate in the country D and particularly an aerospacewhich in engineering, is one of our...

...strongest disciplines. The MOST ARAbase companies per capita than any other state in the country, so we'vegot kind of a great vibran community on campus and then this really supportivestrong ecosystem off campus that we can create those ties to, and so I juststarted to hear about five or six weeks ago for the better part of the lastdecade. I've been involved in tech and startups as an early employee as afounder of a couple learned a lot of hard lessons and have some scar tissuefrom those experiences and, following my time in the trenches, wasbrought on to the team at MIT in two thousand and thirteen at theirentrepreneurship center to run their start up accelerated program and a lotof the experiential learning programs. That kind of targeted communities ofstudents on campus that had a hard time accessing entrepreneurship classes andresources. And so was there for about two and a half years transitioned overtime to working for a central organization. There called thmitinnovation initiative which essentially...

...try to you know, be a convenint agentto make sure that the right people across the different departments andcenters and instutes on campus were all in the room so that we could actuallyhave a COHESUV strategy for developing an entrepeneural ecosystem on campus.And how do we create the right structures for engaging, whether it'scorporate partners, nonprofits and other organizations outside of CampusAwesome Co? To start this conversation off? Can you give us a high leveloverview of catalyzed you your eight week summer, startup accelerator yeah?Absolutely so we have a really robust set of pretty well interconnected,entrereneurtrip programs, both in and outside of the classroom and buildingmore every year, but catalizedis. Really our capstone experience. It's aa summer accelerated program for new ventures created by students or facultyor researchers, and we've developed a very structured and mentor intensiveprogram to help them really truly level up ther their kind of startupsuperpower. So you know it is definitely not a class. It is anexperience where, for the first time,...

...people can focus full time on being afounder, because that's what starting a new company takes and that kind ofdedication in that commitment, and so when our founders commit to fullyparticipating in the program we commit to supporting them with equity, freefunding for their venture, with founder grants to cover their living expensesduring the program and with personalized mentoring to really helpfuel. This progress so this summer, Il Mark Five years since the founding ofthe program on campus and to kind of celebrate that milestone were we'reactually even extending the program a little bit longer to provide a betterexperience for the teams. It's awesome. It's awesome, kile from a a studentrecruitment standpoint. What makes entrepreneurship programming like thisso attractive to perspective students across all majors? That's such a creatquestion. I think students in general these days are trending towards valuingimpact e, valuing experience instead of commodities, and I think in all walksof life. That's why you see you know companies and platforms like airbnbhaving such enormous growth in such a...

...short period of time and anentrereneurship programming by the very nature is applied learning in real time.It's a very different sort of experience than what you get in mosttraditional classes. So you know, while there might not be a terribly bigdifference in the subject matter covered and in engineering classes,between a CU, boulder or Georgia, teck or an MIT, the experiential programsare what create this differentiated product and experience for students andthose students are increasingly savvy about demanding these kind ofexperiences and it'll, be the universities to really invest in thatinfrastructure that will survive and thrive through. I think, what's goingto prove to be a pretty challenging decade for for Higher Ed, you know. Myhope is that in the future we can recruit perspective studententrepreneurs the same way that we recruit student athletes. thit'sawesome. You mentioned how attractive these kind of programs are on therecruitment side. Let's talk about the career preparation side. Universitiesare great at breeding academics, who...

...think, like academics, talk about thecareer, prep benefits of graduating students from c bolder who have thisentrepreneurship in their blood as well yeah. They that's something that we'rethinking about very carefully, because I think, particularly over the lastdecade, entrepreneur ship has kind of gained this connotation of being anarrogant. You know silicon valleys, just white techbro and realisticallyyou know that only applies to a very small facet of the entrereneuralcommunity and at c boulder were really. We very much believe in in kind of thisfull spectrum, Ontro rneurship, where that entrepenrial mindset and skillsetan experience is equally applicable, whether you end up being a solo,freelancer or a researcher or working in a big company or creating your own,and that applies whether it's four profit or nonprofit. So you know wethink about how do we create opopportunities, where students can usethese golden years on campus to try and experiment and sometimes to fail in avery safe environment, because even if...

...their ventures don't end up working out,these are the skills in the experience that are most sought after by employersthese days and particularly employers who are paying significantly higherinitial salaries, particularly to engineers. You know, as opposed to someof the older, more traditional large scale, employers from a brandstandpoint from an awareness standpoint how do accelerate or n entrepreneurialprograms like this help an institution make inroads with community andcorporate partners. I think that's. That's such an important question,particularly for public universities. An entrereneurship just creates agreater surface area for engagement with local community and businesses.You know whether that's through mentoring or sponsoring, hakathons orcompetitions. It's a way, for you know these universities to increase thatcross polinization between community and campus, because those organizationsdon't necessarily just want to have you...

...know one table amongst a hundred othersat a at a kind of meat market career far. They want to build authentic andmeaningful relationships with students and faculty, and it it really providesan avenue for the university to also use our talent and resources and thenatural creativity of our community to hopefully address and solve some prettybig issues in our local communities and continue to show value in thepartnership between academia and the civic community, really love it and andlet's go let's go full circle or more full life cycle from a donor relationstandpoint. Talk about why accelerator programs like yours make for such goodtalking points when funraising yeah. I think, there's a new breed of donor.These days that really want to see their dollars create meaningful impact.On campus- and that's rarely the case when they're, you know putting theirname on a building entrepernership programming, I think accelerators inparticular, have very tangible outcomes. This company started jobs createdfunding, raised revenue generated you...

...just don't get that through many of thetraditional donor engagement activities. So you know at mit something likeseventy. Five percent of all major gifts come from entrepreneurial alams,which is interesting because it kind of helps, give a perspective of campusprogramming and development offices optimizing for playing the long gameand aligning incentives over time by you know supporting entrepreneurs asare getting started before anybody else will, and that kind of lends to thecreation of a real, meaningful relationship. I also think you knowthis isn't something just restricted to the elites or the hives. In the lastyear, you've seen places like Long Island University get a five milliondollar donation for their entrepreneurship center. The Universityof Calgary received forty million for their entrereneurship hub. So it'ssomething that allows you to kind of take. What's unique about your campusand your community and create a very emotional connection with with donorsyou mentioned CATTLYC, you has been up...

...and running for about five years nowany success stories to date or success stories in the making from acommercialization standpoint that have come out of the program so far yeah. Ithink you know it's it's still fairly early days to be perfectly honest withyou. I think entrerenourship in general is kind of in our DNATC you. You KnowAlan K, kind of one of the fathers of modern computings. If you alum, he yknow helped invent the first networke work station that at Zerox's ParkCenter, which you know we now know as the makintosh computer you know, TedMayman invented the laser engineers without Borders was founded with here.So it's it's in our DNA. I think you know. When you're talking aboutaccelerator, you can't be looking for short term results. Much like a publiccompany. CEO can't manage on a quarter to quarter. You know basis where youhave to be kind of having the long view, but as Wev built out, this set ofintegrated programs and resources were seeing a track record of teamsparticipating in the new venture challenge, which is our campus widebusiness plan, competition as a...

...precursor to catalize and after oursummer accelerated program, then being accepted. A top teer well regardedformal accelerator programs like Tech Stars where then they've gone on toraise their seed funding, and so you know I've seen a lot of veryinteresting technology and companies being developed kind of at thatembrionic stage. But everything from you know light our applications toagriculture. To you know, technologies to help prevent leaks, ind oil and gastype ones is, is all on its way out of our labs and into making real worldimpact so good. So Good Kyle. What next step advice? Would you give oinstitutions who are looking to launch theron accelerator programs yeah? Ithink it's tricky, because you have a very fine line to walk. You know it'seasy to find it kind of fall into the the? U Shiny Syndrome. When you see anew tool or a new kind of program working at another campus- and I thinkentrevenership in particular- is very rarely a situation where, if you buildit, they will come there kind of needs...

...to be this organic demand from thestudent body and then administrators can play the role of creating the rightsupport structures and allocating the funding to develop those resources. Soyou know, I think, administraors kind of need to be a little bitentrepreneurial in their own regard and do customer development interviews withstudents to see if this is something that they want. We should be moreresponsive to meeting their needs rather than just trying to advocate.For you know what we think is right, so I would say in general, not not everycampus needs an accelebrator or a business plan contest. You know justlike start up, ecosystems can't try and copy and Tasteo with silican values.Doing other schools can't copy and taste the exact formula for what makesmit or Syou Boulder. So incredible and special, you kind of have to figure outwhat is authentic to your context and community and then double down on thatsuch great stuff kyle thanks so much for shaing or thoughts today, what'sthe best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any followedquestions, happy always having to talk about this sort of stuff till I'm bluein the face, they can feel free to...

...email me at it's, just kyle, dot, Judaat Colorado, Dot, Edu and I'm will promise. I will be responsive kind ofwithin twenty four forty eight hours, but thank you so much for for having meit's a great privilege and opportunity to chat about this stuff with with youand with your community of listeners. likewless thanks against so much forjoining us today. Kyle thanks fo lot. toor take care attracting today's newpost. Traditional learners means adopting new enrolmant strategies.Keliks educations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrolmentgrowth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helix has just published the second edition of theirenrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content. On howinstitutions cansolve today's most pressing enromant growth challengesdownload it today for free at Helock's, Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helic education...

...to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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