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Teaching Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurial studies received The Journal Record's 2008 Innovator of the Year award
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Why teach entrepreneurship? Because entrepreneurs are serial problem-solvers who create ventures to solve inefficiencies. They constantly revolutionize our economy and make a better life for us. People today live longer and healthier lives than kings of previous generations. Michael S. Malone, in a Wall Street Journal article titled the next american frontier put it best.

Half of all new college graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full–time job. Today, 80% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. now offer courses on entrepreneurship; 60% of Gen Y business owners consider themselves to be serial entrepreneurs,according to Inc. magazine. Tellingly, 18– to 24–year–olds are starting companies at a faster rate than 35– to 44–year–olds. And 70% of today's high schoolers intend to start their own companies, according to a Gallup poll. An upcoming wave of new workers in our society will never work for an established company if they can help it. To them, having a traditional job is one of the biggest career failures they can imagine. America as an entrepreneurial nation will reward each of us with greater independence – and perhaps even greater happiness – than ever before. It waits out there for each of us. Being good entrepreneurs, it's time to look ahead, develop a good plan, and bet everything on ourselves.

World Class curriculum

If you're itching to launch a business soon... Schools such as Babson College, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Arizona are among the best–known. –BusinessWeek
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The most unique aspect of our program is the holistic approach we have to teaching. Our curriculum covers all aspects of business critical to an entrepreneur, such as accounting, finance, law, management, leadership, sales and marketing. Additionally, because many new ventures include, and are often started by non–business people, we create a collaborative classroom. It is our belief that bringing students together is the best approach to teaching entrepreneurship. Business students majoring in entrepreneurship take classes with zoology, engineering and architecture students who minor in entrepreneurship. We do not support mini-entrepreneurship programs all across the campus. Rather, our program serves as a beacon for all students who someday hope to start, run, and grow their own businesses to come together in one classroom. Students bring different talents to the entrepreneurial table.

Students learn how to identify opportunities, make a plan, launch a venture, grow a business and harvest. Students learn how to use framework tools to measure the people, opportunity, deal and systems of a new venture. Students learn to buy low, sell high, collect early, pay late and never ever run out of cash. Students learn that smart money is better than dumb money. Students learn how to balance the customers' desire to customize and the manufactures' desire to standardize. Students learn the process of sourcing manufactures and when to use a direct sales force or a manufactures representative. Most importantly, students learn how to be a good person and how to live a life of meaning.

Outstanding faculty

Entrepreneurship is one of the star attractions of this program. –Princeton Review
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We constantly ask ourselves, our alumni and successful entrepreneurs, how can we do a better job of preparing our students for their entrepreneurial journey? We continuously improve the curriculum –generally changing and improving 30% each year. We ensure that every student receives instruction from leading academic scholars and from highly successful entrepreneurs. We are very proud of the fact that our quality of instructors is the best. the price College of Business awarded 20 of its instructors an alumni teaching award. of those 20 instructors, six taught entrepreneurship courses: Lowell Busenitz, Mike Dillard, Steve Ives, Daniel Pullin, Scott Rayburn and Jeff Wallman. of the six entrepreneurship recipients, four are adjunct professors. one of those adjunct professors, Steve Ives, received a national award for master teacher from the acton foundation.

We spend a tremendous amount of time training our teachers. Adjunct professors go through a rigorous training program to teach case studies using the Socratic method. Before teaching a single class, our teachers observe more than 100 hours of case teachers in the classroom and participate in the acton foundation's teacher training seminar. they spend more than 2,100 hours in classroom teaching preparation; invest more than 50 hours in dvd-interactive learning with Participant–Centered Learning and the Case Method from Harvard Business School publishing; and continue to collaborate with all price College entrepreneurship instructors through meetings and summer half–day retreats.


Why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is –Will Rogers
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Our mentors give more than advice, they give assistance. Every entrepreneurship student will shadow a Ceo for a semester. The students sees firsthand the importance of execution, the decision making process and the forces pulling on an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur also spends time mentoring the student and providing insight into opportunities and personal development.

Once the students are ready to launch their businesses, they start to seek funding. as the flagship university, we have ties to the seed funds, angel networks, venture capital and private equity industry in our state. We also have outstanding alumni networks outside of the state. Graduates of OU are partners in Sevin Rosen, Austin ventures, Trident Capital and the original San francisco Band of Angels. Additionally, the state of oklahoma has an outstanding network of startup support with OCASt, i2e, OVF, PHF, and the research campus. this group will make time for the students, they will pickup the phone and take a meeting,and they will make key introductions to venders, manufacturers, clients and customers.

Our alumni and friend network is outstanding. They love the program and our students. They support the program with millions of dollars and hire students as employees, partners and innovative problem solvers. The alumni and friend network participate in symposiums, panel discussions, mentoring and guest speaking. our infrastructure of support is exceptional.

Leading Research

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought. –Albert Szent–Gyorgyi
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One of the central missions of the Center for entrepreneurship is to support quality research. Solid research allows one to investigate both important and intriguing issues, not just today's crises. It also allows us to systematically study an issue across many ventures, not just one or two observations. a solid understanding that rises above the issues of the daily management issues can be gained. finally, quality research allows us to infuse new intellectual capital into our academic programs and keep our classroom instruction on the cutting edge.

Professors Rob Mitchell and Lowell Busenitz are launching a study that investigates why some ventures in oklahoma succeed in the commercialization of new innovations while others fail. Quality technologies are necessary but not sufficient for the expansion of oklahoma's technology economy. If we are going to successfully build a technology–based economy, we need a better understanding of the best business practices that lead ventures to successful commercialization. This research will bridge the gap between research and practice by allowing us to understand the factors that lead to successful commercialization of technology-based ventures.

An example of cutting-edge research involves a study recently published in the top-ranked Academy of Management Journal. Ventures that go through an ipo are more likely to be underpriced if their venture capital backers have greater ties to the investment banks that underwrite the deals. After analyzing more than 300 companies at least partially owned by venture capital firms before they became public, it was found that deals helmed by venture capitalists who had done prior ipo business with their main underwriters had more significant underpricing than those with no prior relationships. This article came from a dissertation written by former ou ph.d. student Jonathan Arthurs under the guidance of Lowell Busenitz and colleagues.

Passionate Students

And I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. –Robert Frost
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Our students want to change the world, they are not looking for a free ride, a handout, or a shortcut.They want to work, to have a plan and to execute that plan. Our students take the road less traveled. they are not interested in safe career paths to middle management.

Students will graduate the program knowing how to research an idea, compile critical information and data in a compelling format, formulate feasibility studies and business plans, present and pitch their ideas, assemble critical resources and proficiently solve problems. They will also learn how to execute great plans, analyze and research many different industries, recruit and lead great people, develop a network of support and identify patterns for execution. Students learn the role of experience, making the pie bigger, adding great people, the value of a rolodex, the necessity of a mentor, and most importantly, how to make money.

Because of the popularity of the program, our student base is extremely diverse. We have majors from all across the university. We have a number of foreign students, both exchange and permanent; we have a good mix of people of different ethnic groups and genders. This diversity creates a dynamic classroom environment where students understand the global aspects of consumer driven entrepreneurship and how to solve problems with peers of different backgrounds.

Experiential Learning

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.–Thomas Alva Edison
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Because wisdom can't be told,we emphasize experiential learning. Students develop a business plan, have a mentor, get an internship with a start–up, analyze commercial potential for intellectual property, walk in the shoes of the entrepreneur through case studies, rub shoulders with venture capitalists and angel investors, and study abroad.

The Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW) program is our flagship experiential leaning opportunity. It is a highly sought after student appointment. Selected students will experience firsthand how an intellectual property–based–venture is launched. The course creates an environment where students and faculty can learn about entrepreneurial ventures; how ideas lead to intellectual property;how intellectual property leads to products, how products lead to companies and jobs, and how jobs lead to a stronger, more diverse economy.

CCEW's objectives are:
(1) broaden exposure to the entrepreneurial process,
(2)give interested students the opportunity to engage in real–world business enterprise,
(3) accelerate moving OU technology into the marketplace and
(4) strengthen wealth development in Oklahoma.

Through both a mentor–in–residence program and an internship program, CCEW participants engage in entrepreneurial outreach activities and the development of actual start–up companies.the center provides the university with an enhanced mechanism to provide practical experience to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and assist in developing Oklahoma's economy.


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give –Winston Churchill
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We teach students three concepts: learn how to learn, learn how to make money, and be a good person and live a life of meaning. Students learn how to learn –by asking questions to understand problems. If the question can't be answered, entrepreneurs discover or create the solution. Students learn to make money; sales and profits differentiate a business from a hobby or interest. however, the most important concept we teach is be a good person and live a life of meaning.

We instill philanthropic values in our students from the very beginning. Students are inundated with the concept of service. The First Fidelity IBC program makes philanthropy a cornerstone of entrepreneurial studies. Since the inception of the First Fidelity IBC program, over $700,000 and 30,000 hours of community service have been donated to local charities. this is an amazing accomplishment!

The philanthropic spirit is felt throughout the program. limbs for life, make a Wish, habitat for humanity, leukemia & lymphoma Society, Salvation army, Cystic fibrosis foundation, Community after School program, positive tomorrows and the red Cross are just a few of the charities students have supported in the past. Two new programs are being created to supplement our philanthropic culture. The first is a high school program. The second is a social entrepreneurship program.

We are developing programs for Oklahoma high school children. High school juniors and seniors will come to the university of Oklahoma campus and participate in a one-week entrepreneur boot camp. High school students will learn from teachers and college students how to start, run and grow their own business.

The social entrepreneurship program will focus students on solving social issues on both global and local levels. Faculty and students will focus on large-scale issues, such as clean water and famine. Courses will move the agenda for social entrepreneurship forward to help students launch and support global social ventures that will bring about real and enduring change while moving the economy forward. These courses will teach how both nonprofit and for profit socially responsible businesses attract venture capitalist to socially responsible ventures and harness the power of bringing market oriented solutions to global problems.


The entrepreneurship major allows us to explore our options, take advantage of our creativity and pursue our dreams. –Sami Daraby BBA '05
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We have had many great success stories from students launching businesses. Students have launched software companies, communications companies, Web-based software service ventures, and service companies with high-tech solutions in the energy industry.

Students who graduate from our program generally start their entrepreneurial journey on these paths: new ventures, joining a start-up, working for a small or family business with a high growth potential, joining a consulting firm, joining a medium or large company and working in business development, industry analysis, consulting, product development, sales, marketing, customer service, or operations. Our goal is to connect established entrepreneurs and business angels with the students who have intelligence, integrity and drive.

Although many students hope to start their own company someday, in the interim, they are fantastic employees for growth companies. Companies are looking for employees who can execute, gather pertinent information and make decisions, and who can plan and manage resources – in other words, entrepreneurs. Companies full of bureaucrats and yes-men collapse under the crushing weight of it's not my job and fail due to thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel –when it' really a train.