Making a Difference in Sixty Hours

Do you have an internship or project opportunity for a Cross Campus student? Our certificate students are currently seeking entrepreneurial internships or projects to complete their certificate requirements! 

Six Cross Campus Entrepreneurship students are working to complete the certificate requirements in time for graduation in May 2012. These requirements include completing 60 hours of an internship or project with an entrepreneur or startup organization by mid-April.

These students are specifically interested in opportunities to work and explore in the following (academic major) areas:

  • Sports, entertainment, or retail (Communication)
  • Architecture, economics, economics+renewable energy, or geography (Economics)
  • Medical, sports medicine, whole body wellness, from chiropractic to nutrition (Psychology)
  • Public relations (Communication)
  • Non-profit (Communication)

Get more information and learn more about requirements.  Please email if you are interested in providing an entrepreneurial internship opportunity for a certificate student! We’re also looking to build our list of entrepreneurs and organizations that might be interested in the future.

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Students on the Move

The Leeds Social Impact Consultants (LSIC) was formed in 2010 to connect MBA students to local nonprofits. Teams of MBAs complete pro-bono consulting projects with organizations on a variety of business issues. LSIC’s most recent projects include:

  • A team worked with the Unreasonable Institute, an this exciting social venture accelerator, to design a financial model for institute  Unreasonable Institute, is a talent staffing company that links impact driven organizations to like-minded job seekers.
  • A team worked with the executive director, staff, and  board of directors of YWCA Boulder to provide a financial analysis of the YWCA’s  programs to assess cost cutting and revenue generation opportunities.
  •  A team worked with this start-up social venture RE-Work to provide an analysis of their market opportunity.

CU Cleantech Internship and New Venture Challenge

Lance Legel  ’12 and Aashish Aroon ’12 recently participated in the CU Cleantech internship program and are also participating in the cleantech track of the CU New Venture Challenge. Lance and Aashish met during an internship showcase orchestrated by Candace DeWitt Mitchell, spouse of Zac Mitchell, MBA ’11. That showcase experience, along with a little encouragement, has the two students in a startup that may already have a $100K contract in the works. The year before they got their entrepreneurial experience honed at the CU New Venture Challenge.

Through the CU Cleantech internship program, last summer, Lance worked at Pike Research and he was subsequently hired. Legel explains how it all came about in the following message to Mitchell and  Trent Yang, of the CU Cleantech Program at Deming:

Dear Candace and Trent,

I have a great story about the company that Aashish Aroon and I have formed. This great true story will explain why this week will be my last week working at Pike Research!

I just finished a heartfelt and encouraging talk with the President of Pike Research. I told him what is happening with Dao Synergy – Aashish’s and my company – and specifically, what happened to Dao this morning.

With one awesome partner (PhD student, School of Leeds, Information & Operations Management: Jingjing Li), I met with the Administrative Corporal for the City of Lafayette’s Police Department this morning. It went perfectly. In his words, paying Dao $10,000 to make a smart mobile app system for his fleet of police officers is “cake” (“$10,000 is cake.”). In other words: delicious. Even better, he discussed how the City of Lafayette is connected to technology systems that all of Boulder County use.

With another awesome partner (BS Electrical & Computer Engineering with lots of passion), I soon after realized that Boulder County has a total of 4 cities and 6 towns. So why couldn’t we do a contract that costs each City police department $10,000 (again, “$10,000 is cake”!), and costs each Town, let’s say, $2,500? Actually, I feel very confident that we can. And what would that mean? One $55,000 contract.

In fact, I could easily see us charging the City of Boulder Police Department $55,000 alone, since it spends $29 million per year, and we will be building smart systems that may allow it to save, quite possibly, up to and even beyond $500,000 per year. So, if we work really hard and continue to play our cards correctly, Dao Synergy’s first contract may be worth $100,000, and our first product may make 300,000 citizens of Boulder County that much safer and happier with their police departments. My ECE partner and I think we have “an 85% chance” of getting such a contract signed – we originally said within one month, but probably more realistically, by the end of the year.

So, when I told this to Clint Wheelock, Pike’s President, he more than understood why I need to stop working for Pike – making my last day this Friday – and invest more time into Dao. Of course, I should “move on to a greater opportunity”, in his words. He said he agreed that “smart devices” were the next big wave for governments to embed into their infrastructure. By the way, Pike’s analysts predict that companies serving the smart governments market will make a combined total of $6 billion over the next decade, in the United States alone. That number is $20 billion for the whole world.

Summary: Dao Synergy could get a contract signed of $10,000 to $100,000 in the next few months or so. I quit my job at Pike Research today, but remain friends and partners with Pike’s President. The President of Pike Research thinks Dao Synergy is postured to be “the next big thing” in a $20 billion dollar global market of servicing smart governments. We have lots of hard work to do together, and are ready to step up our energy on this company.

Lance Legel
CEO, Dao Synergy
NVC 2011-12

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Community on the Move

Freytag Honored

J.William Freytag, Deming Center Board member and venture capitalist was awarded the 2011 Leeds Entrepreneurship Service Award for exceptional service to the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and its constituents, and for distinction in entrepreneurship. Nobel Prize winner, and University of Colorado Distinguished Professor Tom Cech introduced Freytag at the ceremony.

Dr. Freytag is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Colorado Foundation, a member of the Advisory Council for the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Colorado Denver Business School, and a member of the Board of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado. Dr. Freytag received a BS from Purdue University and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Kansas Medical School.

Board Members Recognized
Several Deming board members were recognized during the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) second annual Colorado Cleantech Industry Awards Celebration last fall. The event honored leadership in advancing cleantech job creation and financial and technical viability.

Industry peers ranging from venture capitalists and corporate strategists to current and former technology CEOs selected 20 finalists. The selections were based on the company’s ability to create an innovative clean technology that has a viable market strategy, and the ability to raise funds to support the technology and job creation. The winners include:

• Breakout Cleantech Company of the Year – OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. Michael Lynch–Chief Scientific Officer at OPX spoke at the 2011 Entrepreneurs Under the Microscope event.
• Colorado Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year – Adrian Tuck, Tendril Networks
• National Cleantech Leader – National Renewable Energy Laboratory, part of the RASEI partnership at CU-Boulder
• Governor’s Award for Cleantech Leadership – Paul Nelson, Clean Range Ventures

Notable Deming Board Member nominees included:
• Breakout Cleantech Company of the Year Nominee Tim Connor, CFO of Boulder Wind. Boulder Wind Power (Boulder) –

• Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year Nominee Denver-based RavenBrick, CEO Alex Burney.

• Colorado Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee Jeff Bisberg, Boulder-based Albeo

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Silicon Valley Trek

Planning for the GEA Silicon Valley Trek 2012 is underway. This year’s tentative trip schedule: Monday, March 26-March 29, 2012. The annual event is sponsored and planned by the Leeds Graduate Entrepreneurs Association (GEA), MBA Association (MBAA) and the Deming Center.

During the inaugural trip last year, MBA students traveled to San Francisco to visit technology related companies as well as venture capitalists in order to learn about the entrepreneurial development of the Silicon Valley technology industry. It was a valuable learning experience as well as inspirational to all of the students who attended.
Companies visited included:

• Zynga: Social Gaming Company
• Roger Smith: Silicon Valley Bank: Roger was involved in investing in many successful Silicon Valley startups
• Dave Morin: Path: A more exclusive version of Facebook, Dave is a former Apple and Facebook employee and played a key role in the beginning of Facebook
• Dave Stastny: Centaur Partners
• Richard Roof: Ellie Mae
• Paul Brown: Bedrock Capital, Stanford GSB, Environmental Markets
• Matthew Macko, Ryan Potvin: Environmental Building Strategies

The Silicon Valley Trek is not associated with the annual, fall, Leeds School of Business Wall Street Trek for Leeds undergraduate students.

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Faculty on the Move

Maw-Der Foo  has been chosen to serve as an Associate Editor at Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice starting in 2012.

Alumni Terry Vogt (’75) along with his spouse Mary partnered with Daniel Birmann (’76) and together have funded a Sustainability Research Grant to support research efforts in this area. The grant came about due to the efforts of Donna Sockell and Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR). This year’s recipient is Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship Eva Yao for her paper “Internationalization of US Venture Capital Firms in Clean Technology Industries: Motivation and Syndication Strategy.” Eva has also been featured at one of our Faculty Focus events.

On the road this past fall, Deming Network member and serial entrepreneur Ray Johnson, was selected to be part of a US Cleantech Entrepreneur delegation sponsored by CRDF Global. Johnson taught, mentored and assisted several Russian Cleantech start-up groups selected by the Skolkovo Foundation. The three day workshop, titled “Technology Entrepreneurship Workshop” (TEDP) was held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

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An A for Every Q

by Paul Jerde, Executive Director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

I have frequently offered the disclaimer that I believe that Entrepreneurship is the answer to almost any question. Try it yourself sometime – it’s fun.

For example:
Q: How are we going to address some of the world’s biggest sustainability and social needs?
A: Entrepreneurs will.  (See also: The Unreasonable Institute)
Q: How are we going to address global poverty?
A: By enabling local entrepreneurs (See also: IDE – International Development Enterprises)
Q: How do corporations stay competitive through innovation and new business opportunity?
A:  By creating a culture of corporate entrepreneurship (See this intriguing study entitled Corporate Entrepreneurship: How? from the Indian School of Business)

At the risk of oversimplifying, I am convinced that innovation and entrepreneurship are, in fact, inseparable as the required elements for effecting change in the world – and for fostering economic development; they drive discovery and execution of new solutions to the world’s really big challenges and thereby create jobs.  Innovation goes nowhere without entrepreneurs.  And entrepreneurship requires innovation as its catalyst.  (On another occasion we can visit the other answer to almost every question – that answer being education.)

Let’s test my hypothesis one more time by asking one more question that is at the top of everyone’s mind:
Q: How can we best promote world peace?
A:  Through entrepreneurship (See Peace through Entrepreneurship?  A CNNMoney Fortune Editorial by Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital Partners.)
This last one is a very interesting commentary about a visit to Massachusetts by ten Palestinian tech CEOs talking about entrepreneurship.   Some excerpts of the author’s comments:

What if the next Skype or LogMeIn was started by a Ramallah-based entrepreneur instead of a Swede or Hungarian, respectively – would that be a good thing?  My conclusion: 100% yes. And after meeting with the Palestinian CEO delegation, I would say 200% yes. Thomas Friedman said recently that the surest cure to poverty was entrepreneurship. I would say the same regarding peace. If the Israelis and Palestinians are busy cooperating commercially, creating jobs and wealth for both sides, it will meaningfully reduce the tension that unemployment and a lack of opportunity for young and old represent.
I was blown away by the group of Palestinian entrepreneurs – they had more in common with entrepreneurs in Boston, Silicon Valley and NYC than probably many of their own people. They could have stepped right out of TechStars central casting – smart, scrappy, ambitious, hungry. I enjoyed hearing their stories of their entrepreneurial journeys to create their companies.

Note the reference to TechStars – founded right here in Boulder and now expanding the model to Boston, New York, Seattle and beyond.  This defines our community – a perfect storm of entrepreneurs living the answer to the question.

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Calling all New Venture Challengers: Boot Camp

You’re Invited
New Venture Challenge Boot Camp
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
3-7:30pm, ATLAS 100 | CU-Boulder
Attend CU New Venture Challenge Boot Camp to boost your chances of developing a successful business plan.   Click here for more information or to registerWho should attend?
Anyone thinking about an idea for a new business
Anyone currently writing a business plan
Anyone wanting to learn more about startups
Anyone planning to participate in the CU New Venture Challenge business plan competition (Deadline: March 8; Competition: April 5)NVC Boot Camp will teach you how to incorporate various business functions into your business plan and startup idea.Topics include: Business plan preparation, marketing, financial considerations for entrepreneurs, bootstrapping/funding, presentation + special sessions on starting a new venture in Cleantech, IT, Music, or for Social Impact.More about the New Venture Challenge [YouTube video]
Click here
for more information or to register. Contact
This CU New Venture Challenge (NVC)boot camp offers an intensive workshop in entrepreneurship basics taught by CU instructors and professional entrepreneurs. You’ll get tips and insights on various aspects of planning, starting, successfully pitching, and gaining funding for your new venture. Don’t miss this half-day session to get answers to your questions for whatever kind of business you want to start!Schedule
The program starts at 3:00pm. Special sessions start at 5:15pm. Networking and refreshments at 6:30pm. Open to all. Come for some or all of the event.
Made possible by CU’s New Venture Challenge partners:
The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship
Silicon Flatirons Center
eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship
Center for Education on Social Responsibility
Entrepreneurship Center for Music
CU Cleantech With support from:
Zayo Group
First Western Bank Trust
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Brad Feld Advises Students: Get Out of the Box and Into the Mix

Today’s entry was written by David VanderJagt, MBA Candidate 2013. Thanks, David.

The key to successful entrepreneurship, according to early stage investor and entrepreneur Brad Feld, is to move beyond your comfort zone and leave the security of the “business school box.” Feld, co-founder of the Boulder-based Foundry Group and Tech Stars, recently met with first and second year Leeds MBA students for an intimate lunchtime question and answer session.

One of us asked, “What is the biggest mistake made by MBAs who want to be entrepreneurs?”

Brad answered, “They don’t get out of that box called the business school. Get out of the basement and get involved in the community, with the people and companies you’re interested in. That’s how you meet people who can help you make your idea happen.”

Then he added that business school students like to talk a lot about being entrepreneurs, but they don’t do.  To succeed, get out and start doing. Start working on that idea.”  Says Feld, “You’re probably going to fail on your first venture anyway, so get that experience out of the way soon.”

Throughout our hour-long meeting, he returned to the concept of doing—regardless of the perceived challenges that accompany action.  School swamps students with work, he warned. But ambitious and serious entrepreneurs don’t let distractions, commitments and excuses waylay them.

It’s here where The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship makes a difference in the student experience by facilitating this “doing.” With its many opportunities to make business connections, robust alumni network and dedicated staff, the Center bridges the “box,” as Feld calls it, and the business world. But the Center won’t do it for you. No one can.

If you’re serious about being an entrepreneur, the most important thing for you to do is to take action and begin making progress. Stop talking about what you’re going to do, and do it.

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Student as a Startup: The Value of an Education in Entrepreneurship

by Paul Jerde, Executive Director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

I’m frequently asked / challenged with the following questions:  “Can you teach someone to be an entrepreneur?” and “Can you actually teach entrepreneurship?”

I answer quickly “No” to the first question, and “Absolutely yes” to the second.

At the core of entrepreneurship education are courses that teach students how to act on an idea.  Students are taught how to do feasibility analysis, market assessment, and other forms of due diligence to understand whether a seemingly creative idea actually has the ingredients to achieve commercial application – to create value.  And business planning or new venture courses teach students the interdisciplinary and team aspects of actually creating and articulating a business model and how convince others – investors, customers, and partners – that the idea can fly.  I think that these skills also affect many students in a way that makes them more observant, more capable of looking at problems as potential opportunities.

These skills characterize the mindset of an entrepreneur.  And I strongly believe that these skills give students an edge.  That they are valuable and broadly applicable in almost any type of organization – large – small; for-profit – not-for-profit.
And it seems that everywhere you turn you encounter signs of the growing awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship and of its role in education.

Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times a column entitled “The Start-up of You.”  In it he speaks to the tendency of political leaders to fall back on conventional wisdom as cure-alls to the current economic struggles. But he observes that “……something else, something new — something that will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job — is also influencing today’s job market more than people realize.”  Notably he states that this is reflected in the way that employers look at the talents that they seek in the people that they want to hire.  “They are all looking for the same kind of people — people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever. Today’s college grads need to be aware that the rising trend in Silicon Valley is to evaluate employees every quarter, not annually. Because the merger of globalization and the I.T. revolution means new products are being phased in and out so fast that companies cannot afford to wait until the end of the year to figure out whether a team leader is doing a good job.”

He references LinkedIn founder Reid Garrett Hoffman who recently co-authored the book The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career to be released in February 2012.  Hoffman argues that professionals need an entirely new mind-set and skill set to compete – that employees (insert students) “…. should approach career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.” To begin with, Hoffman says, that means ditching a grand life plan. Entrepreneurs don’t write a 100-page business plan and execute it one time; they’re always experimenting and adapting based on what they learn. And he emphasizes the need to be willing to experiment. “You have to know which industries are working and what is happening inside them and then “find a way to add value in a way no one else can. For entrepreneurs it’s differentiate or die — that now goes for all of us.”

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Calling all New Venture Challengers

The New Venture Challenge workshop convenes again on November 15, 2011 at 6pm (refreshments+networking at 5:30; Q&A 7:30-8:00) in Room 207 of Wolf Law.

In this exciting, informative session, Frank Moyes covers the nuts + bolts of business planning. We’re encouraging every NVC team to get an early start in talking to customers, creating a value proposition, and thinking through revenue streams.  Learn more at

We anticipate that each track will also have a representative on hand to answer any questions about the program and competition.

January 18 – Save the Date for NVC Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp
New Venture Challenge participants attend intensive workshops on marketing and finance for startups and get training on pitching a business plan. Break-out sessions focus on identifying critical issues in the business model. This bootcamp also offers opportunities for teams to gain critical feedback and advice about their business models, marketing strategies, and other key factors that determine whether the business plan seems viable. Boot Camp helps teams improve their business models, get connected to advisors, and prepare the best possible business plan submission for New Venture Challenge IV. Register now:

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