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Entrepreneurship Education for CALS Agriculture Startups

2019-06-17l Hit 227

Entrepreneurship Education for CALS Agriculture Startups

Student Press of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Minji Kim (Department of Plant Science), Jiyoung Heo (Department of Plant Science)

 

Every March, you can find posters everywhere around the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) advertising the Entrepreneurship Competition. For a moment, students may consider entering the contest only to change their minds because they “don’t know where to start.” This is the reason why CALS began running the “Entrepreneurship Education Program for CALS Agriculture Startups” for students who meet challenges as they try to start a business.

The program is run with the cooperation of the Entrepreneurship Support Center of the CALS to help students gain an understanding of an entrepreneurial mindset and agriculture-related industries. It was initiated in 2017 and is entering its third year this year. Myeonghun Jeong, an research assistant in the program, said, “the Entrepreneurship Education Program educates students who are participating in the CALS Entrepreneurship Competition and those who are interested in starting a business on various aspects of entrepreneurship.” He added that “many graduate students apply to the program to find ways to start a business with items that have potential for commercialization.” The program is eight hours in total, broken down into four sessions of two hours each. Topics of this year includes entrepreneurial mindset, trends in bioindustry, technology commercialization strategies, finance-related knowledge such as financing methods, and advice from a start-up veteran who have entrepreneurial experience. Students who attend at least three of the four sessions receive the certificate of completion and extra points in the Entrepreneurship Competition.



Dr. Choi from the Airbnb Consulting Group is lecturing on “how to use government aids for university students to the fullest.”

 

To see what an actual lecture looks like, the CALS PRESS went to one of the lectures themselves. Although they attended the relatively short fourth session, the lecture intensively covered all the information that pre-entrepreneurs may want about financing, recent trends in agriculture industries, and commercialization strategies. The contents of the lecture were appealing enough to capture the interest of a wide range of audience from curious explorers to entrepreneurs with well-defined business idea. Industry experts including researchers from related institutions and people with experience in startups, whom university students are unlikely to meet otherwise, visited the university to give lectures as guest speakers. Thus, the program selects and delivers information that is highly trustworthy and relatable to students in Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Minhyu Jeong (Enrolled in 2016, Horticultural Science and Biotechnology), who took second place at the Entrepreneurship Competition after taking the entrepreneurship education program said that “Especially the advice from guest speakers who had experience with entrepreneurship was practical and helpful,” and that he was “highly satisfied with selection of the lecturers.” He added that since some lecturers participate in the Entrepreneurship Competition as juries, one can take advantage of the opportunity to ask them questions about the competition. He advised that “since the guest speakers are not people you are likely to meet outside of the program, it’s useful to prepare detailed questions before going to the lectures.”

Entrepreneurship Education for Agriculture Startups. If you become interested in starting a business after taking the entrepreneurship education program, you can receive further support by, for instance, participating in the Entrepreneurship Competition hosted by the CALS. We hope that the startup education program further encourages students’ participation and creates a supportive environment for potential entrepreneurs at the CALS.