Students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln can customize their class schedules this spring with the first two pop-up classes offered by the College of Business. The immersive one-credit classes teach students of any major to learn how to navigate the startup world.
This round of pop-up classes will give students an edge in developing their entrepreneurial ideas and launching businesses as well as how to seek startup funding. The innovative courses will feature Center for Entrepreneurship faculty and use the center's resources and connections to further assist aspiring and current student entrepreneurs.
The first course, The 48-Hour Challenge: Building Entrepreneurial Teams and Testing Ideas (BSAD 191), centers around a hands-on event called the 48-Hour Challenge. The challenge, held February 7-9, provides students the opportunity to experience the challenging trade-offs entrepreneurs face when launching a new business. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing ideas, business model development, and basic prototype creation, the 48-Hour Challenge culminates in Sunday night presentations to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.
“We have run the 48-Hour Challenge over the last few years as an extracurricular event, but this year we decided to also make it the first pop-up course in the College of Business,” said Dr. Samantha Fairclough, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. “Students will learn a lot about what it is like to be a part of a startup business – the challenges, the teamwork, the highs and lows, the need for advice and resources. It will be a lot of fun and a chance to forge significant interdisciplinary connections with other students, local entrepreneurs and business mentors.”
The second pop-up course, Venture Capital: Essentials of Start-Up Fundraising (MNGT 398), begins February 14 and will be held on Fridays, 1-4 p.m. in Howard L. Hawks Hall. The five-week course provides a real-world look at raising money for startups and access to local experts from Invest Nebraska, a nonprofit, venture development group.
“As entrepreneurs, our students need to understand venture capital, how to raise money and be able to answer questions potential investors will have,” said Dr. Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of practice in management. “This course will help them achieve these goals while providing an environment to share their start-up problems and questions with us and our invited community mentors. We are lucky to have such a helpful community that is willing to provide their time, insight and assistance.”
The introduction of pop-up classes enables the college to incorporate industry trends and innovations into the curriculum more quickly. These courses also embody the mission-focused goals of the college’s strategic plan.
“One of the college’s strategic plan goals is to ‘facilitate learning and transformation.’ We do this by creating distinctive, personalized and transformative educational experiences like the pop-up classes,” said Dr. Donna Dudney, associate dean of undergraduate curriculum and programs and associate professor of finance. “The college can use the pop-up format to test the viability of a particular topic or pedagogy before incorporating it in a traditional course.”
To learn more about the 48-Hour Challenge, visit https://business.unl.edu/48hourchallenge. Students can enroll in either course through MyRed. Contact the Center for Entrepreneurship with enrollment questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.