Tag Archives: Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship’s big boost

Cable industry veteran Bernard Bell will lead the newly named Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship

Bernard Bell watches student presentations in “Principles and Practice,” a course that focuses on core entrepreneurial skills including innovation, creative design, customer development and team dynamics.

Bernard Bell watches student presentations in “Principles and Practice,” a course that focuses on core entrepreneurial skills including innovation, creative design, customer development and team dynamics. (photo by Kristen Chavez)

Carolina will more than double the size of its nationally ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program with an $18 million gift made to the College of Arts & Sciences by the Shuford family of Hickory, a fifth-generation Carolina family.

It is the largest single one-time gift made to the College by a living individual or family. The minor in entrepreneurship has been named The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship in the family’s honor.

“The new Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship expands our efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship across the College and provides many new interdisciplinary, immersive and experiential learning opportunities for Carolina’s bright students,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt.

The gift will create an endowment to support three additional entrepreneurs-in-residence and up to four faculty fellows, fund up to 70 student internships and support a lecture series on innovation and entrepreneurship. It will also endow the program’s executive director and internship director positions. The College will support at least three additional full-time faculty members, an entrepreneur-in-residence and an administrative staff position.

From left, Dean Kevin Guskiewicz, Chancellor Carol Folt and siblings Jim Shuford, Dorothy Shuford Lanier and Stephen Shuford celebrate the launch of The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship.

From left, Dean Kevin Guskiewicz, Chancellor Carol Folt and siblings Jim Shuford, Dorothy Shuford Lanier and Stephen Shuford celebrate the launch of The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. (Photo by Kristen Chavez)

“I think entrepreneurship is a big part of the future of work,” said alumnus Jim Shuford (English ’88, MBA ’92), CEO of STM Industries. “The skills of entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving are a natural fit for the liberal arts. An entrepreneurial education will give Carolina undergraduates a leg up — to find a job, start a company, grow a business or be a productive member of any organization or enterprise.”

Shuford’s brother, Stephen Shuford (MBA ’97), CEO of Shurtape Technologies, and sister, Dorothy Shuford Lanier (ABJM ’93) joined him in making the gift to Carolina.

Cable industry veteran Bernard Bell (economics ’82, MBA ’91) has been named executive director of the program. Bell has served as entrepreneur-in-residence and the Richards Donohoe Professor of the Practice at UNC since 2015.

Bell has set four goals: double the number of students in the entrepreneurship program, align the curriculum across a set of entrepreneurial core disciplines, expand the program’s strategic partnerships across the University and through the involvement of alumni and friends, and broaden the student experience with more internships and immersive experiences, such as the Burch Field Research Seminar in Silicon Valley, at locations around the world.

“We have so many entrepreneurs who have come out of Chapel Hill,” Bell said. “What better way to use these new resources than to bring back into the fold the people we’ve helped groom so they can help us make the student experience more meaningful?”

Carolina’s minor in entrepreneurship launched in 2004 as a signature program of the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, a $3.5 million, six-year grant program funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to infuse a culture of entrepreneurship across the College.

More than 800 students from a wide range of disciplines have graduated with a minor in entrepreneurship. More than 250 students are currently enrolled. Students pursuing the minor follow one of nine tracks — artistic, commercial, computer science, design, media, scientific, social, sport or public health — and must complete an internship.

“The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship at Carolina is unique to any entrepreneurship program in the country – because rather than teaching only business students how to become more entrepreneurial, it also teaches students of music and art, physics, anthropology, exercise and sport science, sociology and many other disciplines how to work collaboratively with an entrepreneurial mindset,” said College Dean Kevin Guskiewicz.

What E-minor Alumni Say

“After one class with the minor in entrepreneurship, I fell in love with the idea of solving real-world problems through business. I’m now a leader in the Triangle B Corp network, a business community focused on maximizing a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.”

Braden Rawls (journalism ’08)
CEO, Vital Plan

“I think the largest impact the minor had on me was to present entrepreneurship as a valid career trajectory, while also providing a framework and toolkit to explore ideas on my own.”

Joel Sutherland (computer science ’07)
Co-founder/Partner, New Media Campaigns

“The entrepreneurship minor not only gave me the knowledge I needed to build my venture, but served as my first investor, providing me with seed money to incorporate my nonprofit and complete one of our earliest international doll deliveries.”

Amber Koonce (public policy, interdisciplinary studies ’12)
Founder, BeautyGap

By Cyndy Falgout

Read a story about the immersive semester-long Burch Field Research Seminar in Silicon Valley.

See photos from The Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship kickoff event on the College’s Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Access to innovators

Alumni give students in Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship an immersive semester-long experience in Silicon Valley.

Carolina graduate Thompson Paine (far left) made sure all of the Silicon Valley Maymester students received T-shirts when they visited Quizlet, where he is the vice president for operations and business development.

Carolina graduate Thompson Paine (far left) made sure all of the Silicon Valley Maymester students received T-shirts when they visited Quizlet, where he is the vice president for operations and business development. (photo by Susan Hudson)

Junior business major Michael Krantz learned “how to work with brilliant people in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines.”

Junior health policy management major Pooja Joshi learned to be comfortable interacting with powerful chief executives in her field.

Senior psychology major Tiana Petree changed the trajectory of her career path.

The three UNC undergraduates were among 16 students from the College of Arts & Sciences’ entrepreneurship minor who participated in the inaugural Burch Field Research Seminar in Silicon Valley. The entrepreneurship minor and Honors Carolina introduced the program last spring.

Junior Michael Krantz, right, spends time with UNC alumnus Bill Starling at a UNC basketball watch party in Palo Alto.

Junior Michael Krantz, right, spends time with UNC alumnus Bill Starling at a UNC basketball watch party in Palo Alto. (photo courtesy of Michael Krantz)

Thanks to UNC’s vast and growing alumni network in the region, students gained unprecedented access to leaders of iconic tech companies — including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GoDaddy and Google — as well as innovative startups. They also received intensive education in the principles and practices of business venturing.

“Understanding the San Francisco Bay Area — Silicon Valley — is a very important part of understanding business today. It’s the most important geography in the world for technology innovation,” said Jennifer Halsey ’94, the UNC entrepreneur-in-residence based in Silicon Valley who mobilized UNC’s alumni network to offer the unique experience.

“We have a close community of UNC alumni here who are willing to mentor and facilitate career opportunities for Carolina students,” Halsey said.

The Silicon Valley semester grew out of a Maymester Summer School course developed and taught by history professor James Leloudis with help from UNC’s Northern California alumni network. He had connected with that network through his development work as associate dean for Honors Carolina. (Read about the Maymester course at gazette.unc.edu.)

Among the area’s alumni was Halsey, a political science and communication studies double major who had parlayed her liberal arts education at UNC into a successful Wall Street investment banking career before moving to California in 1998 to advise and invest in high-growth medical technology companies.

Pooja Joshi (left) and Madrid Danner-Smith wait on the pier before taking a San Francisco Bay cruise with other Burch Field Research Seminar students.

Pooja Joshi (left) and Madrid Danner-Smith wait on the pier before taking a San Francisco Bay cruise with other Burch Field Research Seminar students. (photo courtesy of Pooja Joshi)

Halsey initially agreed to host students during Maymester, and that experience inspired her and others to explore expanding the course to a full semester. She reached out to UNC alumni and they responded by offering to host internships and site visits, share experiences on career panels and meet with students during networking and social gatherings.

The resulting Silicon Valley semester offered an intensive boot camp on entrepreneurial principles and practices, a venture workshop course featuring site visits and informal interactions with Silicon Valley elite, a group project to develop and pitch a startup business plan to a panel of investor judges, and a semester-long internship at a Silicon Valley company or nonprofit.

Petree had been on a fast track to start a nonprofit when she began her spring internship at Peninsula Bridge, a Palo Alto nonprofit. But exposure to every aspect of running such an organization made her realize that sustaining a nonprofit financially would be a tough path right out of college.

At a Carolina-Duke basketball game watch party hosted by Halsey, Petree talked about her goals and experiences with UNC chemistry professor and entrepreneur Joe DeSimone. He invited her to spend a day learning about the corporate world at his 3-D printing company, Carbon, in Redwood City. After meeting with marketing, sales, business development and human resource teams, she found herself drawn to HR. And over the summer, she returned to California to intern for Carbon’s HR department.

“This experience has really changed the path of my life,” Petree said.

Joshi interned at Evidation Health, a fast-growing behavioral data analytics company.

“I think the biggest thing for me was getting the opportunity to learn how to talk to and get help from people who are leaders in your field,” Joshi said. “It’s sometimes very intimidating. But it was amazing to have really intimate conversations with people like that and find they are so willing to help students all the time.”

Tiana Petree, left, shown with classmate Anna Baker, learned how much work goes into running a nonprofit. She waits with another student for the San Francisco Bay Cruise.

Tiana Petree, left, shown with classmate Anna Baker, learned how much work goes into running a nonprofit. (photo courtesy of Pooja Joshi)

For Krantz, an aspiring investment banker, the semester offered the opportunity to work alongside prominent senior vice presidents at GoDaddy, thanks to the small business technology provider’s open office plan and collegial culture.

“This is the tech hotspot of the world, where most venture capital is done,” Krantz said. “I don’t think I’d have been introduced to this world if not for this program.”

The goal is to provide access and opportunity, said Halsey, “inspiring students to create the life they dream of living.”

“Every major college in America is competing for access to Silicon Valley right now,” she added. “Our students have access.”

By Cyndy Falgout

Read about a transformative gift for the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship.