New Social Venture Creation Course at the University of Michigan
I’m a true believer that the best incubator for social ventures is the university. Why? Think about it. While you’re in school, you have the time to innovate, imagine, take risks, and try again. This kind of time isn’t necessarily available to you once you start working. You also have unbelievable access to new ideas, knowledge, departments, professors, and networks. That’s why here at the University of Michigan, we’ve started a new course to support students in social venture creation.
The Social Venture Creation Course, in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering, the School of Art & Design, and William Davidson Institute, seeks to be an innovative, action-based learning laboratory that brings students (both undergrads and grads) across disciplines at the University to work on solving society’s challenges – together.
In this course, students will form multidisciplinary teams and take steps to launch a social venture. By the end of this course, student teams will submit an implementation plan and make a presentation on a social venture idea to a panel of industry experts and potential funders. The hope is that some of these multidisciplinary student teams will be able to launch a social venture upon completing the course – and make real, long-lasting impact.
After taking this course, student teams will be able to assess the opportunity for a particular device, product or service in a community and the feasibility of starting a social venture around it. The course will use cases, readings, videos, lectures, group projects, and group discussions to help students understand the social entrepreneurship movement, the building blocks for starting a social venture, assessing and enhancing social venture’s impact, raising capital, and scaling-up a social venture.