At the Student Launch Pad, we know that entrepreneurship happens within all disciplines. We’ve met and worked with Towson University students majoring in biology, economics, business administration, family studies, and many more. Working with diverse students has helped us create a variety of use cases that depict the various ways that students can navigate and access our programming and resources. Students that interact with us and attend our programs tend to be in one of four stages of engagement or exploration: activate, ideate, validate, launch. These stages help us classify the type of assistance a student might need and will help determine the types of challenges we give them to explore entrepreneurship or grow their ideas. Let’s dive a little deeper:
Activate: Students are activated in their classrooms, at career fairs, on the web, and by their professors—introducing them to entrepreneurship and Student Launch Pad on campus.
Ideate: Students are challenged to ideate and hypothesize their ventures at Entrepreneur U, Skill Builders, and other Launch Pad programs. Ideation is supported by the Business Model Canvas.
Validate: Students validate their business models and ideas through hypothesis testing, customer interviews and mentorship and Launch Pad Central.
Launch: Students launch when they bring a minimum viable product to market, implement a real world solution, or bring their new skill set to existing companies.
Students move through these stages at their own pace, based on how involved they’d like to be with the Student Launch Pad. To illustrate this, we think of students at three levels of engagement: lite, moderate, and full. The below engagement scenarios give examples for each of these students:
Lite Engagement: (1) Professor activates student after seeing their creativity on a recent project. (2) Student attends Skill Builders, speakers, and Whiteboard Wednesday sessions regularly, building creative and entrepreneurial skills and network that will be valuable in the workplace.
Moderate Engagement: (1) Student is activated through Entrepreneur Fair. (2) Student attends skill builder and speakers series looking for entrepreneurial inspiration. (3) Student develops an innovative business idea and utilizes Entrepreneur U and plans to continue to developing this idea after graduation as a young professional.
Full Engagement: (1) Student is activated through information provided at freshman orientation. (2) Student becomes involved by attending Entrepreneur U and ideates at Whiteboard Wednesdays. (3) Student presents business model canvas to SLP team and is accepted into Launch Pad Central and begins validation under mentor oversight. (4) Student engages in business plan competition and launches into a residency in the TU Incubator.
All three of these students are illustrated on the below graph as they pass through each stage on their exploration. They are all learning and growing with the Student Launch Pad based on their own commitment and interest. We seek to assist students at all levels, which we hope will contribute to a larger culture of entrepreneurship at TU.
Interested in Learning More about Student Launch Pad?
For more information on our programs and offerings check out my previous post.