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Desh Deshpande Delivers, as Promised, in Luncheon Address

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

The lunch session began with a video with NACCE’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Desh Deshpande. "The best way to solve problems in this world is to make everybody entrepreneurs,” says Desh in the film. One of the people interviewed said of Desh, "He’s like Yoda!"

Listen to Desh's comments here.

NACCE President and CEO presented Desh with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Here are highlights of Desh’s comments upon accepting his award:

  • I have been part of MIT for about 15 years and I got my Ph.D. at a university so I know the university world. But I know less about the community college world, so I’m going to talk about what needs to get done and then maybe you can figure out how to get there.
  • Over the last 40 years the world changed because of innovation. Ideas go around very rapidly and create change. So in this exhilarating world of innovation if we just look at the next 10 years, we will see more change than in the last 50 years. And that presents opportunities for entrepreneurs.
  • In the U.S. every year about 500K businesses get started. In the last 15 years on average they have hired about 4 million people. If we want the economy to thrive we have to come up with more jobs from these businesses. So we have to find ways to speed them up so they grow faster and hire more.
  • A good goal to have for community colleges is to say that you should have at least 10% of your new graduates start new things. They on average hire 10 people so it’s a community of people that are part of the innovation economy. So how do we get there? Let me give you two examples. MIT on one side; they have a lot of resources. They have an endowment of $12 billion and they think it’s too small. They start roughly about 250 companies a year. But then let me take you for a minute to the other part of the world; about eight years after we had success with the institute we start at MIT we said let’s see what we can do in India. The schools in India are really broken. People typically work very hard but there’s not active learning; it’s passive.
  • So we opened the Social Innovation Sandbox in India. We decided to go directly to the students; asked them to work in teams of four and pick a problem in society and solve it. So now we have 1000 students in the program working on 250 problems. In India there are lots of problems but people typically walked around and didn’t notice the problems. But with this program students began to notice the problems. And the problems start looking like opportunities for these people. When the students get focused on the problem, no matter how big or small, when they find a way to unlock the problem it’s a very empowering experience.
  • When you’re an entrepreneur you always feel that tomorrow will be better than today. Doesn’t matter what the reality is; it’s just a great way to live!
  • Why not look at the whole society and embrace the whole society and look at the problems as an experiential learning opportunity for the students. It’s true that there are certain things that only MIT and Stanford can do. But every big innovation for it to really have an impact globally, it has to be contextualized and in lots of different ways.
  • I think at community colleges, your students and your faculty know what’s really best for the community and they can find ways to contectualize a lot of the innovation that is occurring.
  • What’s predictable is the fact that things will change. But it isn’t obvious what those changes are. You could have predicted when cell phones came along that they would evolve from the suitcase size to the iPhone, but you couldn’t predict what companies in this would win and which would fail.
  • Start with a network of people who are likeminded and really want to do this. Embrace the people in the community and let them talk to your students; people want to associate themselves with educational institutions. You have huge convening power.
  • You will need patience. Things always are harder and take longer than you think. But the good news on the other end is that once it takes off it always goes faster than you think.
  • Each one of you should treat yourself as an entrepreneur and say what am I trying to do here. It’s all about having the mindset to start the journey without having the complete roadmap.
  • Conferences like this help you separate the things that are known from what you don’t know.
  • There are certain things you can never figure out until you do them.
  • I think it’s going to be very exciting over the next 10 years. The changes are going to be led by entrepreneurs and it’s going to be global.

Tags:  Desh Deshpande  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Breakout Notes: The Best Entrepreneurship Education: Doing it!

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

Dr. Anita Bleffert-Schmidt from SUNY-Ulster talks about the advantages of experiential or action learning. One of the big ones is that it spurs community action and brings businesses closer to your institution.


For students themselves, this Chinese proverb sums it up: I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand.


Mindy Kole, of SUNY-Ulster, described a student-run business they’re starting called Community Creations. This will be a kiosk in the cafeteria featuring products from local artisans. Embedded it in the entrepreneurship curriculum; every student that comes through the e-ship track will work on the business. It’s 40% of their grade in the e-ship course.


(At first they tried running the kiosk as a club but it was hard to get people to show up; this mirrors the experience of another college that spoke at one of the pre-conference events yesterday.)


They are in the third term of students who worked on this. First term, the students did research on campus as to what the student-run business should be. They developed a survey and got 230 surveys back. Based on that information, they wrote a business plan.


Last fall, they received a Colman Grant for the start-up costs. So in the spring the students started working in teams and each team functioned as a department. There was a kiosk team, who needed to go out and find a builder. Another team worked on the website. One team worked with local entrepreneurs on how they would get products into the kiosk. Other teams worked on accounting and marketing.


They received tremendous campus support, which was critical. For example, an accounting professor worked with the team, training them in QuickBooks. Security worked with them on developing policies to help ensure policies about how the cash is handled on campus. College attorneys reviewed the consignment agreement. The cafeteria donated a cash register and gave them space for the kiosk. Consider the culture of your institution to understand whether this type of support will be possible to achieve.


The business is run as a consignment business; 60% of proceeds of a sale go to the artisan and 40% go back to support the business.


Make sure you don't step on the toes of other campus businesses, like the cafeteria or the book store.


A key success factor is bringing in the community. In this case, the students found the artisans and worked with them on pricing, etc.


For more info on the project Mindy talked about, check Center or @mkole on Twitter.


Second Example

James Matlack described KCKCC Made, a student run business at Kansas City Kansas Community College. This is structured very differently from the previously described business.


What they were finding in everything noncredit re: entrepreneurship, they weren’t getting students involved. So they did some research including surveys and did a SWOT analysis. Narrowed the reasons down to five reasons why students weren’t attending:

What is in it for me? Average is early 30s, leading busy lives, need to let them know why this is of value to them.

$$ - need to do something that generates from income for students.

"Hide” the education – wanted to create a program in which people learned without knowing they were being educated.

Confidence – all in it together – found students were intimidated by consulting sessions, so needed to get them some confidence.

Exposure – professors said there were a lot of great ideas among the students but they weren’t getting exposure.


So they launched KCKCC Made, which sells products made by students, faculty or staff at the KCKCC bookstore. Also includes marketing support and business consulting. People are required to do two consulting sessions with the SBDC in order to sell in the business. So they see a benefit to the sessions and they love it. They also have to  demonstrate that they have some sort of business plan in process.


At first the bookstore was reluctant, but the students met with them and convinced them that it would help draw traffic to the store so they got on board.


This model is based on supporting the entrepreneur and getting their business off the ground and helping them be successful. But then the students are running the business. The students aren’t there actually doing the selling; the products are in a defined section of the bookstore but the bookstore takes care of the retail portion of it and tracks sales. The students did things like writing the consignment agreement, etc. The participation of students is extra curricular, not credit. Students in Free Enterprise run it.


One product sold is a barbeque sauce that is sold in 10 states; on the other side is a student who makes jewelry between classes. So they have people with different intentions as far as growing a business. Currently have 15 entrepreneurs, 12 of which are students. They are launching an online portion. They’re also working on an idea for selling services.For services, they decided they would require that the student or faculty member would have to own 25% of the parent business in order to qualify.


For more information, James’ Twitter account is  @WFD–KCK.












Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013  student-run businesses 

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Look for More on "Introducing the Entpreneuriual Method"

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

For the first breakout sessions I sat in on a mind-blowing session. It was part one of the leadership track, "Introducing the Entrepreneurial Method." I need time to turn my notes into a post,which I will do this evening. You're going to hear about the five principles of the entrepreneurial method, as defined by Saras Sarasvathy.

Hear Saras' full presentation here.

I've been working with entrepreneurs and consultants to entrepreneurs for over 25 years and, for the last seven years, entrepreneurship educators, so I've heard a lot about entrepreneurship. So I was fascinated to hear something truly new. You will be too.  More this evening on this!

Tags:  effectuation  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Energy Buzzes at Opening Reception of NACCE2013

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just back from the opening reception, where conversations were humming and filling the room with the special excitement that is unique to NACCE conference.  First person I ran into was Dan Larson, the outgoing NACCE board chair who is also president of Cayuga Community College in New York.


We talked about what makes the NACCE conference different from other educational conferences and Dan summed it up with this thought: "The people in this room know they make a difference in people’s lives.”


Next I talked with Ron Liss, who is the new president of a campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH.  Ron moved there in July from Santa Fe, where he participated in the Virtual Incubation project that NACCE was a part of. I asked him why he came back to the NACCE Conference in his new role as president and he said, "I came because we’re trying to expand the penetration of our entrepreneurial efforts, at least that’s my goal. I’d like to see our entrepreneurial effort spread and to perhaps even start up virtual incubation.”


Next I ran into Jim Elias of Muscatane Community College in Iowa. We met last year when he attended his first NACCE event shortly after having been given a mandate to start an entrepreneurship center. "Last year was fantastic for me,” he said. "I learned all sorts of great stuff at a time when we were just diving into entrepreneurship. Since then we have launched the entrepreneurship center; the new furniture was delivered on Wednesday!”


Coming to the conference this year is Bob Allbee, president of Muscatane Community College; they made a presentation for a NACCE Entrepreneurship College in Action grant. They were the last presenters of the day and Jim didn’t arrive at the hotel until two minutes before they were to present! Bob says he wasn’t worried at all…somehow I doubt that! About his first foray into a NACCE Conference, Bob said, "I’m enjoying it; listen to the noise in this room; it’s exciting.”


Indeed it is! Tune in tomorrow for some more NACCE Conference news and impressions.  

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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First-time Attendees Learn the Ropes at NACCE 2013 Orientation

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Sunday, October 13, 2013

Over 30 first-timers to the NACCE Conference have gathered for the orientation. Lots of prizes are being given out.

Moderator Tim Mittan challenged people to clear their minds and leave behind their preconditions. "There are so many brilliant people here for you to learn from," he said.

NACCE Fellow Tim Putnam reminded people that there are three more NACCE Summits coming up. In November there will be a Regional Summit at Rio Salado and at Miami-Dade. Then in February there will be a summit New River Community College.

Tim Mittan points out that there are people at the conference with a decade of experience in entrepreneurial education so this is the place to learn.

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Presentations Underway for NACCE Entrepreneurial College in Action Grants powered by the Coleman Foundation

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just sat in on some of the preliminary live presentations for the NACCE Entrepreneurial College in Action Grants, powered by the Coleman Foundation. The focus this year is on programs that promote the first two steps of the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge. Grants of up to $15,000 will go to colleges that create and expand internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship or increase entrepreneurs’ engagement on campus.


From the three presentations I watched, the judges have their work cut out for them. South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, AZ; Ivy Tech in Fort Wayne, IN, and Houston Community College – Northwest, in Houston, TX, all made compelling presentations while I sat in. I’m sure the other finalists are going a similar good job this afternoon. Winners will be announced at breakfast on Wednesday. Good luck to all!

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Don’t Miss the NACCE Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Tomorrow at Lunch

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tomorrow at lunch, we’ll hear from Desh Despande, this year’s winner of NACCE’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Don’t miss his remarks; I know they’ll be both enlightening and energizing; I can say that with confidence because I had the honor of interviewing Desh last June for the cover article of the Summer/Fall issue of Community College Entrepreneurship, and I very much enjoyed his thoughts on how to the importance of entrepreneurship.


Desh Deshpande is a serial entrepreneur, having founded numerous companies, including Sycamore Networks. He’s also well known for his philanthropic work, which includes starting the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT. Through the Deshpande Foundation, he provided seed money to start the Center, which empowers researchers to bring innovative technologies from the lab to the marketplace in terms of breakthrough products and new companies. Since 2002, DCTI has reviewed 500 proposals and funded more than 90 projects with over $11 million in grants.


 Desk has also been a major contributor to many entrepreneurial philanthropic causes throughout the world, including the Merrimack Valley Social Entrepreneurship Sandbox in Lawrence/Lowell, Massachusetts, in which two NACCE member colleges, Middlesex Community College and Northern Essex Community College, participate. And as if he weren’t already busy enough, in 2010, Desh was appointed to co-chair a National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.


For the Merrimack Valley Sandbox (MV Sandbox), Desh committed $1 million annually over five years, works to strengthen an ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship and leadership in Lowell and Lawrence, MA. The MV Sandbox coordinates activities between Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex Community College, UMass-Lowell, Merrimack College, community non-profits, and the Merrimack Valley business community. The "Campus Catalyst” program within the MV Sandbox provides entrepreneurial support to students at both community colleges. (For more info on this program, read the article on page 26 of the Spring/Summer 2013 NACCE journal.)

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013  National Association for Community College Entreen 

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The NACCE2013 Registration Desk Is Jumping!

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just went to the conference registration desk to sign in and saw that the place was alive with activity. The staff told me it’s been non-stop action since they opened at 8:30 this morning. And everywhere I’ve gone in the hotel (which is quite nice, by the way) I’ve bumped into NACCE folks.


Had breakfast beside folks from Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College, in Moorefield, WV. They’re a finalist  in the NACCE  Entrepreneurial College in Action Grant competition, funded by the Coleman Foundation. They apparently are first up among the presenters this afternoon and were doing some fine-tuning of their presentation. They seemed pretty cool about it, but the opportunity to win up to $15,000 for your entrepreneurial program would give anyone sweaty palms, I’d think.


It’s great to start running into people I’ve met at past NACCE Conferences, like Jackie Peterson from Portland Community College in Portland, OR, and Ed Massey from Indian River State College in FL. Makes the place feel like home!

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013l 

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Welcome to the NACCE2013 Live Blog!

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Friday, October 11, 2013

It’s almost here! In just two days, NACCE members from across the country will begin gathering in Charlotte, NC, for NACCE’s 11th Annual Conference. This live blog will be your source for conference news throughout the event.

I will be live blogging many of the sessions, as will Karen-Michelle Mirko, NACCE’s VP of Marketing, Sales and Meaningful Collisions. (For those of you who don’t know me, I edit Community College Entrepreneurship, NACCE’s quarterly journal.)

This year’s conference is bigger than ever, as registrations are approaching the 500 mark. This will be my third conference, and I always come away so impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the attendees. I can’t wait to sit in on breakout sessions and hear about the innovative things NACCE members are doing on their campuses to promote entrepreneurship and build strong local economies.

I know many of you can’t be at the conference, so our aim with this blog is to help you feel like you are there. And for those of you who are at the conference, we will be your eyes and ears in sessions you just can’t get to because you can’t be everywhere at once!

Join us as we celebrate the role of community colleges in helping people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Stay tuned!

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013  National Association for Community College Entrepr 

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