One of the points that Dean Paulo Goes emphasizes over and over again to faculty, students, alumni, and donors is that entrepreneurship and innovation is core to his vision for the Eller College. The McGuire Center, with our longstanding commitment to educational excellence and our top 3 national ranking among U.S. public business schools, stands as the driving force behind this vision.
I’ve shared with you in previous postings the Center’s vision and mission – be a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation education and research, and reach 2000 students, 200 ventures, 20 researchers. Expanding both the scale and scope of the McGuire Center requires new ideas, new ways of operating, and significantly more resources. So far we’re off to a great start but have a long road ahead.
First and foremost I’m happy to introduce our newest faculty member, Tristan Reader, who is joining us most recently from Coventry University. Tristan is splitting his time as a Professor of Practice between the American-Indian Studies (AIS) and Entrepreneurship. As an expert on food sovereignty, a major driver of cultural traditions and economic prosperity on native lands, Tristan will be working with seniors in the Eller College, but also creating new courses and pathways to link the McGuire Center and the Eller College with students in American-Indian Studies. We are excited about this important step toward creating an indigenous entrepreneurship program. Our goal in this collaboration with the AIS department is to create new opportunities in entrepreneurship for UA students from native lands and expand the range of students who participate in the McGuire Center.
We’re making progress with several other collaborations and initiatives across the University of Arizona campus and in the greater Tucson community. On campus, we’re continuing our collaboration with Tech Launch Arizona in the NSF-funded iCorps program. The fourth cohort of university researchers and students launched this week and we once again are teaching business model development and customer discovery alongside business mentors from Tech Launch. We have met with faculty and alumni from the College of Engineering and are developing plans to make entrepreneurship a viable track for engineering students. In the Eller College, our new course in the online undergraduate program launched in the past few weeks and we hope to develop a version of the course that can be offered over the summer as an alternative to the Fall and Spring semester senior capstone entrepreneurship course. We are also excited about two new entrepreneurship courses we are offering in the Spring semester on Creativity and Managing Small Businesses to students both in the Eller College and across campus. Finally, we are elated to announce a partnership with Microsoft who is offering technology, mentoring, and awards to student groups pursuing entrepreneurial projects with a social impact. We hope this is the start of inspiring, attracting, and developing entrepreneurs from across the UA.
In the community we were active participants in IdeaFunding, part of the Ten West festival that occurred in Tucson Oct. 21-28. Mentor-in-Residence Dan Janes and I each conducted workshops on finances for start-ups and problem-driven solutions, respectively. Next year we have big ambitions to conduct a series of workshops during IdeaFunding for the Tucson community, putting on display the range and depth of knowledge that exists within the McGuire Center, and advancing entrepreneurship knowledge in the Tucson community.
Lastly, we were excited to celebrate several McGuire Center alumni during UA Homecoming. Matt Williams (McGuire Program Class of '93) received the Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service Award at Breakfast with the Dean during Homecoming weekend, and then followed up that award by giving a lunchtime presentation to students in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. We are extremely grateful for his ongoing support of and dedication to the McGuire Center. But he was not the only McGuire alumni award winner – Kevin Kraus (McGuire Program Class of ’99) received the Professional Achievement Award, Cortez Smith (McGuire Program Class of ’99) also received the Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service Award, and Eric Smith (McGuire Program Class of '11) received the Young Alumni Commitment to Service Award. McGuire alumni give back.
It was indeed an incredible and busy month of activities on top of the regular slate of activities in the Center; McGuire Entrepreneurship Program students who are iterating on the products and services for their ventures, and the senior capstone students who are developing solutions to the wicked problems they have identified.
The McGuire Center faculty and staff are working diligently to serve our entrepreneurship students, the Eller College, and the Tucson community. And there is so much more that is in the works. Everything that we accomplish is only possible with the generous financial support of our alumni and our donors. To those of you who selflessly give we are so appreciative because without you, our activities and our progress would not be possible. To those of you who ask how you can support the McGuire Center, we need your financial support. There are many programs under way and many more planned, but we can only continue to grow and succeed through your help and generosity. You can give through our website or contact us directly about giving opportunities. I’d welcome the opportunity to tell you more hear about our plans, where the McGuire Center is headed next, how you can support and be engaged in the McGuire Center.
To all of you, our alumni and supporters, I wish you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving. I look forward to hearing from you and talking with you about how you can help pass along your experience to more students in the future.
Go Cats! Bear Down!
Best wishes to all,
Joseph P. Broschak, Ph.D.
McGuire Center Executive Director