Entrepreneurial studies program launches new platform for student projects
3:49 p.m., March 28, 2012--The University of Delaware’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program has announced the pilot launch of UDSeed, an innovative web platform that enables alumni, faculty, staff and community members to participate in the inspiring work that UD students do every day.
Although the Entrepreneurial Studies (E-Studies) Program is housed in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, the pilot spans the UD campus with students from four colleges, eight academic units, one registered student organization and one club sport.
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Student biographical and project information is viewable on the new portal, which also features informational videos.
Visitors to the site also have the opportunity to engage with a project through “liking” or sharing the project on Facebook, sending invitations to individual students to connect with them on LinkedIn, giving advice through LinkedIn group discussions, posting a comment or making a gift.
“The benefits for students extend well beyond financial support for their projects,” said Dan Freeman, associate professor of business administration and faculty director of the E-Studies Program. “Students can make professional connections with alumni and other community members that enhance their career opportunities, or they could make connections that help them to change the world in meaningful ways.”
Several of the projects in the pilot are associated with an innovative collaboration between three faculty members – Tony Middlebrooks, associate professor of leadership in the School of Public Policy and Administration; Jules Bruck, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences; and Jon Cox, instructor in the Department of Art – who assigned their students to work in cross-course teams to try to solve major social problems.
For example, the Urban Fresh team is attempting to figure out how to provide access to healthy options in “food desert” census tracts, or populations with limited or no access to healthy foods.
Bartoo’s Ad Agency involves a student entrepreneur and an advertising campaign class run by Carolyn White Bartoo, instructor in the Department of Communication. Participants in this project are using UDSeed to raise funds in an attempt to plan and implement a real marketing campaign to help senior psychology major Alyssa Kuchta make a job for herself as the founder of a socially conscious jewelry business.
And those are just two of 25 projects on UDSeed.
“If you are interested in fashion, service learning, dance, urban design, electrical engineering, crew, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship or making the world a better place, then at least one of the UDSeed projects is likely to be of interest to you,” said Freeman.
The UDSeed platform was created by USEED, an innovative startup that seeks to dramatically enhance the educational experiences of University students. The USEED team includes UD alumni Matt Racz, a 2011 graduate, and Tim Walsh, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, as well as Newark, Del., native Brian Sowards.
The University’s Office of Development, General Counsel’s Office, Office of Alumni Relations and the Lerner College played vital roles in bringing the project to fruition.
Article by Kathryn Meier