4 Ways To Help College Students Launch Small Businesses
College students are eager to connect with the greater community—but they don’t always know how. ActivMyst, a mobile community toolkit for college students, and student group HIMSSySTEM, a network of colleges and universities, have collaborated on a 10-week entrepreneurship course called Student Launch Machine (SLM).
One student group runs three and a half hours a week, which puts them up for an option for up to two weeks of a full semester within the company. “When they’re with us, they can learn about the space and learn about all of the benefits of all the activities they have,” says one partner, Joseph Miller, who advises MBA students and has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “They’ll gain leadership experience and gain a lot of talent, as well.”
And their involvement is definitely worth it: There’s a slight increase in engagement during the SLM program, and SLM students are more likely to think about joining a leadership position with companies and organizations.
Some of the benefits of joining SLM for companies include easing students’ transition from working for companies to working for yourself. SLM students are hosted at schools across the country, and the classes are open to anyone.
SLM classes are spread out over the span of a semester, and throughout the year there are online classes, too. “Having it in semester is much more manageable for students’ schedules and gives them a much bigger chance to participate,” says Deanna Miranda, Business Development Manager for Student Launch Machine, which is a program funded by partnering companies. Some entrepreneurs group with their peers, including hems.com founder Leah Criado, who took an SLM class at Lindenwood University in Missouri and plans to team up with the college in the future to run workshops.
Student Launch Machine hasn’t released pricing yet, but Mark Moreton, WHOIS Tech and Strategy partner and SLM coach, says the program should run between $10,000 and $50,000. Moreton says he hoped to bring in $15,000 to $25,000 for each program.
“This partnership will allow our students to explore entrepreneurship and gain unique market knowledge and experience during their time in college,” says Karissa Thurston, Academic and Community Engagement Coordinator for the U.S. Cellular Corporation, who will be participating in the SLM program at a campus in Michigan.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.
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