12,000 square feet. More than $6 million in endowments and private donations. 80 new businesses annually. These are the kinds of numbers that are adding up to success.
At Mississippi State University, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach in the College of Business provides a world-class launch pad for startup ventures. Expansive collaboration space, offices, meeting areas and workstations built through private donations foster ideas and encourage action. The facilities rival those of such highly regarded programs as Princeton University’s and Stanford University’s and surpass the dedicated space of Yale’s entrepreneur program.
Boasting an impressive track record of success stories, the E-Center and business incubator has helped students from 40 different majors start their own businesses. Cross-discipline faculty serves a vital role in preparing young people to tackle evolving technology and understand economic demands. They help refine ideas through a standardized track resulting in step-by-step game plans for implementation.
“Entrepreneurship teaches students how each area of business can play a role in the development, organization and management of a company,” says Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “The E-Center helps develop well-rounded graduates who are instrumental to the workforce.”
Programming includes the opportunity to network with more than 200 participating student entrepreneurs, where students often connect with future business co-founders. Alumni offer guidance from the business world. Through an executive-in-residence program, regional senior business leaders and entrepreneurs keep in-person and remote office hours for young entrepreneurs seeking advice and encouragement.
Quick-start workshops help move projects through the development pipeline. Students in the E-Center program can develop prototypes and participate in state and national competitions that provide valuable market testing. The center’s monthly grant award cycle helps turn dreams into viable businesses.
The businesses that have grown from the germ of an idea to fruition using E-Center resources reflect a wide array of markets and products. Featherserve is a leading software application that brings order to the complex process of managing a pool service business. Vibe raises the bar with a patented, flavored, lighted cube that enhances party drinks. MState Technologies helps prevent firearm accidents using sensor technology.
Glittersoft Group provides customized software services and solutions to companies around the world. CampusKnot is a free and innovative online course management system for students and professors to better manage class schedules.
Companies can enhance their brand with one-of-a-kind promotional goods from Gold Sheep Goods and digital advertising agency Sociallyin with its eight employees has won a Company of the Year award.
These are just a few of MSU’s E-Center success stories.