Posts Tagged ‘campus entrepreneur’

David Miller
by David Miller
Wed Sep 3rd 2008 at 5:10pm UTC

Controlling a MindFrenzy(.com)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

One of the reasons I research the entrepreneurial activities that take place in and around universities is that in many ways the campus is an ideal incubator for ideas. The frontier that is the university demands new ideas constantly (or at least should).

It is a safe space where idea generation and radical thinking are highly valued and often times rewarded. This, as we know from Richard’s and other people’s work, is crucial to improved quality of place – in both economic and social terms.

Recent Ithaca College graduate Jared O’Toole has just launched a new startup called MindFrenzy.com that is an outlet for people with new or unformed ideas. The site is targeting college students because, as Jared stated in an email,

“I just graduated college and I wanted to start a website that would help encourage college students to go after their ideas. That’s the main motivation behind MindFrenzy because most ideas in college aren’t really developed yet and kids usually need some kind of positive push before they stray from that job search and start their own thing.”

The website launched in mid August and has some interesting ideas listed and are looking for feedback from the community. In describing the site Jared stated,

“MindFrenzy is a think-tank geared towards those 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ideas on your notepad. It aims to be a creative community where even the wackiest or out-of-the-box ideas can get feedback in a positive fashion. You never know when a comment will spark something that lets you see how to get that crazy idea and turn it into something more practical.”

I think the idea of “catching” and sharing lots of the “crazy” ideas that are generated on campus is brilliant and I really look forward to seeing where Jared and his Ithaca-born idea will go (Jared pulled himself out of the finance interviewing process in order to pursue this venture).

Do you have a personal MindFrenzy.com? What do you do with the ideas that you (or your organization) don’t decide to go with? Do you keep track of them? Do they ever make it back? How does that work?

David Miller
by David Miller
Wed Aug 6th 2008 at 8:51am UTC

Does Your Campus Drive Away Entrepreneurs?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

We often talk about the importance of universities to growth in the Creative Economy. Usually we measure scientists, patents, and other similar variables. But we also need to pay attention to the entrepreneurial culture of a college or university.

How welcoming and supportive is the campus of ‘campus entrepreneurs’ (whether they are undergrads or profs)? Saxenian really highlights this topic at a regional level in her work Regional Advantage, but it is just as important at the campus/university level.

An interesting post by Simona Covel at the WSJ’s Independent Street Blog looks at what Yale is trying to do to stop the exodus of startups that leave Yale’s campus and head for Silicon Valley.

In order to fight this high-tech flight, Yale created the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute a few years ago to provide more support and increase retention of high-growth firms. From Covel’s post:

So far, says YEI director James Boyle, it’s working — at least a little bit. Two of last summer’s crop of six start-ups remain in New Haven. Just as important, Mr. Boyle says, is that the program leaves students and potential students with the impression that Yale is an incubator for student-run businesses, just like Stanford or MIT.

“It has been pivotal in demonstrating to the student body that you can start high-tech companies at Yale — a space where Yale usually isn’t known,” he says.

Does your campus put out the welcome mat for entrepreneurs? Does the administration and faculty support entrepreneurs? Have local and regional policy makers gotten involved?