UVa Launches New Entrepreneurship Minor

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Brendan Richardson knows a thing or two about the challenges an entrepreneur faces. His Charlottesville based tech start-up, Psikick, launched three years ago.

"If you basically crumple at the first challenge, you are never going to be an entrepreneur. The number one thing an entrepreneur needs to have is persistence and flexibility," Richardson said.

When it comes to the next generation of entrepreneurs, the University of Virginia grad says the students at his alma mater are already off to a great start, thanks to a new minor in entrepreneurship at the university.

"The tool set that you need to do that is slightly different than the tool set you need to prep for if you want to go into a job in a larger company," said Richardson.

David Touve, assistant professor of commerce and director of the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship, will teach one of the first classes the future founder and funders will take, "Startup."

"We are not measuring the program in the number of founders we create. We are measuring the program in the impact that these students can have by the way of new venture on their communities," Touve said.

According to Touve, what makes UVa's program stand out is that it is a collaborative effort across many of the University's schools, and not solely through a business school.

"Faculty and staff whom I work with are excited that this is a program within which students from all across the university will engage with each other and address problems and issues they find important," said Touve.

In all, six schools are taking part, such as the McIntire School of Commerce, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Richardaon says that that collaboration is key to developing creative ideas.

"Architecture students and business students will be collaborating. Everyone is bringing a different skill set and view on what the idea should be and blossom into." Richardson said.

Currently, all the entrepreneurship minor's classes are at capacity. However, Touve says demand is so high he hopes to see more classes, and participation with more of the university's schools in the future.

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