Entrepreneur Class

Revamped Entrepreneur Program Results in Greater Access for Students

By Stevie Boettcher, Jeff Bursik, Devan Gonyea, Kayla Hensley, and Daniel J. Kruswicki

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneur Program has recently been revised to better meet student needs. Several significant changes have been made to the program: Students no longer have to apply for special admission to the major at the end of their junior year; Courses have been revised and renamed; and a new 200-level course has been added that is open to any UW-Eau Claire student. An entrepreneur minor has also been developed for business students who wish to enhance their current academic program.

“Changes made to the program give more students, including students outside the business school, the opportunity to learn about the entrepreneur process,” according to Dr. Ray Hughes, director of the UW-Eau Claire Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneur program.

“We also changed the sequencing of courses to expose students to the entrepreneur process earlier in their academic career,” Hughes continued.

Previously, only students admitted to the College of Business and accepted into the entrepreneur program could take entrepreneur courses. Business students applied to the program at the end of their junior year and began the program their senior year. The entrepreneur program was small by design with only 25-40 students admitted to the program each year.

Students now take their first entrepreneur course their sophomore year, two entrepreneur courses their junior year and a capstone entrepreneur course their senior year. There is no longer a restriction on the size of the program—any student who has been admitted to the business school can now study entrepreneurship.

A new minor also has been added to the Entrepreneur program to give students not majoring in entrepreneurship the basics of how to develop a business idea. Students complete 12 credits of entrepreneur coursework plus the business college’s 31-credit BUSCORE, the common body of coursework required of all business students. One of the major differences between the minor and the major, according to Hughes, is that students in the minor don’t take Management 471, the entrepreneur program’s capstone course. It is in this course that students work with Hughes and the program’s executives-in-residence to develop their business plans.

Students approve of the changes to the Entrepreneur program.

“New courses are more focused on individual needs, giving students more control over their education,” according to Jared Neumann, senior management-entrepreneur student.

Information about the revised major and new minor can be found on the entrepreneur website at www.uwec.edu/cob/departments/management_marketing/entrepreneur/.

Students can also contact Dr. Ray Hughes, director, at hughesrk@uwec.edu.

New Entrepreneur Resource Center, New Student Organization

Students in the Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneur program can now work on their business plans in the new Heyde Resource Center, located on the third floor of Schneider Hall. The room, which was funded by a gift from Dennis L. Heyde, is equipped with three large plug-in monitors, a dedicated CPU for unique software, and a library featuring specialized printed documents and DVDs.

A chapter of Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization (CEO), the international organization for college entrepreneurs, has been formed at UW-Eau Claire. Members of the new UW-Eau Claire organization recently attended the National CEO Conference, a 2-˝ day event attended by more than 1,600 students, faculty, and others interested in entrepreneurship. Over 80 entrepreneurs and business leaders shared their ideas and expertise with students on topics such as how they launched their businesses and the lessons they’ve learned. The Eau Claire chapter of CEO meets every other Tuesday. For more information, contact Melissa Abts, Eau Claire CEO chapter president, at abtsmr@uwec.edu.


Stevie Boettcher Jeff Bursik Devan Gonyea Kayla Hensley Daniel J. Kruswicki

From left to right: Stevie Boettcher is a business administration major from Chippewa Falls, WI; Jeff Bursik is an information systems business analysis major from Woodbury, MN; Devan Gonyea is an accounting major from Sparta, WI; Kayla Hensley is an accounting major from Delavan, WI; and Daniel J. Kruswicki is an economics major from Whitehall, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Writing class.

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News around Schneider

Calling All Entrepreneurs—Test Your Business Idea, Find Resource at the Idea Challenge

Idea Challenge

The Idea Challenge is a call to entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, and anyone with a new innovative product or technology idea. It is an opportunity to engage your idea in the development process. Local, regional, state, and federal dollars are available that can allow you to start or continue research and development for your idea; the Idea Challenge can help you access those resources.

» View Idea Challenge pdf for more information.

The Idea Challenge is a program of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation. Partnering agencies and sponsors include Charter Bank, City of Eau Claire, RCU, UW-Eau Claire Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneur Program, and Western Dairyland.

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