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UM System Entrepreneurial Scholars & Interns Program

Why is the University interested in startup businesses?

One strategic theme of The University of Missouri’s research strategy is to grow our own entrepreneurial communities in and across the state.  This program is an action aimed at doing just this by increasing the number of students who upon graduation will become entrepreneurs. To be successful these graduates must have the necessary knowledge and experience to become immediate members of our entrepreneurial community here in Missouri.

The goal is to create a steady stream of entrepreneurs around the state who will take research and new ideas for the University of Missouri and other institutions of higher education to the market as new venture businesses. By creating a wave of new, well-educated entrepreneurs in Missouri, we will benefit the economy of this state, the region and, ultimately, the nation.

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What are the features of the program?

Beginning Spring 2015 the University of Missouri System will provide UM System Entrepreneurial Scholarships and Internships for 12 undergraduate students per year selected from across the System’s four campuses.

Entrepreneurs are people who have high energy, who work hard and whose efforts pay off not just for themselves, but also for others, namely their employees.  Therefore, for students participating in the program who are willing to invest the extra effort necessary to take entrepreneurship courses to enhance their educational preparation, then the UM System will underwrite the cost of the extra tuition and fees for them. 

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Why should I apply?

The benefits of the program include:

  • UM System will cover the tuition costs of the courses in entrepreneurship for each student in the program.
  • Students selected will be provided with summer internships, so that they may begin to work on their own startup companies, or to work side by side with entrepreneurs in new venture companies in Missouri.
  • Each student will be provided a $4,000 stipend for the 10-week summer Internship.
  • Access to university incubators, other approved facilities around the state, and mentors.
  • There will be ample networking opportunities with established entrepreneurs
  • Students will receive a certification of completion affirming that they have received the necessary education as well as hands-on experience to implement the practices of a successful entrepreneur

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Who is eligible?

Eligible students:

  • may be from any major, so long as they are in good standing with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better over a minimum of 30 credit hours,
  • must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in each of the entrepreneurial courses
  • and must be able to do a 10-week summer internship working on their own startup companies or working alongside an entrepreneur in an existing startup company.

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How do I apply?

Complete the application and following materials:

  1. Letter of intent stating why you want to be a UM System Entrepreneurial Scholar and Intern
  2. Two letters of recommendation from an academic advisor, faculty member or entrepreneurial mentor
  3. An official copy of your transcript
  4. A copy of your résumé

Submit your application packet to: Academic Affairs 309 University Hall, Columbia, MO 65211

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When is the deadline to apply?

Spring 2015 Deadline: November 1, 2014

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How much will it cost me?

The University of Missouri System will defray the cost of tuition and fees for 9 to 12 hours of entrepreneurial coursework.

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What courses can I take?

As as Entrepreneurial Scholar, you will be required to take one foundation course in entrepreneurship and your choice of two to three electives for a total of 9 - 12 hours.  Courses will be available online via UMKC. Continue to check back here for an expanded course list including courses taught in-person on other UM campuses. If your home campus offers entrepreneurial courses you may mix and match your courses from the approved list of courses.

Approved List of Courses

Required Courses (3 Credits) (select from one of the following)

  • ENT 215/315: Introduction to Entrepreneurship - This course introduces students to the excitement and challenges of building their own businesses. It focuses on identifying and evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as identifying what it takes to get a new venture off the ground. The course is enriched with real-life examples, including case studies of start-ups and personal stories from local entrepreneurs. The instructor emphasizes active, hands-on learning; additionally, student teams will get a taste for starting and running a company through a computerized business simulation.

Elective I (3 Credits) (select one of the following)

  • ENT 327: Creating the New Venture: Experiential Learning - This course guides students through the process, experiences, and requirements for creating a new venture and planning for operations up to the point of securing customers and generating first revenues. Key course actions include developing a business plan for the new venture, examining the initial steps for start-up and operational launch, and preparing for securing of customers/revenues. Prerequisites: ENT 201, ENT 215, ENT 301, or ENT 315.
  • ENT 328: Creating the E-Business Experiential Learning - This course guides students through the process, experiences, and requirements for creating a new online venture and planning for operations up to the point of securing customers and generating first revenues. Key course actions include developing a business plan for the new venture, examining the initial steps for start-up and operational launch, and preparing for securing of customers revenues. Prerequisites: ENT 201, ENT 215, ENT 301, or ENT 315.
  • ENT 361: New Product Development - This course introduces students to a formal process used to develop new products and services. Throughout the process, students learn how an abstract idea can be transformed into concrete product concepts that will in turn be translated into tangible working prototypes.
  • (UMSL Students Only) MGMT 4614: Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management - Prerequisite: BUS AD 2900, FINANCE 3500, MKTG 3700, MGMT 3600, and a 2.0 overall GPA. This integrative general management course is designed to communicate the academic principles of business management applicable to solving of problems of small and medium-size businesses and assist in their development. This course will provide a background in the forms of business, the development of business plans and systems integration, venture capital, accounting, procurement, promotion, financing, distribution and negotiations for initial organization, and operation and expansion of the firm. 

Elective II (3 Credits) (select one of the following)

  • ENT 332: Managing the New Venture: Experiential Learning - In this course, students will acquire the skill sets needed to manage and grow a successful new venture, and will actually manage a new enterprise. Prerequisites: ENT 327 or ENT 328.
  • ENT 364: Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation - Students are exposed to the unique entrepreneurial experience of conceiving, evaluating, creating, managing, and eventually selling a business. The goal is to provide a comprehensive background with practical application of important concepts applicable to an entrepreneurial environment. Key business areas of finance, accounting, marketing, and management will be addressed from an entrepreneurial perspective.
  • ENT 412: Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital Investment - This course examines the financing and valuation of new ventures from the perspectives of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The focus is on financial thinking, tools, and techniques that are relevant for seeking new venture financing and making investment decisions. The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in startup companies, venture capital, or private equity firms.
  • ENT 425: Corporate Entrepreneurship - Students receive an introduction to the field of corporate entrepreneurship, including the effectiveness of different models of corporate entrepreneurship. Specific topics include the creation of an entrepreneurial culture within the organization, the translation of opportunities into attractive corporate investments, corporate venturing, and the role of venture champions.

Approved list of courses will expand as more offerings become available.

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What is the internship for?

The internship program allows a student to work in an entrepreneurial environment. The purposes of the internship are to:

  • Gain a first-hand working knowledge of an entrepreneurial firm.
  • Apply the academic foundations provided in the classroom and other life experiences to the challenges found in entrepreneurial firms.
  • Reinforce general business and management knowledge; gain a greater understanding of one or more specific areas in entrepreneurship; and reinforce, reveal, and improve individual weaknesses.
  • Sharpen professional skills, including the following: ability to work cooperatively with others; motivation; ethics; professional conduct; communication; and additional skills required for success in business.

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For questions contact Jana Moore at moorejan@umsystem.edu.


Reviewed 2014-10-02.