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Entrepreneurship - Undergraduate Programs


The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 1984. One of the first university-based centers for entrepreneurship, the center is one of the few to consistently maintain top tier ranking status. The Center houses the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, a year-long program open to undergraduate and graduate students from across the university.


Expected Learning Outcomes: 
  • McGuire students have launched over 200 businesses
  • Program has been ranked in top 5% since inception in all rankings.
  • Program has advanced in rankings every year during explosive growth in entrepreneurship education, lending significantly higher weight to rankings.

The McGuire Entrepreneurship Program curriculum is organized around the Outcome Benchmarks listed below.  Over the course of the academic year, course materials, activities, events, and assignments are targeted toward ensuring students develop knowledge and skills in these areas.  With respect to annual assessment, toward the end of each academic year (mid-April), we bring in external experts from programs around the country to assess the program based on these benchmarks.

 1.       Executive Summary:    Students are able to concisely articulate the opportunity, including problem, target population, and proposed solution, including social and / or economic value.          

2.       Problem:  Students demonstrate full knowledge and understanding of the problem, the population it affects, the costs (capital and other) to both individual consumers and to related institutions.

3.       Customer:  Venture identifies range of customers and their relationship to problem being addressed, willingness and ability to acquire the venture solution.

4.       Solution:  Solution proposed solves the problem, and does so in a cost effective, efficient manner that is accessible and acceptable to the target population.

5.       Alternate Valuation:  Solution proposed solves the problem in such a way that alternative value that runs concurrent with economic/monetary value is created and distributed to consumers/target market

6.       Business Model:  Students demonstrate knowledge of how to create a viable, competitive, business model, including understanding of implications of revenue generation on the venture’s overall business structure.

7.       Scope and Scale: Students demonstrate the knowledge of how to accurately determine, assess, implement, and sustain the scope of operation forecasted 5 year value growth of their business.

8.       Industry and Environment:  Students can fluently address economic, environmental, and industry implications within the context of business plan execution, fund raising, and launch activities.

9.       Competitive Advantage:  Students demonstrate a clear and accurate understanding of what sufficiently differentiates their business in a manner that enables the reaching of financial goals, creates value for the target customer and protects the market position.

10.   Marketing:  Students have created a marketing plan both necessary and sufficient to reach the target market and enable sales adequate to reach financial goals.

11.   Sales:  Venture incorporates an appropriate sales process and tracks results of sales initiatives.  Venture team and design have ability to adjust forecasts based on actual results and modify strategies to address changes in customer preferences and needs

12.   Operations:  Venture documents the processes necessary to produce and distribute products/services to customers on time and within budget.

13.   Team:  Venture team demonstrates necessary skills and knowledge to execute all aspects of venture either through key team composition or combined with outside resources.

14.   Status Timeline:  Venture timeline is realistic, indicating full understanding of market and product development activities’ launch, and funding rounds. Team members can respond to investors’ questions about milestones and fluently adapt and discuss adjustments to address investor concerns.

15.   Financial Pro Formas:  Pro formas are dynamic, accurately reflecting the status of the venture at any point in development or execution; Students demonstrate clear understanding that pro formas are fluid and dynamic and need to reflect venture status at any time.

16.   Summary Conclusions: Summary presents a clear and logical statement of future directions and goals for business expansion and development.

17.   Funding Considerations, Models, and Proposals:  Students present realistic plan for raising capital that recognizes the needs of both the venture and the investor.  Students fully understand a term sheet, its content, its role and, and its impact on venture and founders. Students have formulated a worst case term sheet for negotiation purposes.  Term sheet is appropriate to venture.

18.   Appendices:  Appendices contain all relevant information to support business plan.

19.   Integration and Logic:  Students demonstrate knowledge of how to edit a business plan for clarity and conciseness     


Assessment Activities: 


 For the 2011-12 academic year assessment. Academic Review assessment presentations were held on Thursday, April 12th and Friday, April 13, 2012 in McClelland Hall, Room 113.

Each of McGuire’s 22 student teams gave a formal 15 minute presentation to external reviewers, with 10 minutes of question and answer following. The teams were evaluated against the Benchmark standards listed above.

 Review panel

The review panel consisted of three professionals with expertise in university based entrepreneurship education, mainstream entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital, technology commercialization, and leadership: 

·         Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Michael G. Foster Business School, University of Washington

·         John Cooper, Director, Innovation Center, Tecnologico de Monterrey

·         Stephen O’Neil, PhD MBA, Director, Office of Technology Development, The Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO 64108

Benchmark 17 was disregarded because it references written material not presented in the oral presentation and, consequently, judges were unable to reliably score that benchmark.  The reviewers rated each team on the remaining 18 benchmark outcomes described above using the following three item rating scale:  “Yes” indicated the team met the benchmark, “No” indicated the team did not meet the benchmark, and “Undetermined” met the reviewer was unable to determine from the presentation whether or not the team met the benchmark.  “Undetermined” ratings were usually accompanied by an explanatory note from the reviewer.  


Results indicated that the teams largely met the benchmarks.  The average number of “no” ratings per team was 2 out of 54 possible ratings (range = 0-13; median = 2; mode = 1).  The average number of “yes” ratings per team was 35 (range = 23-51; median = 35; mode = 30), and the average number of “undetermined” ratings was 16 (range = 4-31; median = 15; mode = 10).



Updated date: Thu, 12/20/2012 - 08:42