The leadership at the UVU Woodbury School of Business is constantly on the lookout for ways to help their students succeed in the classroom. But even more importantly, they are committed to helping its students succeed in the real world.
When Dean Norm Wright realized that many students had great business ideas but no time to bring them to life, he had a great idea: a summer program that would teach business fundamentals and culminate in helping driven students make strong business connections.
Within a few months, the Launch & Accelerate program was born. The 11-week program included 10 weeks of classes and 1 week of building. Local business mentor and serial entrepreneur Ralph Little led the effort.
Enrollment Doubles Expectations
The program was a roaring success from the start, explained UVU Entrepreneurship Director Mark Seastrand.
He had expected 12 or 13 students to apply, and got twice that. The success continued as the students kept attending the weekly classes and growing in confidence.
This week, the 18 students made it to the finish line and participated in a final pitch event at RevRoad HQ.
Many of the students started out with little confidence in their ability.
“I’m pretty excited about them,” Seastrand said. What was really interesting is a lot of these are non-business students who just have a passion for their ideas. To see them get up and pitch their businesses was really rewarding.”
Each of the students who pitched at RevRoad had an ask for the investors and mentors in attendance, even though some had only decided on a business idea a few weeks ago. The needed connections, formal mentorship, money for marketing and sales leads, and help with finding talent, explained RevRoad Executive Director Amy Caldwell.
“It was fun,” she added. “You could tell they were nervous but they were super excited. They had a whole new level of confidence compared to when we saw their videos at the beginning of the 12 weeks.
Seastrand was very pleased with the success of Launch & Accelerate, and hopes to continue it next year. The university will conduct follow-up surveys of the students and investors who participated as part of the Wolverine Fund.
Growing Partnership Between RevRoad and UVU
“Mark has done a great job in bringing the different departments together at the university, and the pitch event was proof of his success,” Caldwell said, beaming. “We are so grateful to him for helping build the relationship between RevRoad and UVU, and we’re excited to grow the partnership in the future.”
The Next Step for Entrepreneurs? RevUp!
Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, who has an idea, wants an idea, or better yet, knows of a problem that could be turned into successful startup, is welcome to attend RevRoad’s free classes, RevUp! RevRoad team members lead a weekly workshop, and class members get help and education during every step of their journey toward startup traction. Contact RevRoad Analyst Seth Robinson for details.