The University of Massachusetts Boston has launched the UMass Boston Entrepreneurship Center, where its students can learn the ropes of starting their own businesses, according to the center’s founding director, Dan Phillips.
The center will be run out of UMass Boston’s College of Management and is intended to complement the college’s recently added specialization in entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Center will hold workshops, offer networking events and provide mentoring from working entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Phillips said.
In the specialization, as well as in the Entrepreneurship Center, students will learn prototyping, market research and financial planning in a controlled setting. Phillips will teach Entrepreneurship Practicum, one of the two classes required for the specialization. The other, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, will be taught by Benyamin Lichtenstein.
Phillips, the former CEO of SilverBack Technologies and former COO of Concord Communications, said he’d been looking for a way to leverage his contacts in the business and venture capital communitues to help UMass students, who he said tended to be the kind of people he liked to hire – they handle adversity well and don’t have a sense of entitlement.
“They just do whatever they have to do,” he said.
Last year, UMass Boston launched the Venture Development Center, a startup incubator housing companies including Pressure BioSciences Inc. and GeoMed Analytical LLC. The VDC is aimed at outsiders who want to take advantage of a working space with the additional resources of the college and its student population. Phillips, who is also entrepreneur-in-residence at the VDC, said that’s where the “real deal” entrepreneurship is practiced.
“The clock is ticking, the money’s being spent,” he said.
The Entrepreneurship Center is designed to be the middle ground between school and the business world, Phillips said. “Then we’ll push them out into the real world or they can move into the VDC.”