UMBC Brings Entrepreneurship to the Classroom

UMBC is known for innovation in education. Now, a couple of faculty members are taking that one step further and are teaching students to become entrepreneurs.

Baltimore Business Journal reporter, Sarah Gantz wrote about the class in the October 5, issue.

Gantz writes, “Two faculty members are developing a course for the school that would establish partnerships with businesses and nonprofit organizations to bring real-life problems to the classroom for students to solve by developing a product or service. William LaCourse, dean of UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; and Gib Mason, co-founder of wraparound-earmuff company 180s Inc.”

She writes that, “The faculty members say the course is meant to offer students a hands-on experience with business implications beyond their grade point average, provide students who lack internship experience an opportunity to interact with businesses and establish a relationship with the business community that could lead to future jobs or internships.”

This course is still under development but she writes,

“The course would be modeled after a current class Mason teaches. In that class, students each come up with a product or service — some ideas from this semester include a knife with a safety sheaf, a mobile application that helps students navigate campus and a service to help find lost cellphones. They whittle down those ideas to one and spend the remainder of the semester working together to bring the product to market.”

Students love the course and Gantz reports that, Josh Massey, a 32 year old junior in the class says that, “Gib has a way of teaching you how to think, not what to think.”

So how does it end? “Mason said the course, which is not offered every semester, has developed a waiting list. Businesses may also be lining up to get in the future class.”