CU Denver faculty has discussed efforts to encourage millennial students, who have shown to be more risk-averse, to engage in entrepreneurship. Madhavan Parthasarathy, director of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, discussed resources the center offers to students, such as providing mentors, networks and the fundamentals to starting a business.

He also outlined the Launchpad Certificate Program, which enrolls non-degree-seeking students in five courses that give them the fundamentals to start their own business or contribute an entrepreneurial perspective to an existing organization. Students completing the certificate are able to enroll and apply the coursework toward a bachelor degree program at a later time.

“We need to help students to start looking at entrepreneurship as a skill,” said Parthasarathy, who also emphasized that breaking down programs into deliverables such as the certificate could help them see the value of a program. “Currently, many understand entrepreneurship as starting a business; when it is instead construed as a set of knowledge and skills, it can have a great impact in the workplace.”

Jung Park, graduate of the Business School’s MBA Program, faculty member in the Jake Jabs Center and founder of MetroBoom, noted that many of his students are unable to articulate what achieving success means to them and that it is something he encourages them to define. Park suggested that messages on the importance of entrepreneurship and brand should speak to students’ own perception of what is valuable.

“We need to spend time defining what value means on a personal brand level,” Park said. “Then find out the best way to communicate value and that it is worth their time and their money.”

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