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Posted 4.1.09

The entrepreneurship program at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and six other higher education entrepreneurship centers created the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium in Northeast Ohio to avoid brain drain and stimulate economic growth. They are again recruiting third- and fourth-year college students to participate in a free program this summer.

The consortium -- comprised of Ashland, Baldwin Wallace, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, John Carroll and Kent State Universities -- will select students from any discipline throughout their universities to participate in an intensive week-long entrepreneurship academy during this summer from August 9-14, 2009.

The students will learn about various aspects of developing new businesses from creating a new enterprise and new product development, seeking opportunities, obtaining financing, marketing, operations, to understanding legal and ethical issues.

“Our goal is to develop entrepreneurs who will remain in the region after graduation. These students will form new enterprises, create new jobs for the labor force, and generate new economic activity,” said Scott Fine, professor for the practice of banking and finance at the Weatherhead School and Case’s liaison to the consortium.

The students will live in a dormitory for a week and will immerse themselves in topics and share information with each other. They will form teams and create a new product or service throughout the week and present it to a team of judges. The second annual event will take place at John Carroll University.

According to Fine, “This is a significant step forward for the region and our programs. We are not aware of another university or region that has done something of this magnitude.” He added, “It shows collaboration and regionalism, which is what this region needs to survive.”

The initiative draws from and integrates students from all over the university so they can share their expertise with each other. A team of five and two alternates will be chosen to represent Case. “As a group, we realized that we can accomplish much more together than individually,” said Fine.

In addition to entrepreneurship workshop, the students will participate in a variety of activities in the evening such as going to an Indians game. Students will have ample opportunities to network and meet a variety of leading entrepreneurs and businesspeople from the community to help them jumpstart their new businesses.

“The economic future of our region will be shaped by students like these. The selected students will return to their home institutions, ready to start the academic year with new knowledge, new skills, and new attitudes about entrepreneurial opportunities here in Northeast Ohio,” stated Fine.

"Past year's team from Case included students from Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Weatherhead.  Before the event, they didn't know each other.  During the week, they lived together in a dorm and immersed themselves in various aspects of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship," said Fine. For more information on the winning team and their business, visit www.freshforkmarket.com.

To be eligible, students must be entering their junior or senior year in any major. The experience is free for students and includes tuition, room and board. Admission fees and textbooks will be provided. The application deadline is April 24. Download the application form

For more information click here or contact Scott Fine at 216-368-0909 or scott.fine@case.edu. Or, contact Jim Hurley, assistant dean, undergraduate and integrated studies at 216-368-3856 or james.hurley@case.edu.

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