Entrepreneurship at MCLA

Entrepreneurship is the act of creating a new company (non-profit or for profit) in response to an opportunity.

MCLA currently offers several curricular and co-curricular programs designed to help students design and implement new companies around solutions to problems and challenges found in the marketplace. 

Entrepreneurship Minor

Beginning in September 2018, MCLA will offer an Entrepreneurship Minor. Housed in the Department of Business Administration, this 18-credit academic program is designed to introduce students to the concept of entrepreneurship as a means of economic and community development, as well an engine for social good.

The coursework introduces students to prevalent frameworks for new business creation, such as the Lean Methodology and Design Thinking, while providing project-based experiences that help them turn ideas into actionable business plans.

The required courses are:

  • LEAD 200: Introduction to Leadership
  • BADM 270: Marketing
  • ENTR 210: Principles of Entrepreneurship
  • BADM 395: Accounting for Entrepreneurs OR
    • BADM 340: Financial Management 
  • BADM 367: Small Business Entrepreneurship
  • ENTR 510: Entrepreneurial Studies Seminar

The Entrepreneurship Minor is open to students of all majors. If interested, contact Dr. Tom Whalen at t.whalen@mcla.edu.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge

A student-centered business plan competition for undergraduates. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge is a ten-week co-curricular program that coaches students through business plan development from idea inception to implementation. Students from all departments are encouraged to participate. For example: ideas that include innovative products, services, events, exhibitions, concerts and social enterprises where students explore taking the idea forward. Independent study credit can be arranged.

Weekly Topics include:

  • Lean Business Overview: View the Problem, Solution, Customers, Costs & Revenues
  • Problem/Solution Fit: Clarify the problem and create a solution
  • Financial Budgeting: Create a projected budget
  • Go-to-Market Planning: Develop customer awareness to customer loyalty strategies
  • Business Plan Writing: Compile a roadmap
  • Pitch Development & Delivery: Build presentation confidence
  • Learn how to develop realistic assumptions that describe your idea

Along the way students can meet with business and non-profit mentors, as well as the MCLA alumni network. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge culminates in a pitch competition, the winner of which receives $10,000 in seed funding, and a paid internship that best fits the needs of the awardee.

If interested in learning more about or participating in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit www.mcla.edu/mybigidea or contact Amy Shapiro, Entrepreneur in Residence, Amy.Shapiro@mcla.edu

Business Bootcamp

In conjunction with the region's leading economic development agency, 1Berkshire, MCLA is proud to offer the Business Bootcamp.

Begun in 2016, the Business Bootcamp aims to provide entrepreneurship education to aspiring entrepreneurs within the Berkshire County community. The Business Bootcamp is five-week program offering twice weekly workshops on topics pertinent to business development, including:

  • Design Thinking
  • Lean Methodology
  • Accounting
  • Financial Modeling
  • Go-to-Market Planning
  • Accounting
  • Pitch Development & Delivery

The Business Bootcamp runs annually in the Spring at 1Berkshire's offices in Pittsfield. If interested contact Tara Barboza at tara.barboza@mcla.edu or Amy Shapiro at Amy.Shapiro@mcla.edu.