Summer Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA)
The Summer Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA), an 8-week course on entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz over the two summer sessions, held its final class August 5. Co-taught by CIED Director Sue Carter and Nada Miljkovic, instructor at Crown College, SEA is based on Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad and the NSF I-Corps program and focuses on both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Students built teams consisting of one or more students as entrepreneurial leads and were tasked with "getting out of the building" to interview at least five potential customers each week. Based on feedback, they adjusted and honed their business value propositions. Some individuals and teams worked with business mentors. Students prepared weekly slide decks based on the lessons learned from the customer discovery and presented these during the week-ending webinars. The first on-site, all-day, kick-off workshop for SEA on Monday, June 20, 2016, at NextSpace in downtown Santa Cruz was a grand success! CIED and SEA thank our three entrepreneur panelists at this workshop:
- Kyle Mulroe (BS Marine Biology 2016), Santa's Flask
- David Silverglate (BS Physics 1979), Thoughtfull Toys/Modarri Cars
- Sukhmeet Singh (TIM Major), Code Naturally
The last class on August 5 met onsite at NextSpace, and the students practiced and put finishing touches on their final presentations. Kyle Mulroe returned to hear these final presentations and was joined by John Guenther, San Jose State University professor and San Francisco Academy of Arts instructor of design studies and business owner of John Guenther Design. The business teams demonstrated much progress from their first class to this last, with several pivoting to different ideas and deciding the moment is not yet right for them to pursue the business. Congratulations to all SEA students for successful completion of the course!