Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Detroit Lakes, MN
This article represents number three in a series of four chronicling the relationship between MSCTC- Detroit Lakes, Business and Entrepreneurial Services and the University of North Dakota (UND). For those of you new to this series, the partnership was formed to develop and strengthen entrepreneurial services in West-central Minnesota. The collaboration is now one year old and has played a valuable role in enhancing services and resources for our students and communities.
In the initial stages of our collaboration, we literally asked UND for any assistance that could aid our efforts. As our vision coalesced and as entrepreneurship moved further to the forefront in the area, we collectively determined best fits for synergy and joint ventures.
We pointed to several distinct examples that illustrate the entrepreneurial spirit and successes in the region that we believe any community college can attain with the appropriate effort.
- Securing significant grant funding for startup purposes
- Providing stellar entrepreneurship presentations by well-known, successful entrepreneurs
- Initiating non-credit instruction offerings (via Kauffman’s Planning the Entrepreneurial Venturetm) in Detroit Lakes and surrounding communities
- Developing an AAS Business Entrepreneurship Degree (starting class of 22 students)
- Expanding partnerships with regional Chambers of Commerce, Economic Developers, SBDC, SCORE, and business and industry to leverage capital, resources and services
- Recruiting a superlative and influential advisory board including David W. Anderson, Founder of Famous Dave’s Restaurants and Key Lime Cove Resort
- As we continued to meet with counterparts at the university, we settled on the following shared efforts:
- Matching curriculum - UND graciously shared existing curriculum in an effort to create transparency and articulation opportunities for seamless transfer.
- Shared course offering - The two institutions agreed to offer Imagination, Creativity, and Entrepreneurial Thinking, ENTR 266 and 366, concurrently.
- Entrepreneur Boot Camps - UND offers summer camps to area college students; MSCTC- DL will begin to offer similar camps to area middle and high school students.
- Marketing – MSCTC-DL has developed several promotional and advertising media including a 15- minute infomercial in which UND faculty and staff offered testimonies.
- Business Plan Competitions – MSCTC-DL faculty and staff have participated in the judging of UND competitions and UND will reciprocate.
- Inoneweekend.org – Jeff Stamp, UND Entrepreneurship faculty, has led and participated in successful joint startup ventures through this organization. MSCTC-DL is currently making preparations to deliver such a venture in Detroit Lakes.
These cooperative developments have led to stimulating opportunities for area entrepreneurs. This fall, MSCTC-DL will host UND faculty and staff presentations on Angel Investor Networks and a kick-off meeting with potential investors to launch a regional network based in Detroit Lakes. Plans to develop a business incubator to include student ventures are on track to open in the fall of 2009. We have also had enthusiastic conversations regarding the potential for developing a Minnesota Entrepreneurship Conference.
For us at MSCTC-DL, the partnership with UND has been truly beneficial. We continue to realize the mutual benefit for both institutions, especially the broadening of services, resources and opportunities for students, community members and future entrepreneurs in Detroit Lakes and surrounding area.