Course will take students from idea to business in one semester

A new course to help students launch their business or nonprofit in one semester will be offered this spring by the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation.

INV 471 StartUp Lab, led by Veena Dinesh, director of business incubation at the Foster Center, will create a cohort of UMaine student entrepreneurs passionate to make their mark in the business world. Weekly labs will tackle a business topic and provide structured group coaching to communicate ideas, test them in the real world, and prepare student entrepreneurs to launch their ventures. Students will be matched to mentors on campus, and be exposed to workshops and learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

The three-credit course is open to students who have a business idea and are committed to testing and launching a scalable business. Students may participate individually or in teams of up to four people.

Course admission is by online application; a selection committee reviews and selects participants based on the potential of their ideas and the commitment of the team members. Selected students are then registered by permission only for the course. Interested students should add the course to their spring 2018 wish list.

StartUp Lab is part of the Foster Center’s Innovation Engineering course offerings.

The Foster Center for Student Innovation is dedicated to helping students and community members develop a mindset and skill set for creating, testing and achieving ideas. The center provides free business coaching to anyone with a business idea, operates a student business incubator, offers academic courses in Innovation Engineering, and manages the Innovate for Maine Fellows Program, a statewide college internship program focused on innovation.

To apply for INV 471, go online or call the center, 581.1454.