Tuesdays 3:00 – 6:00 pm, Fall 2020
Are you seeking ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in meaningful ways? In this interactive online project-based course you will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop entrepreneurial responses to current social and environmental problems while developing the tools, mindsets, and skills that can help you be a leader in addressing any complex grand challenge. Projects may focus on food insecurity, unemployment, housing, environmental impacts, equity issues and/or other issues that are emerging as central concerns at this time.
Community members locally and globally will serve as mentors and research consultants to teams, and we will have weekly speakers who will share their entrepreneurial and innovative work to serve the common good. By the end of the class students will have a well-designed venture plan and will be well-prepared to compete for venture funding through Acara (acara.umn.edu) if you are interested in piloting your idea.
Students are expected to use a discovery process, design thinking, ideation and input from field research in solving the challenge. A primary focus of the course is up-front work to identify the “right” problem to solve. The model should be built around the community’s culture, needs and wants, as they will need to pay for the product or service to achieve a scalable model.
This course is part of the University’s new, innovative Grand Challenge Curriculum.