A WMU-LHC Study in the States Course

[ the course is finished for the Spring 2015 semester, however, you can read blog posts from the students about their activities related to the course during the semester | #wmuusc on social media – twitter ]

Course: Understanding Startup Communities

Learn AND experience what cities are doing to foster startups in their environment. Compare those environments with Kalamazoo’s startup scene.

Overview of the Course

The purpose of the course is to expose students to communities that have allowed high technology startup companies (new firms) to thrive in recent decades. This is accomplished by traveling to various cities in the United States: Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. [ attitudinal trips were added — to the Lowe Foundation and to Cincinnati ]

During the trips, students will be able to engage with individuals in various organizations that have fostered a culture that allows entrepreneurial and innovative activities to happen. Students will meet with entrepreneurs (founders of startups), employees of startups, investors in startups (venture capitalists, angel investors), as well as administrators of accelerators / incubators and government officials.

By meeting the people and experiencing the environment in the cities they visit, students will be able to increase their understanding of what makes startup communities thrive. Using the knowledge they garner from the trips, students will be able to compare the startup communities they visit with Kalamazoo’s startup community.

This course is part of Western Michigan University‘s Lee Honor College‘s Study in the States program.


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