My blogging frequency has dropped significantly because in January I became the associate director of the new UMass Amherst Isenberg Center for Entrepreneurship. It is so new that it is technically provisional and doesn’t even have a website yet! But for the past few months I have been running an experimental intro to entrepreneurship course, creating a venture mentoring program for UMass students & alumni modeled after Valley Venture Mentors, expanding the UMass EI flagship 1-credit class, and a half dozen other interesting mini-projects. Wha who!
For more than ten years my fellow UMass EI co-directors and I, with the help of the BDIC department, have used increadibly meager resources (all volunteer labor for instance!) to created three courses that have had (and continue to have) a significant impact at a 30,000+ student school. The UMass EI was also the birthplace of Valley Venture Mentors, which is setting the pioneer valley entrepreneurship ecosystem on fire (I am biased :)). Not too shabby for an all-volunteer effort!
With the creation of the new Center, funded by the Isenberg School of Management, there are finally resources to achieve some of the dreams many of us have had for UMass for many years.
The new position is half time, so I continue to serve as executive director of Valley Venture Mentors and as Manager of my angel group the River Valley Investors in the other half. I sadly had to step down from a number of exciting positions to make room, but I believe it will prove well worth it.