The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation supports the [cube] and is uniquely positioned to facilitate early ideation and usher emerging entrepreneurs toward the Attman Hatchery, where access to additional resources becomes available and helps dreamers become entrepreneurs. As a peer-to-peer structured organization, the [cube] plays a critical role at the front end of the entrepreneurial continuum; students will learn how to go from napkin to plan, rigorously vet ideas, strengthen a business pitch, compete in a funding arena, network among peers, and toughen the skin. Members will also learn how Boards operate, and be exposed to mentoring opportunities.
The Coalition of University of Baltimore Entrepreneurs, or the [cube], is a student run organization engaged in venture creation.
The following is a list of the [cube]'s activities comprising early ideation and venture exploration at UB.
On the Boards
On the Boards invites the club's members into the world of corporate governance, fiduciary responsibilities, by-laws, power structures, and board room dynamics. Through a sequence of meetings over the course of the semester, the coalition's members will learn to lead, secure, collaborate with, dissent from, and demystify what happens behind closed doors. Whether heading toward a nonprofit leadership position, or climbing the corporate ladder, students are going to encounter a Board. On the Boards will prepare students for that moment.
Entrepreneurship Center in concert with the [cube], will host a “kitchen table session” where the musings of dreamers can begin to find structure. Each session takes a look at a contemporaneous problem, and invites a roundtable exchange of potential solutions. Participants will engage rudimentary concept mapping, and learn how to structure a collaborative process in early ideation. Attending and leading Back-of-the-Napkin activities strengthens one’s eligibility to be named into the Attman Hatchery.
Throughout the year, the CEI in concert with the the [cube] will host three to four networking events to benefit emerging entrepreneurs from among the student and alumni population. These events will include casual gatherings as well as structured activities around speed networking, working the room, and the art of diplomacy. These events will also help stage several rounds of a venture pitch leading toward the business plan competition planned for each April. They will prove invaluable as a means to identify potential team members.
Idea Gauntlet: Peer to peer ideation stage
Borrowing from the ancient practice of a group flogging, and recognizing that the development of a good idea is iterative in nature, the Gauntlet offers an intensive, structured, peer-to-peer process for rejecting every venture idea that comes to the table. Emerging entrepreneurs will face teams of trained peers in the huddle room of the CEI. After taking the opportunity to present their venture idea, a panel of peers will deconstruct the concept to amplify points of weakness, ambiguities, and all the failings of a half-baked idea. Everyone will leave the Gauntlet bruised. It’s an essential rite of passage in becoming an expert entrepreneur.
Peer to peer due diligence for venture funding
As ideas move from the Napkin to the Gauntlet and entrepreneurs emerge from the Hatchery and prepare for the marketplace, there is no doubt they will confront the funding barrier. When savings is gone, the three “Fs” - friends, family and fools - will be among the second source of funding. Their wellspring may be shallow, too. Among the more ambitious plans for the CEI is the creation of a venture fund. In the days ahead, teams of qualified students will join members of the Advisory Board to make decisions to invest in student and alumni-based ventures. This activity will provide real-life, practical experience for evaluating funding decisions.
The [cube] is also instrumental in hosting the series of venture pitches across campus.