Entrepreneurial Program at UMSL: Preparing Students for Success

By: Isela Sanchez

UMSL Business’s podcasting series “In Your Business” always wants to expand knowledge to students by providing guest speakers with an amazing teaching capacity and insightful ideas. For the latest podcast we interviewed Dan Lauer, Chris Miller and Alex Zwibleman, who are all part of the UMSL Business Entrepreneurial program. They talked about the basics, history, future, and what the Entrepreneurial program can do for business students alike.
Dan Lauer is the Founding Executive Director of UMSL Accelerate and Founder of his company, Lauer Toys, Inc., which produces Waterbabies®. Chris Miller is the Founder and CEO of The Mission Center L3C, who serves as Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship at UMSL. Finally, the last guest speaker is a student from UMSL, Alex Zwibleman, who is majoring in Business Management and who is taking part in the UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneurial Program.
Dan Lauer began the interview by explaining what UMSL Accelerate is and what it does. First, he talked about the vision of the program, about its potential to be an entrepreneurial center that will become award-winning and nationally recognized, and in what way it will foster innovation. He also explained what UMSL Accelerate 3 pillars, namely, “Educate, Innovate, and Engage”, stand for. Business Entrepreneurial program at UMSL is part of the “Educate” pillar.
Chris Miller provided some insight on how the courses of the Business Entrepreneurial program are developed. He mentioned that the courses are developed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs: They are designed to teach things that he and other entrepreneurs wish had been taught earlier to save their time, money and energy. These courses are designed to help entrepreneurs make an impact a lot quicker in their businesses.
The last guest was one of the students from the program, Alex Zwibleman. Alex talked about why he was interested in taking part in the Business Entrepreneurial program at UMSL, and which valuable knowledge and skills he acquired by being part of it. Alex was excited about the opportunity he was given by the program, and he shared his plans about how he is going to use the skills he learned there in future.
Dan and Chris finished the interview by explaining what they think will happen to the future of UMSL Accelerate in general and the Business Entrepreneurial program in particular. Dan explained that he sees big things happening in the future, and hopes UMSL to be in the top 10 ranked universities of Entrepreneurship in the country. “With the leadership and support, we have a “white board” to explore and be successful, … it is a wonderful opportunity and a blue ocean to explore,” says Dan. Chris finished the interview by saying that it’s a program for everyone: nurses, musicians, anthropologist – for people of diverse backgrounds, who plan to start their own businesses and need the relevant skill set to be successful.
Go here to listen to the complete interview.