By Liz Warren-Pederson
Designed for those seeking to commercialize an innovation, start a small business, or grow a current venture, these distance-learning courses offer working professionals flexible and convenient options for advancing their venture concepts in an online classroom environment, augmented by regular interaction with McGuire Center entrepreneurship mentors.
The online courses are open to the public through the non-credit arm of the University of Arizona Outreach College, and began August 15. Future iterations of the courses will be available for University credit.
The courses were designed to dovetail with the University of Arizona’s land grant mission, and are funded in part by a U.S. Department of Labor WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) grant. “The WIRED grant created a wonderful opportunity to make high-quality entrepreneurship education available across our region,” said Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center. “If we can help Southern Arizona entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs develop profitable and scalable businesses, the whole community benefits.”
According to Hoskinson, the online courses are designed to provide training in three specific areas: “We offer a semester-long course for those who want to build their ability to move a discovery, invention, or other innovation-driven concept to market. Another course is designed specifically for those who want to start an owner-operated, lifestyle business. The third course is aimed at anyone who wants to grow an existing business.”
“The three courses were developed in consultation with educators and entrepreneurs throughout Southern Arizona,” said McGuire Center communications mentor and course instructor Randy Accetta. “We wanted to be sure we that we’re creating resources that are needed for working adults across the region.”