News and Events
Graziadio School to Launch Revitalized Entrepreneur Program with a Focus on Creativity
Beginning in fall 2009, the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University will launch a re-tooled and expanded entrepreneurship emphasis for full-time and fully employed MBA students. This bold new direction is designed to help MBA students translate a creative vision into a real business that both produces wealth and allows them to express their personal values.
The program is comprised of six parts, beginning with a seminar called “Opportunities in Entrepreneurship” that explores cutting-edge fields, including clean technology, life sciences, entertainment and e-commerce. Then the students will take the first course, which will teach them how to generate ideas that are personally compelling.
"What sets the entrepreneurship emphasis apart is the approach," says Graziadio School dean Linda Livingstone. "Programs at other business schools start with courses focused on market feasibility or business planning. Often the student's underlying business idea is not fully examined until late in the curriculum, or they settle on a business idea that assumes profitability, but is neither personally meaningful nor well-conceived."
Students then progress through successive courses that cover assessing the market and financing, marketing, and structuring a viable business. The result will be a business plan validated by a panel of angel and venture capital investors.
Larry Cox, associate professor of entrepreneurship, who joined the faculty last fall, has been instrumental in the redesign of the program. Previously, he served as director of the top-10 ranked Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University.
"We are fortunate to benefit from his experience and I am looking forward to the dynamic new business plans the entrepreneurship emphasis will generate," Livingstone says. "Many of these plans I hope will be leading contenders in future Business Plan Competitions."
Cox teaches students the Simplex system, an applied creativity process designed by corporate consultant Min Basadur, who is also a management professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. "We say to students, the starting point for any business is just a good problem solved, so, got any problems? Then we try to find a creative solution to those problems," Cox explains.
Livingston notes that Pepperdine was founded in entrepreneurship. "Entrepreneurial spirit is the legacy of both University founder George Pepperdine and the business school’s namesake George Graziadio," she says. "The new entrepreneurship emphasis/concentration represents an investment in the School’s future, in its distinctive leadership. It is only fitting that it also honors the heritage of these two great patrons."
The new classes will begin on Malibu campus and the West Los Angeles campus in the fall of 2009. Starting with the spring term, the classes will be taught at the Irvine campus as well. Plans then call for it to be launched on the Encino campus in the summer of 2010. To find out more about the new Entrepreneurship emphasis, visit the Graziadio School of Business and Management Web site.