What is the Bedell Lab? 10,000 square foot facility dedicated to student entrepreneurship A cross-campus business incubator program to any University of Iowa student Opened May 2004 - one of the first of its kind in the country Former fraternity house remodeled into 17 private offices Note: The university also has two traditional incubators at the University of Iowa Research Park
What does the BELL offer? Physical space and equipment Intense mentoring and support Business model / plan development
Physical Space and Equipment A building dedicated to student entrepreneurs 17 furnished, private offices (300 sq. ft.) Computer & printer Private phone, voice mail, high-speed internet Central fax & copiers, AV equipment, laptops Meeting & conference rooms Informal business library 24/7/365 access to facility Note: the offices help students to compartmentalize their lives
Mentoring and Support Required Elements (1 s.h. Seminar Class) Roundtable Lunches “Forced” interaction to learn from each other and create a sense of community Informal talks with Entrepreneurs and Service Providers Weekly intense mentoring from faculty / staff Entrepreneur-in-Residence series
Business Models and Plans Lean Startup approach (recent transition) Business Model and Business Plan development Competitions Elevator Pitches – great recruiting tool Business Model Competition http://intl.businessmodelcompetition.com Traditional Business Plan Competitions
Seed Funding Seed Funding for Bedell Lab participants End-of-Semester Competition (Fall) - $2,500 Who accomplished the most Judged by alumni via YouTube pitch Winners announced at a reception BELL Biz Fair (Spring) - $7,500 Judges and the public vote via “play money” Students vote for “People’s Choice” award Winners announced at a year-end recognition event
Application Process Ability to articulate an initial business model Most students are accepted, serious ones get a private office Students remain in the program as long as they continue to make progress each semester
Program Funding Building Renovations: $150,000 in private gifts Operating Expenses (building operations and programming): $600,000 Endowment - Tom Bedell of Pure Fishing Office Sponsorships - $2,500 per year or $50,000 endowments
Impact 2011-2012 Enrollment: 75 Students started 44 Businesses Enrollment since program launch in 2004: 286 Students have started 165 Businesses Combined, the businesses have raised over $5,000,000 in External Funding including venture capital, business plan competitions, grants, loans An average of 5 Revenue-generating Businesses have been started each semester; this compares with 1 or 2 per year before the BELL opened In addition to self-employment for the entrepreneur, an average of 5 Jobs are created each year An average of 20 Articles on our students and program appear in the local / regional press each year
Benefits to the University More motivated, engaged students Great recruiting tool Good publicity Economic Development / Entrepreneurial Eco-system A natural connection to alumni and entrepreneurs who are potential donors They love mentoring the students
Benefits to Students Practical application of their education Serves as a capstone More motivated to learn Better prepared to enter the workforce or for eventual business ownership Gain a better understanding of the “big picture” and of how business disciplines fit together Develop a realization that business ownership is a possibility in their future
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