Over the recent January term at Middlebury, we took a class called Middlebury Entrepreneurs. The course is designed for students who wish to start their own business or non-profit organization. Students spend the month developing their ideas and preparing for the culminating assignment—pitching their ideas to approximately 10 venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Course content includes idea and organization development, financial projections, and presentation skills. Throughout the month over a dozen business and non-profit experts and leaders come in to work with the students and provide feedback on their projects.
We came into the class with our Grassroots GIS model, and set ourselves a few goals: rebrand, come up with a defined business model, design a comprehensive fundraising plan and pricing structure, and raise some startup funding.
We learned so much from the class, and successfully met all of our goals. We were also very honored to win first place in the pitch competition, making us the first recipients of the Pieter and Betty Schiller Cup for Entrepreneurship!