Education · E-Learning

Do programs like, The Minerva Project work?


November 28th, 2015

As an entrepreneur I know how essential my education/university was and the impact it had on my career choices. I constantly think of if I had done something different, taking a different course, or having gone to a different university would have changed my ultimate path and programs such as the Minerva Project really interest me because I wonder if these sort of programs truly empower students and give them better tools/resources for success. Is anyone familiar with The Minerva Project or like programs that are making a change in education for the better?

Michael Forney Strategic Management, Business Intel and Marketing Expert & Consultant

November 29th, 2015

The point of being an entrepreneur is to be able to follow your passion, to use that to make an impact and make a difference.  In my experience, the business owners who do that best, do it not because of their education, or because of their involvement in a program, but do it best because they found their passion, built a business around that passion, then used their business to instigate change/disruption and to do good...including in and about education.

Michael Barnathan

November 29th, 2015

I know a bit about Minerva. If I recall correctly, their focus wasn't on training entrepreneurship per se, but more on creating a virtual classroom environment built around shared learning spaces and gaining exposure to different cities (reminiscent of the Grand Tours that European nobles used to take), with professor interactions happening virtually.

As for whether it works, it's probably too soon to tell! You have to wait a few years to really see the impact of an educational model.

There are some programs out there that attempt to systematically train entrepreneurship in the classroom (disclaimer: my current venture falls into this category). Check out an organization called NFTE, they're a very big player in this space. I can make an introduction if you're looking to get involved with them somehow.

If you're concerned that your education hasn't enabled you to reach your potential... well, so was I, honestly. But you can't change the past, so the best thing to do is identify what was lacking and work on acquiring it - on the fly if you can - while pursuing your goals. You can't let what might have been hold you back. But you can use it in a very powerful way if it stokes your passion for what can work better in the existing model, as it did mine.

Daniel Turner Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC

November 29th, 2015

What is "success"? Just making money? That's never been hard to do, if all you care about is making money.

What do you care about? Food issues, getting health care to people, running a restaurant? Learn more about how that works, and you'll learn what problems people have. That will lead you to do something that makes something better.

I can't recommend Toyama's "Geek Heresy" enough. The author worked for Microsoft and other large companies on projects most people would consider entrepreneurial/startup and saw how they mostly fail (and not in that fashionable "look we failed give us more money" way) and what really works -- listening, mentorship, listening, not just leaving a packaged/tech solution.