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November 29, 2023 | Tom Ballard

U News | “The Entrepreneurial Genius of Taylor Swift” coming to a Texas university

Iowa State University earns national "Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award."

From the University of Houston:

It had to happen, and the Houston-based university appears to be the first to do so.

Enrollment is now open for “The Entrepreneurial Genius of Taylor Swift,” which will be offered next spring and taught by Professor of Practice Kelly McCormick, who also serves as Managing Director of RED Labs, the University of Houston’s (UH) start-up accelerator.

“You definitely don’t have to be a hardcore fan — a Swiftie — to learn and appreciate the entrepreneurial genius that has made Taylor Swift an international phenomenon,” McCormick said, citing Swift’s expertise in marketing, fan engagement, community building and brand strategies. Still, the course will be tailormade for Swift fans, with each session themed around a different album or Era of her career, along with friendship bracelet gifts for students, surprise songs during breaks and “Easter eggs” hidden in class content (Swift is similarly known to hide clues and callbacks for fans in her own music videos, album artwork and social media posts).

Click here to read the UH news release announcing the course.

From Georgia Southern University:

The Statesboro-based University’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Georgia Power Foundation Inc. to empower diversity in early stage entrepreneurship. In turn, the institution has created the BIG Edge Entrepreneurship Program for six entrepreneurs to have offices and participate in entrepreneurship programs at the Georgia Grown Innovation Center (GGIC) in Metter, Georgia, for one year.

The program is targeted at minorities and women who have an agtech, agribusiness, food or farming interests that they would like to launch as a business or service. The BIG Edge Entrepreneurship program will include a one-year scholarship at the GGIC with a private office, one-on-one mentoring, and entrepreneurship training. Participants will be encouraged to create social media postings about their journey to inspire others.

Applications are being accepted through December 8, and scholarship recipients will be announced by December 31.

From Iowa State University:

The Ames, IA institution received the top “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award” earlier this month during the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) annual conference. The top award recognizes overall excellence across three award categories – talent, place and innovation. Receiving it is a first for Iowa State.

The APLU award highlighted three examples of the University’s innovation and entrepreneurial resources:

  • The Iowa State Venture Mentoring Service (VMS): Launched in 2022, the program matches individuals who have completed an incubator program through the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship with a team of three to five mentors. In its first year, around 50 professionals volunteered as mentors, providing guidance on outside investments, growth and strategies to acquire customers.
  • Ivy Sales Forum: The forum provides a space where Iowa State students can practice making a sales pitch or closing a deal and receive feedback from industry leaders.
  • BioCentury Research Farm: The farm is the first-in-the-nation integrated research and demonstration facility dedicated to biomass production and processing. It is also home to Iowa State’s Digital Agriculture Innovation Lab (DAIL), which accounts for more than 50 percent of Iowa State’s industry research, including 73 unique tech transfer outcomes and more than 300 jobs.

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