Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 27: The Foundry
The Foundry is a business incubator/accelerator educational program funded and supported by the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business. The program is designed to take students through a discovery process in which student entrepreneurs articulate, elaborate, and test the core assumptions on which the viability of their proposed venture rests. The Foundry is distinctive in its use of self-organized work teams, peer-driven coaching and problem solving, and a simple, but highly effective, management reporting system. The Foundry is also distinctive because it is lightweight (it meets once a week for one hour), eschews mentors, and provides students with little support, apart from a desk, white boards, and Internet service. It is, however, remarkably effective. Since its formation in 2010, the Foundry has trained 284 entrepreneurs who, collectively, tested 105 business concepts, formed 67 corporations, raised $3.19 million in seed funding, and generated $5.1 million in revenue during the 15-week period the classes were in session (post-graduate performance is excluded from this data). Foundry programs have been adopted by a number of universities, including the University of Texas System, which planned to implement programs on eight of its thirteen campuses by the end of 2013.
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