Posts tagged with "Weatherhead School"

Case Western Reserve University × Free Class

Amid outbreak, Case Western Reserve launches free MOOC: Supporting Entrepreneurship in a Global Crisis

Builds on Beyond Silicon Valley—a free online course taken by 175,000+ students from 190 countries—and offers new content to guide and inspire entrepreneurs during challenging economic times ahead

In the wake of global economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship in conjunction with the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University is re-launching and updating its massive open online course (MOOC), now called Beyond Silicon Valley: Supporting Entrepreneurship in a Global Crisis.

With new, additional content that responds to the fluid and unique challenges faced by established and fledgling entrepreneurs during this unprecedented economic time, the course will address how startups can survive this developing crisis by drawing on resources from governments, universities, foundations and nonprofit organizations.

“I have already seen initial action being taken in many communities to begin to provide assistance, and I believe it’s incredibly important that we come together to share ideas,” said Michael Goldberg, executive director Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurship is a force that transcends any economic moment—good or bad—and is practiced by people all over the world with a diverse range of backgrounds,” said Goldberg, an associate professor of design and innovation at the university’s Weatherhead School. “We’ll discuss mentoring programs, grants, university support and other opportunities unique to each community.”

Students can register for the course at case.edu/entrepreneurship/beyond-silicon-valley

Launching Monday, March 30, this special cohort of Beyond Silicon Valley will include weekly or twice-weekly live discussions held via Zoom, where students can engage with thought leaders on a range of topics on supporting entrepreneurs in the crisis.  To preview the course, the university has prepared an introductory video for potential students.

The first live Zoom session will focus on the role of government in helping entrepreneurs. The new cohort will draw on lessons in core course videos (with subtitles available in 16 languages), assignments, discussion forums and quizzes. As the course progresses, Goldberg will host weekly sessions on topics covered in the course, with experts and entrepreneurs who can reflect on the crisis—and how the various support mechanisms can help entrepreneurs survive and eventually grow.

“In a time when most teaching and learning is being shifted online as a necessity—and as the global economy is facing new and unprecedented challenges,” said Goldberg, who often advocates for online and remote learning as a contributor for Forbes.  “There’s an opportunity to gather students together, from all walks of life, to learn about entrepreneurship,”

Beyond Silicon Valley was created with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. 

Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,100 undergraduate and 6,200 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

Make a passionate pitch—if you want investors

The brains of investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion, according to new research.

One would expect that entrepreneurs who pitch their startup ideas with passion are more apt to entice investors. Now there’s scientific proof the two are connected: enthusiasm and financial backing. According to new research from Case Western Reserve University, the brains of potential investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion.

Researchers examined investors’ neural responses to entrepreneurs’ pitches, conducting a randomized experiment that explored the response of investors’ brains using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

(fMRI)—finding a causal relationship between passion of the pitcher and interest from investors.

“No one has ever invested in a startup they ignored,” said Scott Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve.

“Founder passion is essential to establishing investor attention, and our study demonstrates measurable neural effects that offer a biological explanation for their tendency to react positively to enthusiasm and emotion of entrepreneurs,” said Shane, lead author of the paper, published in the Journal of Business Venturing. By showing such energy in pitching their business ideas, entrepreneurs can considerably increase neural engagement in potential investors—increasing the odds these financiers will support a new, untested venture by having strong, measurable effects on their decision-making.

“Most of time investors just say ‘no,’” said Shane. “In fact, the vast majority of entrepreneurs never receive a dime from external investors.

“Entrepreneurs should know: More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches,” he said. “We believe our data makes a strong argument that displays of passion trigger heightened engagement that, in turn, makes investors more likely to write a check.”

The experiment

Videos of pitches—identical in content but different in delivery—were randomly assigned to investors inside an fMRI machine. Depending on the passion-level of the pitch, investors’ brains reacted differently: Heightened displays of passion increased investor fixation on the stimulus (the pitch) to override distractions—and demonstrate a causal effect of displayed passion on investor interest.

· Investors randomly assigned a pitch with high founder passion resulted in informal investor interest increasing by 26%, relative to the same pitch delivered with low passion;

· Data from fMRIs showed investor neural responses to entrepreneurs’ high-passion pitches increased investor neural engagement by 39% over lower founder passion.

“More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches—and not play on their phones or think about lunch which should result in more favorable investor assessments,” said Shane.

While it’s possible that other mechanisms may be present in the brains of investors—such as inferring from passion that entrepreneurs may be more capable or competent—the experiment showed that passion is a key mechanism because it causes investors to pay attention, said Shane.

The practice of passion

The findings offer strong implications for the practice of entrepreneurship. “Pitching with enthusiasm and passion—these are skills that can be taught,” said Shane. “Flat, unenthusiastic pitches are the enemy of attracting investor attention and to succeeding in a competitive, cutthroat environment.”

Each year, hundreds of thousands of early-stage entrepreneurs, who often lack established track records, offer pitches—widely recognized as the gateway to investor funding—to financiers across the globe. The study focused on Informal investors—referred to as “family, friends and foolhardy strangers” by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor who account for most startup investments, investing $1 trillion globally between 2012-2015, according to the organization.

The study was co-authored by David Clingingsmith, an associate professor of economics at the Weatherhead School. Will Drover of the University of Oklahoma, and Moran Cerf of Northwestern University also co-authored the paper.