EMERGE@Simpson is working with an independent adjunct professor (Tom Meyers) to offer a "Business of Blockchain" class through Simpson's C&G program. Tom is becoming known in the metro for his work on Blockchain and has been provided background materials being used at MIT on similar classes.
Initial plans call for a 6-week, 1 credit-optional, class that combines learning the "Emerge and Pivot" approach to value creation using the "business case for blockchain" as the lead example in the class. The goal is to separate the value from the hype.
By combining the two topics, we can approach a wider set of corporate stakeholders, both companies and their employees, as Carver Connections, mentors, and investors. Plans call for classes to be offered in conjunction with the West Des Moines Incubator and at Simpson's West Des Moines campus.
Having this type of flexible class available will also benefit on-campus students seeking blockchain information and position Simpson well in the metro for this emerging technology. One investment team has inquired about combining this with an actual digital currency mining platform as an EMERGE@Simpson venture.
ExpresSeed would be a potential customer for that venture, as the future of food supply export appears to be using blockchain recordkeeping of DNA information alongside transactional information, according to former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at a recent speech.
Next steps are for the team to finish developing the curriculum, test marketing the class to potential customers, and making plans for a summer class.
The Social Entrepreneurship class at Simpson College has formed a consultancy partnership for this semester with a social entrepreneurship program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Professor Walker's class at Simpson will work in teams to help launch specific initiatives being worked on at Georgetown.
Simpson students will learn the McKinsey firm's approach to defining and solving a client's problem. They will then apply their previous business modeling learned through the EMERGE@Simpson program on how their implementation approach adds value.
While this is a pilot semester, it can be continued in future classes to bring a distinct opportunity for students and recruiting advantage to Simpson College's program.
A Management Capstone team in the EMERGE@Simpson program is proceeding to "soft launch" the Maple Tree Marketplace. The online portal can be seen at www.mapletreemarketplace.org.
The Marketplace will be an online store to help student ventures more easily reach customers. A second service providing on-campus video monitor/playlist sponsorships will launch later in March. EMERGE@Simpson venture teams, student spotlights, and other on-campus activities will be sponsored by area businesses on the platform.
Valeria Gonzales is serving as the fledging student-led organization's startup leader as her Simpson internship at LaunchPad65.
The platform is designed to increase participation in the EMERGE@Simpson program by providing active opportunities to engage the entire campus and Indianola business community. Once fully operational, advertising revenue should provide paid internships for student leadership positions such as a CEO, CFO, CTO, and CMO.
The Marketplace also provides a strategic opportunity for the Foundation's Carver Connections to engage the DSM corporate market as a sponsorship option to recruit students.
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