Santa Clara University

Developing the Whole Entrepreneur

CIE Planning to Lead the Way in Silicon Valley

Professor Aguiar

Ever since Hewlett and Packard set up shop in their garage, Silicon Valley has been known as the home of entrepreneurs. Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business is moving aggressively to become a leader in developing the next generation of those entrepreneurs.
    “Our goal is to have a world-class entrepreneurship and leadership program,” says Dan Aguiar, dean’s executive professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of entrepreneurship programs. “We can do it by working with the business community and our alumni, building on the knowledge and experience of our distinguished faculty, developing joint programs with other centers and schools at the Santa Clara University and leveraging the energy and interests of our student body.”
    Founded earlier in the decade, the Leavey School of Business’s entrepreneurship and leadership program builds on the University’s Jesuit educational excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, distinguished faculty, highly-regarded Advisory Board and extensive alumni network to prepare students for entrepreneurial leadership through a variety of programs and opportunities.
Aguiar, a former SCU adjunct professor, rejoined the University in February with responsibility of leading the entrepreneurship and innovation program within the Leavey School of Business. His objectives are to enhance, enrich, and expand the current programs within the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, work with the Entrepreneurship Leadership Team (ELT) to coordinate the refinement and development of the degree programs and curriculum in entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as develop new programs, the first of which is already underway.
    This summer will mark the beginning of a new initiative that is generating considerable interest: The California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE).   Aguiar says, “Over a period of six months, CAPE will provide education and mentoring for emerging entrepreneurs in various stages of development with a goal of developing a business plan for start-up companies that will provide jobs in California, help revitalize the California economy and rebuild communities.”
    Twenty entrepreneurs will participate in CAPE, undergoing three months of preparation, participating in a five-day intensive workshop on campus from September
9-15, and receiving two months of post-workshop mentoring. Topics covered in the program will include marketing, finance, operations, organizational dynamics, strategic planning and communication. At the end of the program, participants will prepare a business plan that will be entered in a competition judged by a panel of experts that includes industry experts and financiers such as venture capitalists, angel investors, and bankers.
    “The CAPE curriculum is designed to remove the barriers facing emerging entrepreneurs,” Aguiar said. “Our goal is to help them develop and implement business plans that will contribute to the growth and well-being of the California economy.”
    Applicants are being sourced from a wide variety of entities, including current Santa Clara University students, alumni, and faculty, business incubators, other schools and universities, Chambers of Commerce, the Small Business Association, banks, venture capitalists, and industry associations and clubs. CAPE is welcoming entrepreneurs from all industry segments and expects to have a very diverse class with some very exciting new ventures.
    “If this turns out as we hope,” says Drew Starbird, dean of the business school, “we’ll be able to harvest the ingenuity and enthusiasm of these entrepreneurs and have them launching 20 new businesses in 20 months, creating jobs for Californians, and contributing to the state’s return to prosperity.”

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