Georgia State University’s Commitment to Entrepreneurial Education – Jackie Davis

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The Atlanta Small Business Network was on-location at the Atlanta Corporate Innovation Summit hosted by The Bridge Community and Metro Atlanta Chamber. ASBN’s Jim Fitzpatrick was joined by Jackie Davis, associate director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Georgia State University, to discuss the school’s various entrepreneurial education programs.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION: 

Jim Fitzpatrick: We’re out here at the Atlanta Corporate Innovation Summit and look who we bumped into, our good friend Jackie Davis with the Georgia State University. Thank you so much for taking the time today.

Jackie Davis: Well, thank you for having me. Great to see you guys out here.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. It’s an exciting event. I mean, you got a million startups out here, and they’re all looking to network with one another and also learn from the guest speakers, or the keynote speakers I should say that they’ve had, so it’s been pretty cool.

Jackie Davis: Yes. Lots going on today.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. For the people that are watching right now that maybe aren’t as familiar with the commitment that Georgia State University has made to small businesses and entrepreneurs and startups and the programs that you guys have. Talk to us a little bit about that.

entrepreneurship
Photo courtesy of robinson.gsu.edu

Jackie Davis: Georgia State recently relaunched their entrepreneurship program. It’s now open to all students in the University, so where it once was that only business students could take entrepreneurship classes, now any Georgia State student can pursue entrepreneurship. We have a major available for the business students and a minor that can be paired along with any degree whether it be a degree in nursing or in policy studies, and then we also have some interdisciplinary programs that are available for students. We have one that’s targeted toward the media industry in Georgia that focuses on Creative Media Industries Institute, and it’s a media entrepreneurship degree. Those students there, they work on AR, VR, game design, film production.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Very cool.

Jackie Davis: And then we also have the major in social entrepreneurship for those who are interested in starting a for-profit social enterprise or a non-profit. Yes.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay. Wow. Phenomenal. And then you’ve got for small businesses as you were mentioning, you’ve got classes and support there for small business owners that are in Atlanta.

Jackie Davis: Yes. Yes, Georgia State also has on our campus a Small Business Development Center. It is a community outreach arm of Georgia State, and there small business owners can come and get consulting, take classes to help build their businesses.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Very cool. You guys are pretty committed in the way of small business and entrepreneurs here in Georgia, right? What are some of the next big things you guys are working on?

Jackie Davis: We are launching a student incubator on campus.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Very cool.

Jackie Davis: We do have where students can sign up to be a member and get a P.O. box, get some consulting services.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Very cool.

Jackie Davis: Work with some mentors and help build their business, or even just take an idea to launch. We’re looking forward to having community partners or alumni who are out there and would love to work with our students come in, serve as mentors and engage. I also have a living-learning community on campus where the students can live in the dorm room and co-live with other student entrepreneurs, so there’s just lots going on on campus.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That is so cool. 10 years ago you probably wouldn’t imagine that there would be such a commitment at a college level for entrepreneurship, right?

Jackie Davis: Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I mean it’s one of those things that colleges didn’t address too much.

Jackie Davis: Used to be being an entrepreneur was not a cool thing, right? You did that if you couldn’t get a job.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Jackie Davis: But nowadays it’s quite different especially with the startup ecosystem here in Atlanta. I mean events like today are a perfect example. This entire week is Atlanta Startup Week.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Boy, that’s for sure.

Jackie Davis: And it’s committed to building the ecosystem and bringing together partnership through university institutions, startups, and those corporate partners who tend to have some of the funding to make these things happen.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right, and it really all boils down to that doesn’t it?

Jackie Davis: Yes.

Jim Fitzpatrick: It’s great to have an idea, but if you can’t find the funding for it you really don’t have anything, right?

Jackie Davis: So true.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. So true. Well, thank you so much, Jackie, for joining us on ASBN. We appreciate it, and I’m sure you’ll be on a million more times to talk to us about other programs that the school is doing. Thanks again for your time.

Jackie Davis: All right. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

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