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‘Pre-Flight’ course for startups offered to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff

by Sep. 28, 2016, 9:54 AM

the_wondryThink you’ve got an idea that could become the next Facebook or Google, but you’re not sure how to get it off the ground? Turning ideas into action is the aim of a new seven-week Pre-Flight course developed by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and offered in partnership with Vanderbilt’s Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization (CTTC) and the Wond’ry at Vanderbilt’s new Innovation Pavilion.

Free for Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center students, faculty and staff members, classes will be held each Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Wond’ry starting Oct. 19 and running through Dec. 7 (no meeting on Nov. 23). The Wond’ry is adjacent to the Engineering and Science Building on the corner of 25th Avenue South and Garland Avenue.

Robert Grajewski is the inaugural director of the Wond'ry, the university's new innovation center.
Robert Grajewski is the inaugural director of the Wond’ry, the university’s new innovation center.

“For those wanting to take the first steps toward launching a startup, this is an excellent way to begin,” said Robert Grajewski, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry at Vanderbilt’s Innovation Pavilion. “The Nashville EC has developed a world-class education program, and we’re excited to bring that expertise to the Vanderbilt community.”

The Pre-Flight program will introduce participants to key entrepreneurship concepts and practices, including:

  • Understanding the startup ecosystem
  • Identifying and solving customer problems
  • Analyzing and articulating new business opportunities
  • Developing marketing and sales strategies
  • Writing startup business plans
  • Making financial projections

“We want to equip people from across campus with the tools and skills they need to transform their ideas into real-world products or services,” said Peter Rousos, director of economic and new venture development at CTTC. “This Pre-Flight program is a great example of how Vanderbilt partners with the wider entrepreneurial community to promote the development of new innovations.”

John Murdock, who graduated first in his class from the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management’s Executive MBA program and is now vice president of entrepreneurial development for the Nashville EC, will lead the first six Pre-Flight sessions. A staff member from Vanderbilt’s CTTC will lead the final session, tailoring it to topics specific to Vanderbilt.

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP and PYA are both sponsors of Vanderbilt’s Pre-Flight program.

Learn more or apply for course >

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