Course on entrepreneurs to start up at Stanford

Stanford's School of Engineering is launching an innovative program designed to better prepare students for jobs in start-ups and to provide data for professor's research.

The Technology Ventures Co-op Program will feature a three-stage course of study: a new course, Management of Technology Ventures, this spring; a special job at a start-up at competitive wages this summer; and a seminar next fall exploring what the students and their employers learned.

"This is our comprehensive attempt... to take some of our brightest kids and link them with some of the best start-ups," says Thomas H. Byers, consulting associate professor of engineering and director of the program.

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Byers says he prefers companies that are between the earliest (seed) stage and an initial public offering and have received financing from third parties, such as venture capitalists and angels (other than the founders' relatives).

Over the long run, information from students in the program should help the engineering school determine how much entrepreneurship education to include in the curriculum - a hot issue these days, Byers says.

For his part, Byers thinks that programs like this are essential. "If we're training leaders, we ought to get them prepared for an entrepreneurial society," he says. A higher percentage of students than ever before is going to those kinds of companies.

- San Jose Mercury News, 02/06/1996