VBM: Catching The Entrepreneurship Wave in Vermont

President Alex Hernandez recently shared his thoughts about the entrepreneurship wave in Vermont, the important lessons Champlain students learned in his Stiller School of Business course at Hula this semester, and what it means to truly support students in their entrepreneurial journey.

“I came to Champlain College with a desire to help our students be ‘ready for work, ready for life, and ready to make a difference.’ On a recent Sunday evening, I received an email from a student: ‘I’m launching my software company tomorrow. Can you give me some feedback?'”

Champlain College President Alex Hernandez begins his most recent op-ed in Vermont Business Magazine with this anecdote, later going on to explain how he dropped everything to review the student’s launch plan and connect him with our friends at Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET).

“The impact of entrepreneurs is real. According to a recent Economic Impact Report, Champlain College alumni have launched over 1,000 businesses in Vermont, which is a big reason why the college and its alumni contribute nearly half a billion dollars to our state’s economy,” Hernandez writes.

“Entrepreneurship is central to Champlain College’s career-focused and experiential approach to higher education,” he adds.

four men stand with hands behind their backs in a greenery filled, bright office space with wooden benches and stairs in the background
Pictured L to R: Charles Bush, Visiting Instructor for the Champlain College Stiller School of Business; Champlain President Alex Hernandez; Hula Co-Founders Russ Scully and Robert Lair.

The article continues by listing the three main lessons students explored in the career-focused Master of Entrepreneurship class Hernandez taught at Hula this spring:

  • Successful entrepreneurs come from all walks of life
  • Learn how to see yourself as an entrepreneur
  • You must learn by doing

“It is easy to focus on all that is wrong in the world, but entrepreneurs dream of a better future and try to create the world in which they want to live — they make a difference,” says Hernandez.

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