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  • 1.  Tapping into students' parents resources in venture creation courses

    Posted 11-20-2022 21:00
    Edited by Joshua White 01-09-2023 13:57
    Hi all:

    In venture creation courses, just like the broader entrepreneurship context, resources are helpful.

    For a while now, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how I might be able to use students' parents as a resource early in the student entrepreneurship process, especially given that a significant percentage of my students' parents apparently do have significant knowledge, social-professional or physical resources (say, accumulated in their work or over their career) at the ready, available to help their kids.

    Do any of you have a system or protocol at the start of the semester, esp. right as students or student teams are in the middle of identifying or refining their venture ideas, whereby you actually have some kind of indirect (or direct???) communication with students' parents to say something along the lines of "hey, I welcome you to share your ideas or resources with your kid on their team"?  Especially early on from an effectuation angle?

    Also would be curious if anybody who's tried something like this has run into privacy issues, and then if that can be sidestepped in some way.

    Chihmao Hsieh
    Associate Prof of Entrepreneurship
    SUNY Korea

  • 2.  RE: Tapping into students' parents resources in venture creation courses

    Posted 11-21-2022 07:36
    I would really, really, really discourage drawing on students' families in a way that is graded or shared with the class. While many students may have a good relationship with their parents, you will quickly find that a smaller group either do not have living parents or have no relationship with their parents or guardians. Others will have good relationships but their parents may not have the same access to resources and networks that other, better off families have. In any case you are stirring up a lot of bad feelings that can quickly lead to complex family issues around sexuality, past sexual abuse, addiction, death, or other factors being brought up in an uncontrolled manner. 

    Instead you might focus on helping students identify and access resources available in their networks and not rely solely on family connections. I often (anonymously) survey students to ask questions like "who knows someone that manages more than 100 people" or "who knows someone that has more than 100,000 USD that they could invest in a company" along with more esoteric resources like "who knows someone that could introduce them to a state or federal-level elected representative."

    Ben Spigel, PhD
    Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
    Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group
    University of Edinburgh Business School
    The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. Is e buidheann carthannais a th' ann an Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann, clàraichte an Alba, àireamh clàraidh SC005336.