Did you know that, according to the Kauffman Foundation, two thirds, or more than 2,000 U.S. universities and colleges offer at least one course in entrepreneurship? Fortunately, you attend UMBC – a bold institution that not only provides entrepreneurship courses and a very popular, fast-moving minor in the field but is also home to the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.
Markus Proctor designed an Individualized Study (INDS) major which focused on Tech Entrepreneurship and Organizational Management. The creator of a web-based platform that helps students keep organized, on task, and up to date with changes in their course syllabi, launched a company called EduPal which pivoted into new directions including virtual reality and analytics. An Extra Credit staff writer sat down with Markus to talk about entrepreneurship, his experience at UMBC and some recommendations for current students.
EC: How can UMBC students approach their education (course decisions, internship choices, significant choices) in an entrepreneurial fashion?
MP: Entrepreneurship can extend beyond its economic/business definition into many different areas of our lives because, in simple terms, it's all about value creation through innovative problem-solving. Students should focus on the "value-add" of their choices as often as possible whether its selecting courses, applying for internships, or declaring a major/minor. Before making rushed decisions, students should ask "how does this create value for me?" and "how can I confirm my assumptions?". This is where leveraging resources on campus to make an informed, decisive decision is critical.
EC: What do you feel has been your greatest success at UMBC and what resources from UMBC contributed to that success?
MP: My greatest success at UMBC is building a reputable start-up in the Baltimore region that has allowed me to meet exceptional people, receive awards, and thoroughly enjoy the process of learning. There are many resources that have contributed to that success:
- The opportunity to design my degree with the Individualized Study Department
- The study abroad program which allowed me the opportunity to conduct preliminary, exploratory research in Switzerland
- The Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship
- Outstanding administrators and professors supporting me along the way
EC: What experience, course, relationship, or resource at UMBC do you consider to be the most significant "difference-maker" as a student and entrepreneur at UMBC?
MP: The Cangialosi Business Innovation Competitionwas the one experience that made the most significant difference in my journey as an "edupreneur" and student; I highly recommend that students participate in this event.
EC: If you could go back and "redo" your first three years at UMBC, what would you do differently and why?
MP: I would network with more students on campus because we have an abundance of talent on campus. Who knows what can happen if more students integrated their abilities to solve big problems?
The Minor in Entrepreneurship at UMBC
"Five TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Watch" by Jayson Demers on entrepreneur.com