Online Programs Lead to More Entrepreneurs

Syracuse University has long been known for its entrepreneurship program and overall entrepreneurial spirit. So, it’s no surprise that the Whitman School’s online programs are increasingly turning out new entrepreneurs. Since fall 2017, there have been 174 MBA@Syracuse graduates certified with an entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises (EEE) concentration. What’s more, at least five students have opted to earn a second degree in entrepreneurship, in addition to their MBA. The Entrepreneurship@Syracuse program has seen consistent enrollment since its inception in 2017 and has grown to have more than 42 students in just over a year of operations.

Not only are online students focusing their studies on entrepreneurship, they’re also getting involved with events and initiatives in which full-time master’s students have traditionally participated. For example, online students have participated in the Panasci Business Plan and Orange Tank competitions, even making it to the final rounds. Many of the students are not seeking to become full-time entrepreneurs, at least not yet.

“Some want to start or expand their own ventures while others want to be entrepreneurial in a corporate setting,” said Amy McHale, assistant dean for online master’s programs. “We had one team of students in particular who entered their company in the competitions that was born out of their MBA capstone project, which requires students to develop a business plan.”

Jonathan Gregory ’19, Stephen Bolen ’18 and Isaac Yates ’18, all online MBA students, took home the $7,500 second place prize for their product Latchkey. Their product, a smart home device that provides an easy and automatic way to be notified of arrivals or departures, requires no manual actions to trigger a notification and does not involve invasive GPS tracking. Latchkey also won the Student CNY Business Start-Up Award of $3,000 and are former winners of Syracuse University’s Orange Tank Business Pitch Competition.

“While Latchkey is still a side hustle for them, they may never have gotten the idea if it hadn’t been for the entrepreneurial mindset instilled in them in the MBA@Syracuse program,” said McHale.