Whitman Voices


Syracuse University Project Advance Challenges Young Entrepreneurs

Syracuse University Project Advance Challenges Young Entrepreneurs

Alexandra Kostakis, professor of entrepreneurship practice at Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, is the faculty lead for Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA), a program that offers qualified high school seniors the opportunity to enroll in courses for university credit.

As a faculty lead, Kotakis trains high school instructors on how to teach entrepreneurship. She also visits classrooms twice a year to meet with students and organizes professional seminars, featuring entrepreneurial leaders, to update high school instructors on the latest trends in entrepreneurship and teaching techniques.

Currently, SUPA entrepreneurship courses are being offered in New York State, Vietnam and Hong Kong. However, the SUPA program and Kostakis are looking to expand their efforts. According to Kostakis, even though cultures are different, all the principles and concepts they teach on entrepreneurship are the same and they can be translated anywhere in the world.

“The great thing about this program is that each high school teacher has the freedom to tweak the material,” explained Kostakis. “Some teachers like the business model canvas so students might be tasked with trying to identify and
grow a mock business.”

To Kostakis, SUPA entrepreneurship courses help inspire students to think
in different ways and gives them the confidence to start their own businesses.

“The coursework really exposes students to the various aspects of entrepreneurship and its impact on the world,” explained Kostakis.
Kostakis often receives messages from prior SUPA students thanking the
program for opening their eyes to the possibilities of entrepreneurship.

“We change people’s lives, and that is pretty amazing,” said Kostakis.

Arielle Spears