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University of Minnesota
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Acara

The Acara sequence of courses, and subsequent Challenge, is a unique way to create venture solutions for social and environmental change in the US and abroad. The courses are designed to develop ‘T-shaped’ students, students that are experts in one topic (the I) with broad cross-disciplinary experience (the T).

By participating in the Acara program, students will:

  • Experience a real world challenge.
  • Seek venture solutions to a problem — solutions that are innovative, scalable, and impactful.
  • Become effective in teamwork, leadership, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Collaborate with domestic and international industry mentors, experts and students.
  • Have opportunities to develop their venture solutions beyond the course.

How Does a Student get Involved?

Track 1: Students interested in getting involved in developing viable venture solutions to grand social-environmental challenges, but have no particular venture idea coming into the program.

Track 1A: Starting September 2014 (Fall)

Fall 2013 - CE 5571, Design for Sustainable Development: Innovate (Acara Challenge Course)
December 2014 - Present your venture plan to a review panel.
January 2014 - CE5572: Design for Sustainable Development: Create I
Spring 2014 - MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
February 2014 - Present at the Acara Challenge.
June 2014 - Attend the Acara Summer Institute in Bangalore, India.
Ongoing Incubation - Launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding. 

Track 1B: Starting January 2015 (Spring)

Spring 2014 - CE 5571, Design for Sustainable Development: Innovate (Acara Challenge Course)
May 2014 - Present your venture plan to a review panel.
June 2014 - Attend the Acara Summer Institute in Bangalore, India.
Fall 2014 - MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
Ongoing Incubation - Launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding.

Track 2: Students have a specific social venture idea and want to develop it further. The venture idea could be a non-profit or a for-profit venture, but should have social or environmental angle.

Track 2: Starting January-Term 2014

January 2014 - CE5572: Design for Sustainable Development: Create I
February 2014 - Compete in the Acara Challenge venture plan competition for seed funding and ongoing incubation.
Spring 2014 - MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
Ongoing Incubation - Launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding.

Who can Enroll in the Courses?

The Acara courses are intended for graduate, professional and upper level (3rd and 4th year) undergraduate students. There are no prerequisites for starting the tracks. These courses are intensive leadership and applied development courses. Instructor permission is required to enter all courses. Please contact Acara Director, Fred Rose, at acara@umn.edu for more information on applying.

PARENT INSTITUTE
Acara is a social entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.

UPCOMING EVENTS

September 5, 2014 :Fall Acara Challenge course begins

September 9, 2014: Acara Open House

October 31, 2014: Dow SISCA Applications Due

December 4, 2014: Dow SISCA Final Presentations

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