University of Minnesota
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.

Track 1: For students interested in developing impact venture solutions to grand social-environmental challenges, but have no particular venture idea coming into the program.

Track 1A: Starting September 2015 (Fall)

Fall 2015 – GCC 5005: Acara Global Venture Design
December 2015 – Present your venture plan to a review panel.
January 2016 – CE5572: Acara Social Venture Launchpad
Spring 2016 MGMT 4100/6100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig
February 2016 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition for seed funding and incubation.
June 2016 – Attend the CE 4011/5570: Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery India May-term global seminar in Bangalore, India.
Acara Venture Fellowship – Ongoing Incubation – Pilot and launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding. 

Track 1B: Starting January 2016 (Spring)

Spring 2016 – GCC 5005: Acara Global Venture Design: Grand Challenges  (Acara Challenge Course)
May 2016 – Present your venture plan to a review panel.
June 2016 – Attend the CE 4011/5570: Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery India May-term global seminar in Bangalore, India.
Fall 2016  MGMT 4100/6100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig
February 2017 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition.
Acara Venture Fellowship – Ongoing Incubation – Pilot and launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding.

Track 2: For students with a specific impact venture idea who want to develop it further. The venture idea could be a non-profit or a for-profit venture, but should have social or environmental purpose.

Track 2: Starting January-Term 2016

January 2016 – CE5572: Acara Social Venture Launchpad
Spring 2016 – GCC 5005: Acara Global Venture Design: Grand Challenges  (Acara Challenge Course)
Spring 2016 – MGMT 4100/6100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig
February 2016 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition for seed funding and incubation.
Acara Venture Fellowship – Ongoing Incubation – Pilot and launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding.

Who can enroll in the courses?

Acara courses are intended for graduate, professional and upper level undergraduate students. There are no prerequisites for these classes. These courses are intensive leadership and entrepreneurship courses. Instructor permission is required to enter all courses. Please contact Fred Rose at acara@umn.edu for more information on applying.

PARENT INSTITUTE
Acara is the impact 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.

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