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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 2014 – CE 5571/SUST 3480: Acara Global Venture Design: Grand Challenges (Acara Challenge Course)
December 2014 – Present your venture plan to a review panel.
January 2015 – CE5572: Acara Social Venture Launchpad
Spring 2015 - MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
February 2015 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition for seed funding and incubation.
June 2015 - Attend the CE 4011/5570: Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery India May-term global seminar in Bangalore, India.
Acara Venture Fellowship – Ongoing Incubation - Launch your venture solution with Acara incubation and seed funding. 

Track 1B: Starting January 2015 (Spring)

Spring 2015 – CE 5571/SUST 3480: Acara Global Venture Design: Grand Challenges  (Acara Challenge Course)
May 2015 – Present your venture plan to a review panel.
June 2015 - Attend the CE 4011/5570: Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery India May-term global seminar in Bangalore, India.
Fall 2015 - MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
February 2015 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition.
Acara Venture Fellowship – 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 2015

January 2015 – CE5572: Acara Social Venture Launchpad
Spring 2015 – CE 5571/SUST 3480: Acara Global Venture Design: Grand Challenges  (Acara Challenge Course)
Spring 2015 – MGMT 4100: Start Up with Toby Nord and John Stavig (Lec 002, Tu 3:45-5:25pm)
February 2015 – Present at the Acara Challenge competition for seed funding and incubation.
Acara Venture Fellowship – 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 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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