Campus News

Thinc. programs, events aim to boost entrepreneurial spirit at UGA

Dyci Manns is the founder and executive director of MODEL26.

Thinc., a celebration of entrepreneurial spirit at UGA, will again host a variety of new and ongoing programs and events to help UGA students, faculty and staff see the world of opportunities, both local and global, and to start something in response. This celebration and the yearlong activities will culminate in the Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week, April 14-18.

“That ‘something’ started might be a new for-profit company or a not-for-profit social venture,” said David Lee, vice president for research, who helps to lead a committed, passionate team of Thinc. organizers. “It might change something in your own neighborhood or community, or it might change the world. The important thing is that you find your passion and act on it.”

The Thinc. website ( features profiles of a variety of UGA students, faculty, staff and alumni who have done just that-started something. It also features UGA resources for those aspiring to start something.

Thinc. became an ongoing initiative to foster entrepreneurship at UGA following the success of the inaugural Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week last spring. Recognizing the high student interest in entrepreneurship, UGA colleges and schools have developed a number of new programs to help those exploring entrepreneurship take their initial steps. For example, the Terry College of Business and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences have teamed up to offer a new undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship that is open to all undergraduates. The Franklin College boot camp in entrepreneurial leadership in the arts and sciences is an on-campus immersion program to be offered Maymester 2014. Students will take two courses (Leadership and Entrepreneurship), live together in the newly renovated Rutherford Hall and engage in projects designed to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and launch them as leaders of successful ventures in any arena.

Also, from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is a new undergraduate course on models of social entrepreneurship that will connect students with local enterprises to solve some of society’s most pressing problems. It will culminate in proposals for social innovations to be presented during Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week in April.

The recently announced interdisciplinary certificate in creativity and innovation, to be offered in spring 2014, encourages students to improve and document creative potential through courses in educational psychology, but also topics ranging from business management to art to social work. The certificate program is open to graduate students from all disciplines through the College of Education, with support from the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

These are just a few of the resources that Thinc. brings together to encourage and support entrepreneurs. Joining them are myriad clubs and organizations, courses, certificates, competitions, degrees and programs from across UGA colleges and schools as well as the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Public Service and Outreach.

Each day of Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week will feature a signature “Start Something” event, including a hackathon, a panel of top UGA alumni business owners, a business plan competition and events related to social entrepreneurship, the arts and networking.

“Last spring reinforced how important it is for us to supplement traditional university education with practical and inspiring programs such as these that encourage our students as well as our faculty to start something-to think like entrepreneurs, solve problems and create new opportunities,” Lee said.