Students turn entrepreneurs at the Raikes School
By Robb Crouch
Many students may learn about entrepreneurship and the business and computer science skills that often drive it, but they may not have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in college.
Students at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska‒Lincoln do have this opportunity through its Design Studio program. Design Studio provides the support and networking needed to help students develop their business concepts and take them to the marketplace.
“As our capstone program, Design Studio integrates concepts from our unique computer science and business curriculum, reinforcing core concepts through four semesters of hands-on learning,” said Steve Cooper, executive director of the Raikes School. “Students gain a head start in their careers by participating in product development teams, working with real clients to understand complex business requirements and developing innovative solutions to problems.”
The Design Studio program is made possible through a variety of funding sources, including support from private gifts, industry partners and Raikes School program funds.
Raikes School Corporate Advisory Board members and University of Nebraska alumni Mike Cassling of Omaha and Pat Kerrigan of Waterloo provided contributions to the University of Nebraska Foundation to support the Design Studio program this year. Their support is helping fund the startups led by students Grace Clausen and Maci Wilson, both of Omaha.
Clausen is developing a spelling and grammar correction platform called Dyslexico to help individuals with dyslexia with their writing.
Wilson is working on Beacon, a startup that uses drone technology to make the inspection of bridges safer, faster and more cost-effective.
Other Raikes School students who reported Sept. 16 on their startups include the following:
—Brooke Bode of Hershey and Seth Daup of Gothenburg are working on a livestock monitoring and management system for ranchers called Cattle Kettle.
—Pranav Rajan is working with Tan Phan, both of Lincoln, to develop Informedic, a system to accelerate and automate the insurance underwriting process.
—Dan Stara of David City is working with three classmates to develop a platform called Tapp, a tool that helps sports teams improve their player development.
After hearing the students report on their startups, Kerrigan said giving to the Raikes School is a “can’t-miss opportunity” to make a difference for the university and the state.
“I think that well-thought-out Design Studio projects are likely the premier opportunity for the university to trigger economic development within this state,” he said. “What better economic engine can there be than a bunch of high achieving students working with the advice of established industry veterans, getting together to map out and then launch innovative businesses right here in our state?”
To learn about opportunities to support the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management or other areas of the university, contact Kathy Schubauer, director of development, at 402-458-1167.