One of the main goals of the Student Launch Pad at Towson University is to create a thriving culture of entrepreneurship among Towson students, faculty, and staff—because we believe every student has the power and choice to be an entrepreneur and create their own opportunities. One of our newest initiatives that we will be kicking off in the fall is a new collaborative software called LaunchPad Central. We will be using this new method and set of tools to help students validate business hypotheses, test for value, and enhance the start-up process. This technology platform is a hub for students, mentors, and Launch Pad staff to collaborate on Lean initiatives and track progress of a startup or idea.
We will integrate the software into the way we engage with students individually and as startup teams. As students work through the Business Model Canvas, they will report and illustrate their findings on and opportunities that support pivots and iterations of their initial hypotheses. Mentors and Student Launch Pad Specialists will be able to regularly track changes to students’ business model canvas—reviewing interview data and the results of business model experimentation. This software will help our students stay connected to their projects and track and legitimize the startup development process.
The LaunchPad Central software will also help us expand our offerings and collaborate more regularly with faculty on student projects—specifically, faculty members in the College of Business and Economics that are spearheading the new minor in Entrepreneurship. This minor will be open to all non-business majors and will introduce students to creativity, startup basics, ideation, and entrepreneurial marketing. LaunchPad Central will boost our collaborative abilities by giving students and professors means to interact on a business plan or class project. It will increase team communication, streamline the business model review process, and drive course learning outcomes. LaunchPad is a new approach to teaching entrepreneurship, which builds student competence and develops entrepreneurial skillsets.