Developing business skills at the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship – Muse

Many students dream of owning their own businesses.
At MUN, the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE) has terrific opportunities for students from any program interested in developing their own business. 
I sat down with the Director of MCE, Ed Martin, to discuss some options available to students with an entrepreneurial mind, idea, or passion.
Based out of the Engineering building, the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship is a student’s “first stop” for all things related to entrepreneurship and startups on campus,” according to Ed Martin.
The MCE offers various programs and services designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop the skills they will need to succeed. Their services are available to students of any discipline. Many companies that use the MCE’s services are technology-oriented. However, the Centre has resources for everyone, regardless of their area of interest.
The Centre offers a truly welcoming environment for anyone who wants to learn more about entrepreneurship. The MCE’s main goals, as the Director says, are to help and inspire aspiring student entrepreneurs in any way they can. The MCE is a space for networking and collaboration where students can meet and interact with other entrepreneurial people.
Students who visit the MCE can expect to find a comfortable and fun space where they can explore their ideas and receive encouraging feedback from experienced entrepreneurs.
There is never a wrong time to visit the MCE.
Interested students can come by anytime because it’s never too early to seek advice.
According to Martin, being interested in entrepreneurship and not knowing where to start is reason enough to visit the Centre.
For example, the Centre helps students look for their initial idea and iron out kinks in their business plans. They also help prepare students to take the final steps toward getting their startup off the ground.
The MCE functions as an excellent starting ground for students new to entrepreneurship to help them set and accomplish their goals, and the Centre is there to help every step of the way.
Although students are encouraged to drop by the MCE (EN 3075) any time to start a conversation about their entrepreneurial pursuits, students can also book an appointment with one of the MCE’s Startup Coaches for a one-on-one discussion about their interests.
Startup Coaches are “people who are very experienced in this space who can support students no matter where they are on their journey,” Martin said.
At MCE, there are several startup coaches with diverse areas of expertise who can accommodate the different interests of aspiring entrepreneurs.
As with drop-ins, booking a meeting with a startup coach is never too early.
Book meetings via the MCE Startup Coaches webpage.
The MCE also hosts a variety of events related to entrepreneurship.
Martin hopes that students who attend can expect to find “places with lots of energy and creativity” that will be both informative and inspirational. These events feature guest speakers who can help expose students to “different ideas, mindsets and experiences” centred around entrepreneurship.
For example, the MCE has introduced a new project, their Hack and Snack Series. This recurring event thought up by a student at the MCE aims to create a space where students can discuss some of the topical ideas of the week (while grabbing a bite to eat).
Keep an eye on the MCE’s Events page for other upcoming events.
For students with a deeper passion for entrepreneurship, several programs offer amazing opportunities to help take their entrepreneurial skills to the next level.
The MCE offers several different work placements and internships where students can receive funding to work on an idea with the help of experienced mentors. Click here for more information on the programs available at the MCE.
Another exciting opportunity presented by the MCE is their student startup competition, the Mel Woodward Cup. Everyone who enters the contest will receive feedback on their startup ideas, and there are many monetary prizes for the winners, up to a grand prize of $25,000.
During our conversation at the MCE, Martin offered three valuable pieces of advice for students looking to get more involved in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship, as Martin explains, is about finding a problem and generating an idea from that problem.
“Trying to force a good idea is usually a fruitless endeavour. What is important to remember is to keep an open mind and explore potential problems with curiosity until an idea forms. Most great companies are formed this way: by waiting for problems to arise and seizing the opportunity to solve them,” Martin says.
Entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills, like Martin says, “aren’t just for entrepreneurs or people who are founding companies—they are required at every company and organization on Earth.” These kinds of skills are what drive successful projects. Anyone can benefit from developing their entrepreneurial skills whether or not they are aiming to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. The MCE is the perfect place to start honing these skills.
Being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs is essential to developing ideas and working through problems that may be too challenging to solve alone. Having a support system of entrepreneurial people to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of is not only crucial for beginning entrepreneurs; such support is essential at any level of expertise. Finding an environment where one can meet and engage with people with a passion for entrepreneurship is necessary to allow one’s ideas to flourish.
Martin says that that is one of the MCE’s primary goals, to create “a space for entrepreneurial people to bump into each other,” a “community” of entrepreneurs eager to help one another through their struggles. The MCE strives to facilitate interactions between entrepreneurs and, as Martin says, “who knows what happens from there?”. When students get together in such collaborative spaces, the opportunities are endless.
Martin also helpfully pointed out several other resources for student entrepreneurs. Click the links below to learn more about these valuable organizations.
The Center for Social Enterprise
This close partner of the MCE is in the Business building, and their primary focus is on developing social enterprises.
The Genesis Center
Another close partner of the MCE, The Genesis Centre, is focused on supporting technology entrepreneurs.
The Research Innovation Office (RIO)
Memorial’s RIO dedicates itself to helping researchers at Memorial commercialize their research.
Bounce Health Innovation
This organization specializes in assisting entrepreneurs in the medical sector to develop ideas that aim to better the healthcare system in North America.
There are no shortages of opportunities for Memorial students interested in entrepreneurship—it’s only a matter of deciding to take the first step.
To get started, visit the MCE (EN 3075) or email mce@mun.ca

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