College of Business experiential learning exercise that uses student-developed marketplace app wins national award – URI News


KINGSTON, R.I. – March 4, 2022 – When College of Rhode Island Professor Nancy Forster-Holt first noticed the app developed by School of Enterprise undergraduates Ben Grossman and Andrew Bikash, she instantly noticed its advantages in introducing her college students to the thought of launching their very own enterprise.

The app, KANU (pronounced “are you able to”), is a peer-to-peer campus market that permits college students to arrange a enterprise, or facet hustle, and supply companies or items to the campus group. Promoting a journey? Guitar classes? A bottle of water? KANU makes the method simple.

For Forster-Holt, the app supplied a real-world lesson that was lengthy missing from her Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship class.

“The primary time Ben and Andrew described the app to me, I used to be like, ‘My gosh, can college students launch facet hustles?’” stated Forster-Holt. “That’s precisely what the app is for. Anybody within the area can launch a enterprise, or facet hustle. I used to be so uninterested in the hypothetical enterprise concept. After they defined the app, I stated, ‘You nailed it.’”

Beginning in fall 2019, the mixture of Forster-Holt’s scholar facet hustle train and KANU has been a successful marriage. In January, the USA Affiliation for Small Enterprise and Entrepreneurship acknowledged that by awarding the experiential studying train first place amongst 13 finalists within the Entrepreneurship Experiential Schooling (3E) Competitors on the USASBE 2022: Pioneer & Persevere annual convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Together with Forster-Holt, Grossman and Bikash, John H. Wilson of Drexel College and Colleen Robb and Kelly Werder of Florida Gulf Coast College, who adopted KANU at their faculties, shared within the honors.

“USASBE is all about pedagogy, and the 3E competitors honors experiential workouts you do within the classroom that may be described and replicated in different lecturers’ school rooms,” stated Forster-Holt. “It’s dynamite that that is executable at different universities. We confirmed Drexel and Florida Gulf Coast are utilizing it in fairly other ways. It reveals the flexibility of it.”

For Grossman and Bikash, now URI alumni, the award validates KANU and its effectiveness as an academic software.

“KANU is a secure, digital market that empowers college students to develop and launch enterprise concepts on campus, earn cash and acquire entrepreneurial expertise,” stated Bikash ’20. “It has helped universities encourage, educate and have interaction their college students within the classroom, the enterprise lab, and with the group at giant.”

“The award acknowledges the distinctive purposes by every professor utilizing KANU,” added Grossman ’21. “Because of our partnership with educators, we assist facilitate enterprise creation within the classroom, introducing college students to the challenges of start-ups by creating facet hustles that help the group.”

Greater than 800 college students launched companies utilizing KANU at URI, Drexel and Florida Gulf Coast this previous fall. At URI alone, college students stuffed three segments of the School of Enterprise’ 100-level Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship class, together with 4 sections of a 200-level advertising class run by Professor Scott Asadorian.

Historically, Forster-Holt stated, her classroom workouts on launching a enterprise have been hypothetical, stopping on the “precipice of launch.” For his or her ultimate challenge, college students would describe a great or service that solved an issue on campus and that they might flip right into a enterprise.

In fall of 2019, she added the scholar facet hustle to the classroom, utilizing the Chris Guillebeau e book “Facet Hustle: From Concept to Earnings in 27 Days.” Whereas facet hustles have been round for some time, she stated that extending them into the classroom and utilizing Guillebeau’s e book was an concept nobody else was doing. On the identical time, she began utilizing KANU, including an experiential lesson that could be a game-changer.

“Our college students are actually creating their very own ventures. That’s fairly cool,” stated Forster-Holt, who revealed a peer-reviewed paper on the train, “Stimulation Versus Simulation: The Scholar Facet Hustle as a Studying Innovation,” in USASBE’s flagship journal, Entrepreneurship Schooling and Pedagogy. “That’s the entire no slackers allowed zone. You actually have to determine what the market wants, what you’ll be able to provide, or what you know the way to do.”

Forster-Holt stated the app, which is geo-fenced for every campus and requires that campus’ e-mail area, makes it simple for college students to arrange their very own companies. In the course of the semester, college students full workouts to construct out their companies, incomes “badges” for such accomplishments as organising their storefront, getting buyer evaluations, and promoting a great or service.

“You may promote as a lot or as little as you need however you continue to have that minimal proficiency that you just’ve confirmed you began a facet hustle,” she stated.

Grossman and Bikash beta launched KANU in 2019 as a peer-to-peer campus market and received the Rhode Island Innovation “On Hearth Award” in 2020.

“After deploying KANU within the classroom and seeing the influence it had on college students’ entrepreneurial motivation, understanding and group engagement, I knew we would have liked to get this in entrance of extra educators,” stated Grossman. “We have now introduced at USASBE the previous three years and have acquired curiosity from universities and schools throughout the nation. That’s why we developed an interactive dashboard that permits educators to plug into the KANU campus market and activate classroom studying.”

The pair additionally go into the classroom at URI and the opposite universities which have adopted KANU, telling their tales as entrepreneurs and the way they developed the app. They’re common audio system at Innovate@URI’s Launch Lab, which brings collectively college students, school and alumni serious about pursuing innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Ben and Andrew have helped so many college students launch their facet hustles,” stated Deedee Chatham, director of entrepreneurship, innovation, and undergraduate analysis, and director of the Launch Lab. “Their KANU platform is a fast and enjoyable technique to check out new enterprise concepts, and it’s nice that after these merchandise are launched they’re already embedded within the URI campus market.”

Alongside the best way, URI has supplied a testing floor for his or her concepts and the sources and help to succeed, they stated. “The group has given us the muse to actually turn out to be who we need to be,” Bikash stated. “It wasn’t handholding. We needed to go search it ourselves. However as soon as we did, there was at all times somebody in a position to assist and provides us what we want.”

Subsequent up, they plan to boost capital to scale their operation, increasing it to extra aspiring entrepreneurs and attracting extra schools and universities to undertake KANU out and in of the classroom.

“We’ve been constructing to this for some time. Now that we’re dedicated to KANU full time, we need to put a yr on the books, bootstrapping it, attempting to get our gross sales up,” stated Grossman. “However we’re additionally studying so much in regards to the product and promoting on this area. We proceed to be college students of the entrepreneurial course of, even now that we’re graduates.”



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College of Business experiential learning exercise that uses student-developed marketplace app wins national award – URI News

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