How do we reimagine resilient communities in a post-pandemic world?
This question will be the focus of a summer boot camp offered at Centre College to incoming first-year students interested in developing what program co-directors Andrea and Anthony Margida call an “entrepreneurial mindset.”
The Margidas helped launch CentreWorks at Centre College in April, a new space for innovation and collaboration focused on business, entrepreneurism and community development. They bring an impressive record of success through TechGrit, a consulting company they formed in 2004, along with firsthand insight into the small liberal arts college setting as graduates of The College of Wooster in Ohio.
This inaugural CentreWorks program is open to all incoming students seeking to ignite their “inner entrepreneur,” irrespective of intended major or academic focus.
“Andrea and Anthony are accomplished entrepreneurs,” said Ellen Goldey, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, “who have a history of launching successful businesses and nonprofit organizations. They have put that experience to work through designing customized entrepreneurial systems leading to the launch of dozens of new startup businesses.”
Goldey added, “Not only are the Margidas successful entrepreneurs, they are also fun and caring people; our students will love working with them.”
The Resilience Boot Camp will launch with Zoom sessions in June and July, followed by an immersive, week-long on-campus experience in August. Dates for the half-day Zoom meetings are June 29 and July 27, followed by early move-in to residence hall rooms on Aug. 16. The program will begin that evening and run through Friday, Aug. 21. Other first-year students arrive to campus on Saturday, Aug. 22.
A fee of $300 will cover program fees, along with room and board. A deposit of $100 will be required upon registration, with the balance due Aug. 1. Should the coronavirus prevent opening campus as planned, the Boot Camp will continue virtually, and the total cost of the program would be covered by the deposit. Several need-based scholarships for the program are available.
Combined with future programs, this boot camp will be the first step for participants to earn a Certification in Entrepreneurship, relevant to whatever the intended major or envisioned career path a student may have.
“As current events are demonstrating,” said Andrea Margida, “resilience is key to sustainable and thriving businesses, organizations and communities.”
Students will become invested in the Centre, Danville and Boyle County communities by collaborating with community members to develop innovative paths forward to reboot and revitalize the local economy.
Using a speed design format, students will experience their new community through creative problem-solving exercises alongside community champions, utilizing resources to develop successful business practices and positively impact the broader community.
Specifically, participants will gain skills essential to business and entrepreneurship through immersion in customer engagement, design thinking and lean startup principles. Potential outcomes include startup businesses and pilot programs, along with support for area businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits.
According to Anthony Margida, the skills being developed “can be applied to any aspect of life, allowing you to discover who you are and who you want to be.” He added that the entrepreneurial boot camp provides the perfect opportunity for students “to jumpstart their college experience.”
To register for the Resilience Boot Camp, click HERE.
For more information about CentreWorks, click HERE.
by Michael Strysick
May 22, 2020