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Building the New Venture Course Wins Award from U.S. Small Business Administration

Waverly Deutsch, Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, received the prestigious Innovative Method of Teaching Entrepreneurship Award from the U.S. Association for Small Business. According to the July 7 Chicago Sun-Times, she beat out two other finalists to be recognized for her class in “Building the New Venture.”

When Deutsch, who had spent 15 years working at several start-up technology companies, joined the GSB’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, she saw a need for a course that went beyond learning how to create a business plan. Based on her extensive hands-on experience building a business from the ground up, Deutsch created an innovative teaching approach that has students “running a company the entire quarter.”

The tremendous benefit the course provides students is demonstrated by the award Deutsch won. The judging is done by past winners who are tenured professors at schools around the country. Deutsch acknowledges the course is very popular with students because they “are getting real-world experience. They love it, because they are learning things they wouldn’t learn in a typical MBA setting."

Her enthusiasm is shared by Steven Kaplan, the faculty director of the Polsky Center, who BusinessWeek ranks as one of the top professors of entrepreneurship in the nation. Kaplan notes “Waverly created a real strong course. When you get the right combination of content with the right instructor, a course is going to be popular. She has done a great job doing both."

Another testimony to the course’s value is that some of the students have moved their ideas successfully from the classroom to the real world. Deutsch cites two students who developed a business to recruit nurses in China to solve the shortage in the U.S.