NSC's new business course, Entrepreneur 202, is a nontraditional course in several facets

Written by: Sierra Lomprey

A month from now, the world's leading expert on Spring break will start getting phone calls from the New York Times, the Atlantic Magazine and NPR asking about spring break and students partying. The prediction: Panama City Beach will be the hot spot for East Coasters, Lake Havasu or San Diego for traveling mid-Westerners and Cancun for international spring breakers.

Who is the world's leading expert on Spring break? Dr. John Laurie, Entrepreneur 202 professor, whom completed his dissertation on spring break as part of his Ph. D. in Economic Development at the University of New Orleans in 2008.

From there he spent five years as a senior business consultant for the Kauffman Foundation, which is the world's largest institution dedicated to entrepreneurship, working with more than 200 start-up companies, where he saw just about every issue that a start up company can have.

Before coming to Nevada State College, Dr. Laurie owned a fitness company in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., working with clientele from West Palm Beach to South Miami, who ranged from trained college athletes to regular people trying to better their health. He then owned a technology-based company in Denver, Col. that dealt with mountain bikes and hiking. The company created layered maps by combining GIS and GPS data to show various elements of the terrain, such as contour and elevation, out on the trails. His third endeavor was in New Orleans, Lou. where he owned a tanning salon that mostly catered to college students seeing as it was located between two universities.

I ve owned three businesses and I could certainly talk about my experiences and all the things that I ve done right and the many more things that I ve done wrong.

To say Dr. Laurie knows a thing about business would be an understatement. With his personal, if not extensive, experience in the field, Dr. Laurie tries to show students the knowledge colleagues often retrospectively said they wished they would have known.

I was looking for a challenge and I d lived in New Orleans for 15 years, and that's a long time to be in one place and I wasn't sure that I could get what I was looking for professionally in New Orleans anymore, which soon led to him teaching a general business management course last semester at NSC before creating and designing NSC's new Ent. 202 course.

As for general key focal points for success Dr. Laurie stresses the importance or having a sound operating agreement, strong leadership and a certain readiness for being responsible of marketing, finance, human resources, etc. because as an entrepreneur, it's all on you.

The class itself is structured so there are two main functions: the personal/interpersonal side of learning to be a savvy leader who can form strong relationships across the board while the other half focuses on the technical nuts and bolts cogs that make a business develop or fall flat.

The course strives to help students gain a certain awareness about starting a business, because, as Laurie states, many entrepreneurs who have a great idea start a business but, without any forethought, afterthought, plan or preparation. The business simply unfolds by chance Entrepreneurial preparation covers the early decisions that have important long-term impacts for entrepreneurs and their ventures.

The course is offered in the fall and spring semesters and is going to be part of a larger certificate program of entrepreneurship at NSC with material designed to give students knowledge that is directly applicable to their business. Additionally, Dr. Laurie stresses that the Entrepreneur prep class is designed for all students of all majors and encourages anyone with an interest to enroll.

Only about 50% [of people] have degrees in business when they start a business, says Dr. Laurie.

This article was published in the third edition of NSC's school newspaper, The Scorpion's TALE. To learn more about The Scorpion's Tale, please visit: http://scorpionstale.nevadastateblog.org/