Larry Cox, Ph.D.
What makes the Graziadio School's approach to teaching entrepreneurship unique?
We came up with an entrepreneurship program that is built on creativity. The very first class is all about idea generation. We train students on how to be creative, and give them the tools and processes to develop their ideas. They select one idea to take to the next class. Students go through six classes and each one is the beginning point for the next. In the end you have a business plan in your hand.
What do you hope your students take away from their experience in your classroom?
I think it's a travesty to complete a business degree and not have a business plan in your back pocket that you could execute if you wanted to. My students use their business plans to get a job or to start their own businesses. I also want students to have the skills to be creative wherever they are and in whatever they are doing. In life, we need to use the side of our brain that involves imagination.
How do you incorporate your business experience into your classroom?
I've owned my own business, so we talk about lessons I've learned. But I also was the director of the Nebraska Business Development Center, and from that experience, I can talk about the cases that came in and the clients that I helped to start their own businesses.