ScienceWorks: Entrepreneurial Studies in the Natural Sciences is a unique offering at Carthage. The program was founded in 1994 after Don Hedberg, ’50, a chemist, inventor and successful entrepreneur, challenged Carthage to create a program that would show budding entrepreneurs with science backgrounds how to succeed in business.
Mr. Hedberg backed his challenge with a $1 million gift to endow a professorship that would attract an executive scientist with entrepreneurial experience to the College. Carthage tapped Doug Arion, an industrial physicist from the defense industry, to establish the program.
Today, ScienceWorks teaches students of all majors the business, entrepreneurial, and professional skills necessary to advance in their careers.
“Bright ideas are a dime a dozen,” said Prof. Arion, professor of physics and astronomy at Carthage and former director of the ScienceWorks program. “What we’re teaching in ScienceWorks are the tools necessary to grow a bright idea into a successful business.”
Complements study in all fields
The ScienceWorks program complements study in all fields, providing students with critical business skills that will help them stand out as superior professionals when they enter the job market. Courses integrate:
- written and oral communication
- graphical presentation
- grant writing
- business finance and accounting
- legal issues and regulation
- intellectual property
- business ethics
ScienceWorks participants obtain internships with regional, national and international companies; receive grants to work on new product lines; get exclusive licenses to new technologies; attend lectures and national meetings; and meet world business leaders.
Business Plan Development
The capstone of the ScienceWorks program is the development of a business plan. Students work with College faculty, outside organizations, and industry mentors to develop product or business concepts, and then create complete and detailed business plans.
These projects are far reaching in their topics and format. Students might write a start-up business plan, or undertake a small business research project. They may choose to develop a product and seek venture capital financing, or research an existing product or service and propose a plan for improving its profitability.
Prof. Arion notes that these plans are significant accomplishments. “When you look at a ScienceWorks business plan, you’re looking at everything needed to start a business or secure financing. The production of the plan is the process that certifies what the students have learned.”
Students clear the program’s final hurdle by presenting their business plans to ScienceWorks Advisory Board and a public audience.
Hedberg is pleased with what he sees.
“Since natural science students at Carthage already enjoy the benefits of a liberal arts education, the business savvy they gain from the ScienceWorks program crowns an exceptional education. Their entrepreneurial training, global perspective and ‘real world’ pragmatism will benefit all of us.”