An apprenticeship for entrepreneurs funded at Kenan-Flagler


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Quoted from The Daily Tar Heel

The growing number of entrepreneurs at UNC now have the ability to further explore opportunities through the Adams Apprenticeship Program, a selective program that is the first of its kind.

“This is a mentor program on steroids,” said Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship.

“No one else is doing this.” The Adams Apprenticeship Program was created to help undergraduate students in their junior year and first-year graduate students by creating an individualized entrepreneurship program for them.

The program will accept 20 apprentices this year ­— 10 MBA students and 10 undergraduates. Students selected to participate will have the opportunity to create their own advisory board and choose from a select group of UNC alumni and associates, called Adams Advisers, who will introduce the students to different opportunities. The students’ boards will be constructed to best suit their needs for advisers who can propel their interests forward.

Launch Chapel Hill entrepreneur-in-residence Laura Zavelson said she is especially excited for the relationships that will be developed through this program. “Our hope is that they will meet somebody they will make a personal connection with. Knowing the right people will make such a difference,” she said.

The Adams Apprenticeship Program applications will remain open until Oct. 5. The yearlong program is designed for students who are serious about pursuing entrepreneurship, and students are encouraged to apply whether they are in the Kenan-Flagler Business School or not. “We want to reach out across campus,” Zavelson said.

The program is designed for students who do not plan to start a business immediately after graduation but instead wish to further invest in themselves and their network, Zoller said. “We are looking for ‘all-in entrepreneurs’,” he said. “We want (the apprentices) to think about that transition over the long haul.”

John Q. Adams III, a member of the Adams family and recent UNC graduate, said his family chose to introduce this apprenticeship at Chapel Hill because of Kenan-Flagler’s success. “Kenan-Flagler is a leader in education. It is a testament to the faculty,” he said. “Education was so invaluable to me as a student.”

The Adams Apprentices will be announced Nov. 12. The Adams family is providing five years of funding for the apprenticeship. Zoller said he is excited for the program to begin. “It is the golden fleece of entrepreneurship,” he said. “When I was a student, this is what I would have wanted.”

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Quoted from The Daily Tar Heel