Joshua Hyatt's "Course Boom May Not Create Entrepreneurs" (Insider, July) was very interesting. In May 1984, I received my MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, so I am quite familiar with the entrepreneurship classes discussed. I understand your view of such classes. However, I feel that the other side of the argument should also be heard -- particularly since it was through one such class that my partner and I conceived an idea that has made us part of the age of the entrepreneur.
While the original concepts are the student's responsibility in an entrepreneurship course, the means of testing the concept for practicality, feasibility, and potential is the course's contribution. Naturally, not every concept results in success, but that does not negate the class's worth. At the time of Computer Renaissance's conception, the new computer industry was skyrocketing. Our concept, which involved the resale of previously owned personal computers, was very new. In the course we took, we studied the marketability of the idea and found it to be promising. Our idea became our company. We incorporated in May 1984, and opened our first franchise last spring, with more to follow.
A good entrepreneurship course can't guarantee success. What it can do, however, is inspire and guide. For many, it will be the foundation of a future success. For some, like my partner and me, it will turn a dream into a reality.