THE UNIVERSITY CONNECTION

When Jonathan Miller along with his mom, Mem Miller, cofounded Dimples in 2010, they did not overlook the tremendous resources available within local universities.  The entrepreneur can negotiate collaborative projects involving students and staff.

Jonathan completed double bachelor’s degrees (chemistry and math) and a master’s degree (MBA, management information systems) at Saint Francis University in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Therefore, as Dimples was being conceptualized, Jonathan reached out to some of his former professors.  Being able to kick around his ideas with this network was extremely helpful.

During Dimples’ product development phase, Jonathan and Mem established several unpaid student internships with local universities.  This arrangement gave students significant hands-on opportunities to work in real-life business situations while simultaneously giving Dimples very low-cost or no-cost labor.  For example, some of the student interns performed significant work to test and evaluate numerous elements of the company’s MVP (minimum viable product).

Dimples itself is a “graduate” of Penn State University’s Innoblue business incubator.  As described by its Web site, “Innoblue is an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship group that connects you with people and resources that can accelerate your ideas” (http://innoblue.org/).  Additionally, Dimples was a recipient (with Saint Francis University’s Students In Free Enterprise organization) of a Women For Less Waste grant from Johnson & Johnson.  Both of these positive events represent major university connections, involvement, and support.

My encouragement to every entrepreneur is to think deeply about the many ways you can reach out to local universities.  Your business will benefit and your corporate bottom line will improve.  Simultaneously, you will have the satisfaction of giving students a total-immersion experience in the nitty-gritty business world.  Now that’s a winning combination!

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www.getdimples.com (10% discount to any customer using RELIABLEINSIGHTS code at time of order.)





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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, a blogger, and a University of Phoenix Associate Faculty member. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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