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The University of Virginia Holds Entrepreneurship Competition

The University of Virginia took a big step this week towards being as entrepreneur-friendly as other top institutions like Stanford and MIT are by sponsoring the U.Va. Cup competition, with $35,000 in prize money up for grabs.

The winners were Adam Malcom and Scott Kasen of U.Va's Engineering School, with a belt-based live preserver concept that is "more comfortable, unobtrusive and wearable than typical personal flotation devices."  Their design had previously won first place in a 2006 international competition by the Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association.

Competitions like this are key to encouraging entrepreneurism at an institution like U.Va.  When I graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce in 1998, the school was mostly a feeder school for the large investment banks in New York.  Being an entrepreneur at U.Va. in the late 90's was a very lonely experience, exacerbated by the institutions's attitude that as a public university, its hands were tied as to how proactive it could be in encouraging private endeavors like entrepreneurism.  In fact, I encountered quite a bit of resistance from the University while I was there.

Fortunately, these attitudes are changing.  One only need look to MIT and Stanford as models of how an academic + private partnership can bear tremendous fruit.  Companies like Yahoo and Google are a result of their founder's time at Stanford.  And it turns into a virtuous cycle, as Jerry Yang's $75MM pledge back to Stanford shows.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal summed it up well in this article:

Teaching Math: Goals for the new school year

On The Land of Math

In our never ending quest to improve as math teachers and help make math enjoyable for students (or at least less painful) we slapped together a few goals for the upcoming school year.


We have spent a boatload of time this summer tearing apart the math common core standards. Not just our grade (7th), but all grade levels from k to 8. As we enter the school year we feel as prepared as any school year. We want continue adding to math knowledge as the year progresses. We are currently taking the Stanford math class with Jo Boaler which has been very enjoyable.


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