Program Mixes Students' Business, Academics

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Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., is encouraging students to bring their small businesses to campus beginning with this fall's semester.

"Essentially we are saying to students, come study at Champlain, bring your business with you, and we will help you grow it," says college President David Finney.

Finney says he got the idea for the program, dubbed BYOBIz, after meeting several student entrepreneurs on campus and learning that 75 percent of incoming business students are interested in entrepreneurship.

In addition to freshmen, BYOBiz will serve current students who own small businesses. For example, student Ben Kaufman's company, called Mophie, develops accessories for Apple's iPod. The company won a "Best of Show" award at the 2006 Macworld Expo in San Francisco, and has a manufacturing agreement in China and a fulfillment partner in Vermont.

Finney calls the program highly selective and expects it run with an enrollment of 120 students each year. Students will take business-building courses, receive internship credits for work done to advance their businesses, and have access to financial, strategic and marketing experts and established entrepreneurs.

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