The institute will offer three classes — across colleges, schools and disciplines — in 2020. Any undergraduate student is eligible to participate. Reach out to your advisor to learn more.
Consumer Products Entrepreneurship Practicum
McCombs School of Business
This practicum course provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply knowledge on establishing and growing a business in consumer product industries. The course uses a variety of pedagogical approaches and involves extensive teamwork and project work. Student projects will focus on developing strategies and plans for such a business and will apply key concepts related to developing product ideas, understanding customers, and establishing product-market fit.
The course will feature several executive speakers from consumer products companies, who will discuss their industry and entrepreneurship experiences, and will challenge students with “live case” situations that they have faced in the past (e.g., an unexpectedly large order comes in early in the company’s life); students will develop responses to the situations and will be able to learn from what the company actually did, and from relevant research findings.
During the semester, students will be provided with guidance from executives from consumer products companies, as well as from others within the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of The University of Texas at Austin.
At the culmination of the semester, teams will share their projects in a Demo Day presentation.
This course is open to all UT undergraduate students by application, which will be available October 7. Practicum activities typically require 3-4 hours per week, scheduled by the student and client, in an unpaid assignment at a partner startup company. This course satisfies Requirement 5 of the Entrepreneurship minor.
Faculty contact: Dr. Melissa Murphy
Accessory Design, Development and Merchandising
College of Natural Sciences
This is an experiential design and merchandising course for an accessories brand providing real-time opportunities while working with an industry expert. This course will be composed of research and examination, design development and prototype application. Students will go through the process of designing an accessories collection suitable for the Kendra Scott target market from initial concept to 3D production sample.
Industry Collaborator: Kendra Scott
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
- Research Kendra Scott brand and its target market.
- Complete a design brief presented by Kendra Scott design team.
- Cultivate a product line for the consumer using the Kendra Scott lens.
- Demonstrate an understanding of design and product specifications to communicate to a production team.
- Understand the process of 2D to 3D development with application of CAD software.
- Understand the stages of initial creative concept to 3D production sampling for an accessories brand.
- Create promotional and marketing material for the accessories collection.
Faculty contact: Jessica Ciarla
Kendra Scott Studio Partnership
College of Fine Arts
The Kendra Scott Studio Partnership will feature a seminar hosted from Kendra Scott headquarters and including the Kendra Scott leadership team. The class, to begin fall 2020, will be a creative learning environment centered around the Kendra Scott Design process.
Faculty of the School of Design and Creative Technologies (SDCT) in the College of Fine Arts will support the classroom and utilize the resources of the highly acclaimed and well-connected staff of the Center for Integrated Design. The semester-long course will focus on designing products and services in a creative environment to build students’ skills and offer insight into the mindset that fashion entrepreneurs and designers must have to achieve success in the industry.
The 25-student class will meet once a week for three hours. Students will benefit from meeting with guest speakers and other out-of-classroom experiences and assignments that focus on real-world challenges.
Students will also learn directly from Kendra Scott Design leaders about the aesthetic and technical product development process, general business strategies, supplier dynamics and the factors involved in managing a global product label.
Faculty of the SDCT will co-teach with the Kendra Scott team members and collaborate on the desired learning outcomes and possible problems that students can work to solve as part of their 15-week experience. The Kendra Scott team will benefit from the students’ fresh approaches and insights on the company’s current challenges and opportunities, and connection to talented potential employees.
Faculty contact: Jan Ryan