Second Year Course
The Technology Accelerator course will bring together students from Darden and other UVA schools, who will collaborate to identify market needs, find technologies (in the broad sense of the term, not just IT) appropriate to address those needs, and develop a business plan. This course will develop in four phases:
- MARKET NEED: Identify market needs. Students will be encouraged to bring insights from their daily lives. The cure for cancer would not be appropriate here, but issues around health, sustainability, lifestyle, etc., would be.
- TECHNOLOGY IDENTIFICATION: Identify technologies which can be applied to address those needs. The course will leverage the expertise of other departments at UVA, though students will be encouraged to look for technology globally.
- PRIORITIZATION: Prioritize which combination of needs and technologies are most implementable and fastest to market. The “second best” technology may be the easiest to commercialize.
- PLAN DEVELOPMENT: Develop a business plan with emphasis on identifying next steps and the critical path to commercialization.
This course is designed for students who want to experience what it's like to work in a start-up but are not prepared to commit to the Darden Business Incubator and may not become entrepreneurs right away upon graduating from Darden. Another group of interested students are those who would like to become entrepreneurs upon graduation, but don’t have an idea they are committed to. This is an opportunity to experience first-hand the process of finding and validating a market need, searching for optimal/implementable solutions, assessing possible funding strategies, and developing a business plan.