Rackspace Hosting co-founder and chairman, Graham Weston’s 80/20 Foundation has announced a substantial grant to St. Mary’s University’s new Social Entrepreneurship Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. The grant funds a 3 Day Startup weekend that fosters socially-responsible entrepreneurial progress in San Antonio.
St. Mary’s is among the first nationwide to create a specialized MBA program. The university implemented the program after it saw a need for more lab-experiential learning, thus adding value to the degree and graduating students who have real-world experience. St. Mary’s Dean of the Greehey School of Business Tanuja Singh, believes this program will have a larger impact on these students’ lives and on San Antonio.
“We want our students to do well by doing something good,” said Singh. “We are helping teach a generation of students who will pay attention to the double bottom line, which includes measurements on financial growth and positive social impact, creating ripple effects of better business practices and a more socially responsible business climate in San Antonio.”
The program will culminate each May with a required fast-paced boot camp weekend where the 4 to 5 student-led teams will take their idea to reality with the help of 3 Day Startup (3DS), an Austin-based non-profit organization focused on entrepreneurial education through experiential learning. This will be the first 3 Day Startup weekend at St. Mary’s University and the first exclusively focused on social entrepreneurialism.
According to 3DS CEO Cam Houser, who runs 3DS weekends all over the world, this program is unique because, where 3DS often works with students for just an intense 3 days, this time 3DS representatives will be visiting the campus often, helping the students throughout the semester.
“The 3DS program is imbedded into the curriculum,” said Houser. “St. Mary’s program is helping the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
According to Houser, he has seen more socially-responsible startups in recent 3DS weekends, increasing from 10% of start-up ideas to 20% over this past year.
80/20’s founder, Graham Weston is focused on building San Antonio into the cloud capital of the world. He was drawn to the program due to the focus of creating a technological solution for social problems.
“Most MBA programs don’t create entrepreneurs and don’t put their students in motion,” said Lorenzo Gomez, III, executive director of 80/20 Foundation. “What 80/20 saw in St. Mary’s is that it’s ahead of the curve when it comes to specializing MBA programs. It put its students in motion and in a direction to positively impact the world.”