Entrepreneurship at MCLA

Entrepreneurship is the act of creating a new company (non-profit or for profit) in response to an opportunity.

MCLA currently offers several curricular and co-curricular programs designed to help students design and implement new companies around solutions to problems and challenges found in the marketplace. 

Entrepreneurship Minor

Beginning in September 2018, MCLA will offer an Entrepreneurship Minor. Housed in the Department of Business Administration, this 18-credit academic program is designed to introduce students to the concept of entrepreneurship as a means of economic and community development, as well an engine for social good.

The coursework introduces students to prevalent frameworks for new business creation, such as the Lean Methodology and Design Thinking, while providing project-based experiences that help them turn ideas into actionable business plans.

The required courses are:

  • IDST 200: Introduction to Leadership
  • BADM 270: Marketing
  • ENTR 2xx: Principles of Entrepreneurship
  • BADM 3xx: Accounting for Entrepreneurs OR
    • BADM 340: Financial Management (additional prerequisite)
  • BADM 367: Small Business Entrepreneurship
  • ENTR 4xx: Seminar for Entrepreneurship

The Entrepreneurship Minor is open to students of all majors. If interested, contact Dr. Tom Whalen at

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge

A student-centered business plan competition for undergraduates. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge is a ten-week co-curricular program that coaches students through business plan development from idea inception to implementation by providing topical Pop-Up Courses on:

  • Lean Methodology
  • Problem/Solution Fit
  • Financial Modeling
  • Go-to-Market Planning
  • Business Plan Writing
  • Pitch Development & Delivery

Along the way students meet with mentors from the regional business and non-profit communities, as well as the MCLA alumni network. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge culminates in pitch competition, the winner of which receives $10,000 in seed funding, a paid internship, and cost-free workspace and advising from North Adams-based non-profit business incubator, Lever, Inc.

If interested in learning more about or participating in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit or contact Zachary Feury at

Business Bootcamp

In conjunction with the region's leading economic development agency, 1Berkshire, MCLA is proud to offer the Business Bootcamp.

Begun in 2016, the Business Bootcamp aims to provide entrepreneurship education to aspiring entrepreneurs within the Berkshire County community. The Business Bootcamp is five-week program offering twice weekly workshops on topics pertinent to business development, including:

  • Design Thinking
  • Lean Methodology
  • Accounting
  • Financial Modeling
  • Go-to-Market Planning
  • Accounting
  • Pitch Development & Delivery

The Business Bootcamp runs annually in the Spring at 1Berkshire's offices in Pittsfield. If interested contact Zachary Feury at or David Curtis at


Elizabeth Dawson, '19, pitches her business plan for Bloom, a non-profit education organization, at the inaugural Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2017.