Changing Perceived Risk of Failure with a New Startup

Newell Gough, Management Department, Boise State University

There is a marked difference between the number of people who indicate they want to start their own business (65%) compared to the number who actually start new businesses (less than 5%). Previous studies show that “fear of failure” is a significant impediment to new enterprise creation and ranges between 79% to 30% depending on the country, with the US and Canada being on the low end of this range. MBA 585, believed to be the first of its type in the country, presents a lower risk startup model: creating a technology startup business during the class semester with students, faculty, universities, national laboratories and academic inventors, and attempting to secure funding from SBIR grants. SBIR scientific review panels provide independent review (and validation). Three SBIR grants were filed during the semester, each with the potential to generate about $1 million in funding.

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