" "

Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program

Hands-On. High-Impact.

The NC State Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program gives students an unparalleled opportunity to engage in real-world business development.

Based on a hands-on learning process involving entrepreneurs, start-ups, and transdisciplinary teams in a clinical setting, students learn how to look at new ideas and figure out the steps necessary to commercialize them. They also interact with local businesses and help them succeed.

An initiative of the CALS Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Poole College of Management at NC State, the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program serves as a concentration for agribusiness management students and a minor for students in other majors who are interested in entrepreneurship as applied to agriculture.

We’re developing the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. Join us.

Top 25 in the U.S.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine rank
NC State as the #11 undergraduate program for entrepreneurs in 2019.

Learn By Doing

Our courses extend beyond the classroom walls to give students hands-on, real-world experience in ideation, problem-solving and commercialization of new ventures and products. On top of all that, you’ll learn business principles and best practices, communication strategies and how to work as part of an effective team. Not to mention gaining invaluable industry connections. Check out the course descriptions below for details.

Principles of Agribusiness Entrepreneurship

This course covers the applied entrepreneurship skills needed to identify and create an opportunity in agribusiness. Students engage in lectures and the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinical model of study using experiential learning to further expose and develop opportunities. Emphasis is placed on how to conceive new business ideas, how to evaluate the ideas, and how to turn the ideas into new ventures. Students are encouraged and mentored during the course to examine real business ideas that they might want to pursue after graduation; either in a new venture or within an existing organization. Students create and execute an action plan with a clinic partner company to research and develop a feasibility analysis for an identified opportunity. These projects will be presented via poster sessions during the semester.

The emphasis of this course:

  • How to conceive new business ideas
  • How to evaluate the ideas
  • How to turn the ideas into new ventures

During the course, students are mentored to examine real business ideas they might pursue after graduation, either in a new venture or within an existing organization. Students work with a clinic partner company to create and execute an action plan, and research and develop a feasibility analysis for an identified opportunity. Students will present their projects via poster sessions during the semester.

Agribusiness New Venture Development

Student in crop science lab working on a machine.

This course is taken after Principles of Agribusiness Entrepreneurship. Students work in teams on a single new venture idea to further master concepts introduced in the previous course. They learn new venture development in a learn-by-doing process: from opportunity specification to development of a compelling case, and development of an executable plan. The class is conducted in a clinic setting where student teams analyze entrepreneurial ideas for business viability. New venture ideas may be provided by the teacher, by other departments in CALS seeking economic collaboration, by agribusinesses who seek a case study partnership with the class, or by students. The end result is actionable plans for new ventures that are ready for presentation to prospective investors.

Students will learn skills such as:

  • How to develop and test hypotheses about the opportunity
  • How to collect and analyze needed data
  • How to develop a coherent business model for execution of the new venture

The class is conducted in a clinic setting where student teams analyze entrepreneurial ideas for business viability.

New venture ideas may be provided by:

  • The teacher
  • Other departments in CALS seeking economic collaboration
  • Agribusinesses who seek a case study partnership with the class
  • Students

Students will finish with actionable plans for new ventures that are ready for presentation to prospective investors.

Agribusiness Entrepreneurship
Clinical Practicum

Undergraduate student listens to plant science teacher describe plants.

The course is taken after Agribusiness New Venture Development. Its focus is to provide students an opportunity to embed themselves within the entrepreneurial community while advising and working with real ventures and engaging in experiential learning. Several field trips will be taken to visit agribusiness entrepreneurs. The clinical practicum provides students the tools needed to execute on their own ideas within their new ventures or existing ventures partnered with the Entrepreneurship Clinic.
After completion of the clinical practicum, students will be engaged in the entrepreneurial community, have a better understanding of launching and operating an entrepreneurial venture, have a more robust social network of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, and have
the information and understanding necessary to grow an entrepreneurial venture.

After completion of the clinical practicum, students will:

  • Be engaged in the entrepreneurial community
  • Have a better understanding of launching and operating an entrepreneurial venture
  • Have a more robust social network of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors
  • Have the information and understanding necessary to grow an entrepreneurial venture

 

What To Expect

Hear from the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program’s leaders — and get a sneak peek of the collaborative learning space — in this brief overview.

Apply Now for Spring 2019

Advisory Council

Fulton Breen | XSinc
John Dombrosky | Agtech Accelerator
Chason Johnson | Johnson Nurseries
Carroll Joyner | Philanthropist
Trish Malarkey | Novozymes
Lewis Sheats | PCOM NCSU
Deborah Thompson | NCARS NCSU
Reggie Strickland | Strickland Farming Group

Partner With Us

Our entrepreneurship students and instructors seek to partner with all types of agribusiness entrepreneurs to answer challenging questions about new ventures and to evaluate ideas for new ventures. Agribusiness new ventures include start-ups (new businesses or new institutions) and new ventures that add value to an existing business or institution.

Apply for Partnership Now