Lynn University and Watson Institute have collaborated to educate the next generation of innovators, visionaries and social entrepreneurs. With this new initiative, the organizations have created, for the first time ever, a program that allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in social entrepreneurship for building a venture.
“This will be the first degree-bearing incubator for the world’s most promising next generation social entrepreneurs,” said Watson Chief Executive Officer and Founder Eric Glustrom. “Selected students can have the full college experience on Lynn’s campus in Boca Raton, Florida, while experiencing intensive mentorships and building connections with leading entrepreneurs.”
The social entrepreneurship program will combine Watson philosophy with Lynn’s nationally-recognized core curriculum and business program. Students will have the opportunity to receive seed funding, intensive mentorship and award-winning training in ideation, rapid prototyping, fundraising, leadership and management, team building and more. Top mentors and entrepreneurs coach participants in their social venture, passions and personal objectives.
“This is a unique partnership that allows us to formally express our desire to make an impact beyond our campus—something that’s always been in our DNA,” said Lynn President Kevin M. Ross. “With Watson’s remarkable program and network, we can further give students the skills they need to make a difference in the world. And that’s only the beginning.”
Lynn announced in 2017 that it will open a Social Impact Lab in its future Christine E. Lynn University Center, a three-story student union that will open in 2019. The lab will include robust offerings in experiential learning and social innovation.
Watson first aligned with Lynn in October 2014. Participants in Watson’s program could elevate their experience by completing Lynn’s Dialogues core curriculum online to earn an undergraduate degree. Tessa Zimmerman ‘16 was the first graduate of the program.
Zimmerman developed ASSET Education, which helps high school students overcome anxiety and succeed academically. She was motivated by her own experience coping with severe anxiety in school and has seen quick success. ASSET currently services 1,600 students and has trained 35 teachers from 12 different schools in Denver, Colorado, and Harlem, New York.
“The combination of Watson and Lynn is powerful,” she said. “You get to experience an established network of Lynn alumni and faculty paired with a newer school style that’s helping higher education open more doors for young entrepreneurs.”
Andrew Lippi ‘13, ‘14 will support program recruitment and its launch in South Florida.
Article updated March 27, 2018