News at Smith

Fearless Ideas Courses Inspire Innovation

Apr 14, 2014
Entrepreneurial Spirit


The University of Maryland offers a set of “Fearless Ideas” courses through its Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (AIE), a signature initiative to infuse the university with a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across all colleges, building on the institution's excellence as a research university.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business will offer four Fearless Ideas courses in fall 2014:

Special Topics: Fearless Founders New Venture Practicum
Instructor: Elana Fine

Creativity for Innovators and Entrepreneurs Outdoor Edition
Instructor: Oliver Schlake

Social Entrepreneurship Laboratory
Instructor: Melissa Carrier and Sara Herald

Create the Future through Systems Thinking and Design
Instructor: Gerald Suarez

To say that Oliver Schlake, Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow at Smith, is excited about his new Fearless Ideas course is an understatement. His enthusiasm is off the charts and the course is sure to be an instant classic.

Creativity for Innovators and Entrepreneurs Outdoor Edition will provide ideas, concepts and current thinking on how to create real-life ideas and turn those ideas into profitable innovation,” said Schlake. “The class uses a highly experiential approach to teach the key concepts of idea generation and product design. In order to produce highly innovative and creative results for future innovators, the course uses about 30 percent of contact time in an outdoor camp to test student ideas or in field trips to visit experts.”

Students from previous classes rave about how they’ve benefited from the Fearless Ideas courses.

“My business literally could not have been built without the help of the Dingman Center,” said Cupid’s Cup finalist Chase Kaczmarek. (pictured above)

Kacsmarek took part in Smith’s Entrepreneurship Fellows program at Shady Grove and was a student in the Fearless Founders New Venture Practicum course with Elana Fine, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. He placed third ($5,000) in this year’s Cupid’s Cup Business Competition.

“I began speaking to Dingman in December 2012,” said Kaczmarek. “The staff was very helpful and connected me to so many important people. Wheel Shields has benefited enormously. We have now grown from a 1.0 prototype to a fully functioning business, with sales to over 30 countries.”

Do you have a Fearless Idea?

Go to: 

-Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.