This month, we will publicly mark the name and brand transition to Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI).
The program, like any entrepreneurial venture, went from idea to action to organization producing results. We've had thousands of Iowa State University students take our courses and participate in experiential learning programs and internships. Hundreds of those students were engaged in our Student Incubator program, where they worked to develop plans for their own businesses and farms. As those students graduated and joined the ranks of ISU alumni, they've gone on to form hundreds of startup businesses and farms (see the Wall of Fame, which features some).
One of the great experiences I have often is to meet one of those alumni on campus when they're visiting, at some public event I am attending, or at a speaking event. They'll tell me, "Hey, Kevin, I just wanted to let you know I'm doing it." Then they'll go on to tell me what they're doing with their business, farm, or community. They've started something!
I had the distinct benefit of working as director of the program for my first years with then Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, and for the last period of years with Dean Dan Robison. Support from the College's leadership has been one of the keys to building an impactful program along with the support of many alumni and friends.
Now we have the distinct benefit of President Wendy Wintersteen's leadership in seeding innovation and entrepreneurship even more widely across the university. Other colleges at ISU have developed their own programs, and the innovation opportunities across the university have expanded considerably. As this has occurred, we've also moved to create a more appropriate brand that current students, prospective students, alumni, and those who want to engage in the innovation enterprise at Iowa State University will recognize. The Start Something brand will be used by our program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and by other programs in the other colleges at ISU. All alongside the Innovate at Iowa State brand.
Our annual magazine and now blog have carried the title 'STARTUPS' for several years. So, it is very appropriate to transition the program's brand to Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
While we transition the brand of the program, our mission remains. Train and develop the mindset, skills, and behaviors of high-impact agricultural entrepreneurs and change-makers.
And we continue to work to spur the creation of tomorrow's agriculture by developing agricultural entrepreneurs and change-makers, supporting agricultural business and farm startups, and building a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and transformation.
Now, let's start something!