Grove City College and Highmark lead region's future entrepreneurs

Aug 30, 2012, 08:00 ET from Highmark Inc.

GROVE CITY, Pa., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Grove City College and the Highmark Business Innovation Team have agreed to a landmark partnership that will provide an independent seminar course for Grove City College students during the 2012-13 academic year. The course will serve as a unique real-world opportunity for outstanding students from across the College's academic disciplines to research, analyze and present business plans to Highmark.

"We are very honored to partner with one of the most innovative companies in the region," said Dr. Craig Columbus, executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and associate professor of entrepreneurship. "Highmark recognizes that technology and innovation can materially improve lives. We could not be more excited to work with such a forward-thinking company on that important mission."

The course, "A Study in Healthcare Business Innovation," Entrepreneurship 488, will be a three-credit-hour course modeled to fit within the same 90-day model Highmark uses internally to work through similar idea explorations. Highmark representatives will present students with business ideas to examine, guide their progress and provide project insights in-person and virtually. At the conclusion of the semester, students will showcase their business models to Highmark, adding recommendations on the validity of each idea.

"This collaboration creates tremendous value for both parties," said Eric Starr, director of Highmark's Business Innovation function. "Top Grove City students will have an opportunity to learn business analysis and innovation methodologies that are practiced daily by a leading healthcare company while Highmark's Business Innovation Strategists will receive a diverse perspective of consumers' mindset from these students as well as insights from the faculty of one of the leading entrepreneurship programs." 

"The university relationship is a critical component of our open innovation process. We anticipate the collaboration between Grove City's entrepreneurship program and Highmark's Business Innovation team will yield unique solutions and business opportunities to impact consumer health," added Paul Puopolo, Highmark vice president of Business Innovation and Development.

The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation raises the arc of innovation across the Grove City College campus and elevates the discussion of values, judgment and character within the field of entrepreneurship education.

One of six initiatives of Grove City Matters: A Campaign to Advance Grove City College, The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation's endowed funds support strategic investments that enable students to gain knowledge and awareness through opportunities for competition on and off campus; enrichment programs; and student venturing, mentoring and scholarly research and education.

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SOURCE Highmark Inc.