Upstate Entrepreneur to Introduce New High-Tech Entrepreneurship Course at GSSM
Move over, Steve Jobs. Step aside, Bill Gates. From Jan. 4-19, S.C. Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) students will learn what makes a good idea a successful business venture in the school's first-ever "Entrepreneurship and Hi-Tech Business Planning" interim course, part of GSSM's January Interim program.
Ralph Hulseman, co-founder of Greenville-based startup company Hoowaki, LLC, joined by GSSM mathematics instructor Gary Salazar, will guide entrepreneurship students as they team up to research and develop a product idea pitch for venture capitalists. But the course will go beyond teaching theory - the winning team's proposal may be developed by Hulseman's company!
"Students are wonderfully creative," Hulseman said. "I expect that working with them will provide ideas and inspiration for development of breakthrough products using Hoowaki's unique technology."
A break from routine, Interim is designed to expose them to unique and enlightening educational experiences such as ballroom dancing, coral reef photography, chess, finance and more.
A 25-year veteran of Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation, Hulseman left the company in 2008 to form Hoowaki, LLC, a technology startup that's working to identify a market for super hydrophobic, or water repellent, surfaces. Hoowaki technology modifies the surface of polymeric materials to control how an object interacts with its surroundings, especially with water.
Hulseman's business partners are William P. King, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Illinois, and InnoVenture venture capital conference founder John Warner. Over the two-week period, students will learn the basics of making a business plan, including how to assess the value of an idea, how to estimate the cost to manufacture, and where to get startup financing.
Students will be engaged through a number of unique opportunities including: brainstorming and product prototyping sessions; field trips to businesses; team competitions and presentations; and a speakers series enlisting the insight of experts from a variety of business arenas.
For three fun-filled weeks in January, students at GSSM are treated to a variety of educational offerings different from their normal courses of study, known as January Interim. Courses run the gamut from science and technology to art, music and drama. Popular choices include "Game Development," "Introduction to Film making," "Art in the Interim" and "Scuba Diving." Several courses usually include travel and field experiences with at least one overseas opportunity. Interim courses are taught by members of the GSSM faculty along with visiting professors from South Carolina colleges and universities. To learn more about Hoowaki, LLC visit