CityU Catalyst Center Propels students and startups forward

CityU Catalyst Center Propels students and startups forward

The first two student projects for the CityU Catalyst Center (CCC) propelled real world learning for the students and provided value to CCC community members. The CCC connects the City University of Seattle faculty, staff, and student community with the start-up community. Students can receive real-life experience and entrepreneurs can get advice and projects completed while supporting the CityU academic community.  The CCC launched their new membership program with its first two pilot clients, the City of Seattle Office of Office of Economic Development, and PhotoPad for Business.

The PhotoPad for Business project was a marketing plan completed in MBA525. Jahnabi Chetia, MBA candidate, explained “When we work for our class projects, we spent a lot of time and effort. So, by working on a real project, I felt that our work could be actually valuable to someone. I think working for a client is a win-win situation. Despite the challenges that any start-up company goes through, I’m glad that we were able to overcome the barriers and pull together a marketing plan that made our client happy.”

Diane Najm, PhotoPad for Business CEO and founder extolled, “Working with the CityU Catalyst Center and the CityU MBA students was a great experience. I like the student-developed concept and extremely proud of the team and their plan”. The instructor for MBA525, Tee Nearman, CityU principal faculty agreed: “The students were thrilled to have been chosen to work on this ‘real life’ marketing plan.  The project team was eager to apply their acquired knowledge from their MBA studies at CityU to showcase their skills for this CCC client.  They collaborated with precision to create a well strategized marketing plan for PhotoPad we are proud of. This experience demonstrates the reality of our CityU messaging, ‘A CityU MBA can take you from order taker to decision maker!’  The project team truly became proficient decision makers.”

The second project was a research project for the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) conducted in MBA501. As Sanju Nair, MBA candidate said, “Working on a paper for a real-client like the City of Seattle has been a rewarding experience. We got to work on important aspects of project planning, data intelligence, resource allocation and client interaction. This opportunity was nothing less than real work experience, adding value to our CV and preparing us for the future.”

Roque Deherrera, OED business advocate concurred and supports CityU learners: “The CityU student team produced an excellent research presentation for our office. The work offered a unique perspective and the quality was superb. The City of Seattle OED happily supports student learning and we look forward to a long-standing partnership with CityU.”

The CityU Catalyst Center community businesses members paid annual supporter and project fees to utilize an affordable service to accelerate the growth of their business while simultaneously providing impactful projects for CityU MBA students.

CityU is always looking to build community partnerships with local businesses, and we welcome any inquiries of interest. If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Kathy Cox at Kathy appreciates all the effort the SOM administrative staff, the Entrepreneurship Advisory board, the library staff, and IT has put into making the CityU Catalyst Center a reality.

Published January 6, 2016



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