“The University of Vermont’s Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA (SEMBA) program in the Grossman School of Business continues to bolster its growing reputation as one of the nation’s most innovative business programs by climbing to the No. 2 spot on the Princeton Review’s ‘Best Green MBA’ list…”
In just the month of October, SEMBA claimed a total of three major awards, joining the ranks of Yale School of Management and the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Of course, awards are a staple of academia, providing an objective evaluation for prospective students comparing programs but do awards actually serve a larger purpose?
Last Friday, SEMBA welcomed our second Entrepreneur in Residence, Nick Donowitz, Chief Operating Officer of THINKmd. We had the opportunity to learn about Nick’s journey and discuss two case studies from his past and current entrepreneurial ventures.
Nick began his career working at the Cape Eleuthara Institute – Island School in the Bahamas and then returned to the US for his MBA and Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. During graduate school summers he worked for Symbioscience, a division of Mars, Inc., on strategic supply chain and water purification projects in Sawesi, Indonesia. After graduating, Nick led the development of Heliae Technology Holdings, an early-stage algae biotechnology company founded by members of the Mars family. Most recently, Nick is driving the growth of the Burlington-based global healthcare company THINKmd. THINKmd has created an innovative platform, Medsinc, that aims to save the lives of children with point-of-care clinical assessment through a mobile application.
Seizing the opportunity to get more insight into this dynamic entrepreneur, we asked Nick three quick questions. Below are edited responses.
Caroline Hauser, SEMBA Class of 2016 (Valedictorian), on the benefits of spending a year in one of America’s most livable cities
“I could not have asked for a better experience living and learning in Burlington while working toward an MBA.”
I moved to Burlington to start the SEMBA program last August. I’d visited the prior April — it snowed twice and the lake was still frozen. It was freezing but I still fell in love with the view of the Adirondacks over Lake Champlain, the energy of Church Street, and the dollar oysters at Hen of the Wood.
Arriving for school at the end of summer, I drove up from Pennsylvania with my parents and as soon as we crossed the border into Vermont it just felt different. Everything looked brighter, cleaner, fresher. To this day, I am in awe of how beautiful it is here. I could not have asked for a better experience living and learning in Burlington while working toward an MBA.
On August 12, 2016, Paul Laudicina, partner and chairman emeritus of A.T. Kearney, addressed SEMBA’s 2016 graduating class. In a wide-ranging speech with a broad historical arc, Laudicina made a powerful case for the “SEMBA Movement,” where businesses and business leaders committed to sustainability will leading us through this significant and challenging period of history.
“There is simply too much riding on your shoulders as the next generation of leaders for you to unplug. We desperately need your know-how, vision, passion, courage, and purpose to lead us through these challenging times. You could not be going out into the world to apply what you have learned at a more critical time—in many ways a “best of times, worst of times” interlude in world history.
“We stand at the threshold of the most incredible advances ever—in medicine, in life expectancy, in educational attainment, in extraordinary technological advances. Yet, we also live today in a world more troubled and challenged than at any time in modern history—surely than at any time in my history…people are feeling uneasy, apprehensive, insecure, and unhappy with the present, and fearful of the future.
“You will be challenged to lead in a world more complex and difficult than at any time in the past couple of decades.