COVER STORY SIDEBAR
eClips offers resources for students, teachers, entrepreneurs around the world
If there's a universal truth about entrepreneurship, it's that being an entrepreneur is not about fitting into a mold or conforming to a stereotype.
Kelsey Kohler, MBA '03, came to that discovery through her own experience as leader of the cybersecurity and forensics company Digital Certainty LLC. And she shares that thought and others with aspiring entrepreneurs of all stripes on eClips, eclips.cornell.edu, a free, searchable and ever-growing collection of more than 13,000 video clips on topics from accounting and business plans to venture capital and young entrepreneurs.
eClips was conceived in 1995 by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing Sr. Professor of Personal Enterprise and Small Business Management, as a way of providing educators with a "virtual panel" of experts to stimulate discussion, illustrate concepts and create a real-world feel in teaching entrepreneurship.
"Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of getting people to remember content. So when you're teaching, if you can link what you're teaching to a story and a human being, you have a much better chance of having it integrated," Streeter said. "Students live in a world of digital media … if you have the chance to blend real-world drama with classroom theory and framework -- that's what students appreciate. It breathes life into the content."
Managed by Streeter, two full-time staff members, collaborators at the Cornell University Library and a cadre of undergraduate and graduate students, the site has grown to be the largest collection of its kind in the world. It is used by educators, students and businesspeople from more than 1,200 universities and 81 countries.
The site also features special collections, such as social entrepreneurship, life science startups, entrepreneurship in the arts, and enterprise and sustainability; and a Career Corner with advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Regular podcasts provide information in audio form.
And eClips continues to expand and experiment. Through Prendismo, a collaborative startup launched in 2008, eClips content is now also featured on major research sites including ProQuest and allbusiness.com. "TenGoodMinutes," a weekly podcast featuring 10-minute interviews with career strategies and advice for young professionals, recently became the first independent microsite.
"It's a really healthy tech transfer environment," Streeter said. "And we're always interested in new ideas."