Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Harvard students look to apply lessons in Las Vegas

Harvard Business School students looking to connect the real world of downtown Las Vegas with an entrepreneurial idea they’ve spent the last few months developing want feedback from Las Vegas residents at a public forum Tuesday.

A handful of students from Harvard’s MBA program came to Las Vegas a few months ago, working with David Gould, who is leading an effort by Downtown Project to connection downtown to academia here and around the world.

Gould is the University of Iowa Obermann Center public scholar and DTP’s director of imagination.

The students — all paying their own way and not receiving class credit — want to integrate what they are learning with the downtown’s redeveloping business landscape.

In January, a few students flew here and met with police, neighborhood leaders, city leaders, academics and business operators. They took that information back to Harvard, created a Facebook page and the ideas started to pour in.

Next week, six of those students will fly here over their spring break to test their idea.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m., they will make a public presentation at the Learning Village, 715 Fremont St. Anyone can attend, and a question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

Gould said because of the wealth of artistic talent in Las Vegas, along with its growing tech-business environment, they are looking to apply their idea in the arts and technology.

So what’s their idea?

Gould summed it up as a plan to improve the experience of apprentice workers — and to make it such a valued experience that apprentices will pay for the opportunity. More details will come out at tomorrow’s public forum.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover Downtown, he lives and works there. He is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded Downtown journalist, stationed at an office in Emergency Arts. His work appears in the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly.

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