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Posts Tagged: Foster School of Business


In the Spotlight: John Castle and Creating a Company

John Castle

John Castle

Every year, Creating a Company, as the course is dubbed, becomes less a class than a crash course in entrepreneurship. Groups of eager students team up, form a company, apply for a $1,000-$2,000 loan from the Foster School of Business, and spend the next few months hawking their product or service to the wider world.

Past companies have sold goods ranging from Husky apparel to glass jars of cake mix; other companies have launched art galleries and driven students to the mountain passes for a day on the slopes. (Read below for photos and memories of some of the course’s most memorable products.)

At the heart of it all is lecturer John Castle, who has taught the class for the past 12 years – and who will retire at year’s end.

In 2001, Castle had stepped down as CEO from Cantametrix, a music software company he helped found, when a neighbor and former UW professor approached him about inheriting the Creating a Company course. With more than 40 years of business acumen, Castle didn’t lack experience: Before joining the UW, he had served as CEO of Hamilton-Thorn, a medical electronics and diagnostics company; cofounded Seragen, a biotechnology company; and was a partner in Washington Biotechnology Funding, a seed venture capital fund specializing in medical technologies.

Since then, he’s drawn on that extensive experience as would-be CEOS have created and developed dozens of companies. Castle’s only rule in approving companies and dispersing loans is “Do no harm,” meaning that students can’t, say, promote underage drinking by selling shot glasses to fraternities and sororities on campus. (This actually happened.)

When the class ends, students return any profits to the Foster School and can buy their company for $1 to keep it going. Few companies have outlived their academic years, but Castle knows the experience will remain long after grades are posted. “Whether or not they learn how to do it well, they will learn whether or not they want to start their own business.” Castle said. “This is as realistic of an experience of entrepreneurship as we can make it.”

Read on for a look back at some of the most memorable products and services offered by students during Castle’s tenure.

Read more…

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Budget woes all the talk in UW community right now

Cherry blossoms on the UW campus
The state legislative session is in full swing and there has been lots of coverage recently about the University of Washington’s budget woes.

On April 3, the Seattle Times reported budget cuts have forced UW officials to admit more out-of-state students this year, thus decreasing the number of in-state applicants who were accepted. The story, titled “Straight-A’s may not get you into the UW this year,” has generated an astonishing 700-plus comments on the Times website.

UW gives us what we asked for is today’s headline from columnist Danny Westneat, who argues the budget situation at UW is exactly what the state asked for when it demanded the UW do “more with less.” Westneat says declining state support strong-arms the UW into operating more like a business.

It’s clearly a critical time for all of us who love the UW. More information can be found on the new UW In Your Community map, and alumni can read UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley’s letter to members in the March issue of Columns.

Now, the happy return of Dawg Treats:

  • UW Lecturer Ali Tarhouni was named finance minister of the shadow government in Libya. In a March 16 interview with Voice of America, the former Foster School of Business senior lecturer said, “There’s no fear of Gadhafi and his forces. We know he’s gone. … The question is how many innocent lives he’s going to take with him.” Read more about Tarhouni from the Seattle Times.
  • Sadly, a 20-year-old UW sophomore was killed during an avalanche while snowboarding near Stevens Pass. A candlelight vigil was held for Riley McCarthy on the UW campus March 31.
  • Former Husky quarterback Jake Locker impressed NFL scouts at Washington’s Pro Day at Dempsey Indoor.
  • UWTV recently debuted two new shows that feature independent film making and contemporary performances from the UW’s Chamber Dance Company. UWTV also won three prestigious Telly Awards!
  • UW alum Joe Sutter, the famed chief engineer of the original Boeing 747, had his initials carved into the 747-8 that made its maiden flight March 20.

    Read more…

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Beloved UW Lecturer Karma Hadjimichalakis passes away

UW Lecturer Karma Hadjimichalakis passes away.The University of Washington lost a dear friend recently. Dr. Karma Hadjimichalakis of the Foster School of Business passed away Feb. 21 after a long illness.

Karma was Principal Lecturer in Business Economics and Finance, and served as co-host for the popular “State of the Economy” forum along with her colleague Dr. Ed Rice. A native of Utica, New York, she joined the UW faculty  in 1970 and won more than 45 major teaching awards, including the first PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Foster School’s highest recognition of teaching excellence.

Karma was a favorite of many UW students and alumni, and the UWAA wishes her family all the best. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Northwest Harvest or the Karma Impact Fund (click on “Search” and type in “Karma Impact Fund”).

Read more on Karma’s life and accomplishments in this story from the Foster School of Business and this beautiful piece from the Seattle Times.

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New – Watch videos on the Columns website

Seattle Camera Club photo by Frank Asakichi Kunishige Betti, ca. 1924. Like Columns magazine? Like UWTV? How about the Seattle Camera Club story that ran in Columns in December and on UW 360 this month?

Then, we hope you’ll love this: Readers can now enjoy our Camera Club story, then watch UW 360′s fantastic episode on the club, all from the Columns website. Click here to watch the video and see the new feature!

This is just another look at how we storytellers are beginning to work together across the UW campus. I’m excited to see how this evolves.

Until then, check out the entire UW 360 February episode :

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UW’s new PACCAR Hall is open for business, literally

At the UW’s Foster School of Business, bigger isn’t always better. Unless you’re talking about PACCAR Hall, the incredible new home for one of the country’s premier business schools.

On Friday, Oct. 15, Foster School faculty, staff, alumni and supporters gathered for a private reception to dedicate the five-story, 135,000-square-foot building. Dean Jim Jiambalvo, PACCAR chairman and CEO Mark Pigott, and UW Interim President Phyllis Wise all spoke at the event.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the gorgeous new building.

PACCAR Hall includes 124 offices, 19 classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium and 28 breakout rooms that can be used for small group discussions. There’s also an outdoor terrace and a large cafe that serves Starbucks coffee. It’s called Orin’s Place in honor of UW alum and Regent Orin Smith, the former president and CEO of Starbucks.

Read the University Week story and check out this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • Scientists at the UW have discovered that women who are depressed during pregnancy have a higher chance of premature births.
  • A report by the National Research Council examines how universities have managed the intellectual property of their federally-funded research.
  • When in Rome: Students studying abroad drink more alcohol, according to a UW study. This report has been all over the web—here’s a story from TIME.com.

Read more…

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