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Industry leaders and college professors will conduct informational sessions beginning next week to help students prepare for the 2017-2018 RJI Student Competition. Unless otherwise noted, the trainings will be held in the Smith Forum in the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Smith Forum sessions are open to University of Missouri students and the public.

Session 1: Building diverse, inclusive teams

6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in Smith Forum

Ron KelleyLearn best practices to support diverse and inclusive teamwork from Ron Kelley, an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and former director of the school’s Multicultural Management Program. Kelley is the co-author of “Guide to Research on Race and News,” a comprehensive study on race and media funded by the Ford Foundation and published by the Missouri School of Journalism.

Session 2: A user-centered approach to digital products

6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in Smith Forum

Reuben SternReuben Stern will introduce you to design thinking and teach you the steps involved in creating a successful digital product. You'll learn how to evaluate whether your idea is actually good, and you’ll get an overview of the three keys to product success: desirability, feasibility and viability. Stern has taught classes at the Missouri School of Journalism since 2002 and now serves as director of the school’s New York Program and deputy director of the RJI Futures Lab. He has overseen the successful launch of multiple journalism-related products throughout his career and has served as a mentor for teams in the RJI Student Competition since 2011.

Session 3: Wearable technology and fashion

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, in Smith Forum

Lisa LenoirKirsteen BuchananKirsteen Buchanan and Lisa Lenoir are experts in the design of wearable devices. Buchanan is the faculty chair and associate professor in the fashion program at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Lenoir, a former fashion journalist, is an assistant professor in fashion communication at Stephens College. The two will speak about trends and concepts in wearable technology.

Session 4: Legal pointers for entrepreneurs: Ignorance of the law is no defense

Date and location TBD

James NiemannEnhance your chances of creating a commercially viable product by learning how to navigate the legal considerations that all startups face. Jim Niemann, Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (“ELC”) at the University of Missouri School of Law, shares pointers from his 25 years of experience practicing law. Prior to joining the law school’s faculty in 2015, Professor Niemann served as general counsel for major business units of Assurant, a Fortune 300 company, and chief counsel for Assurant’s new product development team. Learn about co-founder agreements, types of business entities, protection of your intellectual property (intangible assets, namely patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets), regulatory clearance, contracting, securing financing (securities law) employment issues, immigration matters, and much more. 

Sessions 5–8: Market research, value proposition and pitching

5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, February 2018, location TBD

Rhonda RegerNeed market research, value proposition and other business skills? Rhonda Reger, M. Watkins Distinguished Professor of Management at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, created Tiger Startup, a four-week entrepreneurial experience, for business students in fall 2017. When Tiger Startup resumes in February 2018, RJI Student Competition participants are invited to attend.

Competition participants will learn pitch skills and receive feedback in preparation of their formal pitches in front of news and technology industry judges as part of the RJI Student Competition in April 2018.

Session 9: Pitch like a pro

4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Smith Forum

Melissa GersinMelissa Gersin’s path to entrepreneurship wasn’t a straight line. The Boston maternity nurse witnessed the struggles many new and veteran parents had trying to soothe their fussy babies. She envisioned and created a portable solution for parents: Tranquilo Mat. In fall 2016, she appeared on “Shark Tank” and landed a deal. Gersin will share how to make the best pitch of your life using tips from her “Shark Tank” preparation and experience.

 

Ebony Reed  
 
Director of Innovation and the RJI Futures Lab



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