What is Product Management?
- Product Management is the practice of managing products, services, and experiences on behalf of a startup or corporation that interfaces between customers and the development team, marketers, and designers.
What sets WIELD curriculum apart from other entrepreneurship programs at UT?
- We teach entrepreneurship through the lens of Throughout the program, students have access to 1-on-1 mentorship, start up funding, interview preparation, tech company tours, internship placements, and networking opportunities. Due to the focus on product management, upon finishing the program, you have the opportunity to form your own company or serve as an associate product manager at a corporation.
Is WIELD Institute for credit?
- The first two courses in the 2-year curriculum count towards the entrepreneurship minor at the McCombs School of Business. Each semester counts for 3 hours toward a degree plan.
Do I have to take the class for credit?
- No, but it is highly encouraged and students are still required to participate in a team. Students can audit the course if necessary.
Who can apply?
- Only UT students are eligible to apply.
Are there any additional costs for the program?
- All additional costs are optional if you want to join us with interstate trips or international trips.
What is the time commitment?
- The first-year class is Monday and Wednesday 6-7:30 p.m. with occasional field trips during the weekends. Because students are building a real company, it is recommended they dedicate between 10 to 15 hours per week to WIELD.
- Online options are available for special circumstances but it is highly encouraged to be in person. However, accommodations can be made to ensure students grasp the material even if they are working offline.
What is the class about?
- We teach entrepreneurship in a holistic way. We are not just focused on the bottom line, we’re focused on team dynamics and the formation of the individual self. Students will learn design, lean startup, agile, waterfall, and other product management principles that will equip them to lead teams and drive products to market.
What is mentorship like within WIELD?
- A mentor will be provided for each team each semester of WIELD. Mentors and mentees will meet every other week for one hour, or every week for 30 minutes, in person or on Zoom. As a part of the mentorship, you will be responsible for leading the conversations and driving progress.
Who are the mentors?
- We look to find mentors who are experts in the subject area that you are building your company on and those with a strong reputable background in entrepreneurship who have at least 5 years of experience. If your team does not get along with your mentor, then an alternative will be found to support you.
What is the team structure?
- Teams within the program will be composed of 3-5 UT students. We find that our model works best when we give you real-life situations where you have to work with all backgrounds.
How often will you work with your team?
- WIELD is built around teamwork and you are required to meet a minimum of one hour per week and have other-day check-ins with your team members.
What is Demo Day and do I have to participate?
- After each semester, every student is required to be on stage and contribute to their team’s presentation on their startup during Demo Day. The first, second, and third-place winners get some monetary support in the form of scholarships which they can use in any manner they choose.
Does UT own my IP or can I do whatever I want with it?
- No, UT does not take IP or ownership of your projects
Do I have to stick with the same idea for both semesters of the program?
- Each semester you have a chance to revise your previous concept and continue to build a new one, but you are responsible for redoing the previous semester’s work in order to build the new company.