Summer 2020 Courses

Maymester Courses


HNRS 350 | Startup Bootcamp: From Idea to Actionable Business Plan

M-F, 9:00-12:15. Instructor: Kurt Schmidt. Enrollment=12.

This class will bring out your inner startup ninja. Over the course of three weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to create an idea for a startup and transform it into an actionable business plan. Specially designed for non-business majors, Startup Bootcamp welcomes all students and aspiring entrepreneurs with a hunger to learn.

Students will utilize a business plan creation model to develop the foundational skills to get a startup idea off the ground. This class will meet at UNC’s 1789 Venture Lab, where you will collaborate and ideate with other first-time entrepreneurs in a purpose-built startup environment. Students majoring or minoring in business are not eligible.

Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students should click here to provide a brief statement of interest. The class will be taught by Kurt Schmidt, a serial entrepreneur, investor, board member, and advisor to startups from Silicon Valley to Shanghai and Sydney. Mr. Schmidt regularly attends Y Combinator and 500 Startups investment pitches and other investor events. He has his finger on the pulse of the global startup community and will share with you his insight and experience.

HNRS 353 | Silicon Revolution CANCELED

M-F, 9:00-12:15. Instructor: Jim Leloudis. Enrollment=16.

Silicon Valley is celebrated as a global capital of high-tech innovation and transformative economic development. Business leaders and politicians in other regions have attempted to reproduce that accomplishment, almost always with limited success. Why has the task been so difficult? What magic combination of institutions, public policy, people, and geography transformed the lettuce fields of Santa Clara County into the epicenter of a new knowledge economy? And what lessons can Silicon Valley teach us about the roles that government, universities, and private capital might play in inventing the future? These are the questions this course sets out to explore.

We’ll use the first week of class to immerse ourselves in the history of Silicon Valley. Then we’ll spend a week in San Francisco and Palo Alto, where we’ll visit with UNC alumni working in small start-ups, technology giants such as Google and Cisco, and a number of venture capital and private equity firms. When we return to Chapel Hill, we’ll use our last week to take the measure of what we’ve learned and to connect lessons from Silicon Valley to the challenges of economic development in North Carolina.

Travel dates: We’ll travel to San Francisco on Saturday, May 16,and return on Saturday, May 23.

Costs: In addition to Summer School tuition, students will pay a program fee of $1,700 directly to Honors Carolina. The fee will cover the cost of airport transfers, lodging at the Cardinal Hotel in downtown Palo Alto, and lunch and evening meals. It will not cover airfare, the cost of other meals, or incidental personal expenses. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students should click here to provide a brief statement of interest.


POLI/PWAD 469H | Conflict and Nationalism in the Former Yugoslavia

M-F, 9:00-12:15. Instructor: Robert Jenkins. Enrollment=20.

This course provides an overview of the ethnic conflict that brought war to the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  The focus of the Maymester class is on international intervention, particularly on the role of international organizations in post-war peace- and institution-building.  The course will be a reconfigured version of the study abroad course in the Balkans and Vienna, engaging organizations (EU, OSCE, NATO) and analysts currently working in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, using video technology.

For more information, please contact Prof. Robert Jenkins,