Open Minis: Entrepreneurship on campus

Big Entrepreneurship: How to unite a large university around entrepreneurship and avoid political pitfalls

 This “ignite it” style presentation will discuss the evolution of The University of Michigan’s Innovate Blue initiative, a Provost-level effort specifically designed to connect and unite the more than 15 entrepreneurship centers across its campus. We’ll touch on lessons learned and best practices, such as the benefits of a campus-wide curriculum committee, and challenges, such as the competing approaches to entrepreneurship education. Our discussion will be supported by direct examples from our campus community.

Kristen Kerecman, University of Michigan
Jeni Olney, University of Michigan
Oscar Ybarra, University of Michigan

Busting the Silos: Follow an eight-campus university as it develops a connected innovation ecosystem

This session will follow the progress of a multi-disciplinary team with a collaborative goal of developing a connected innovation ecosystem that leverages the success of many initiatives and strengths already present at the university, with the opportunity to add new forms of revenue without replicating programs or adding significant cost. This team came together as part of a grant from VentureWell for our FlashConnect program. This supported the development of a university-wide resource map and entrepreneurship pathway, as well as supporting students in launching a co-working space, and forming and supporting E-Teams.

Julie Messing, Kent State University

Why Liberal Arts Colleges Need R&D: Embracing complexity in a rapidly changing world

With rising costs for a college degree, an emerging ecosystem of alternative learning and career pathways, and a rapidly evolving knowledge economy driven by technological advances, there is increasing skepticism about the value of the residential liberal arts experience. Historically, the small liberal arts college offered a retreat–—geographical, intellectual, spiritual, and technological—–from external change pressures like these. Such a retreat is no longer possible, or even desirable. Against this backdrop it is essential to articulate, with evidence, the distinctive value of a residential college liberal arts education. In 2015, Davidson College established an R&D space for bottom-up experimentation supported by a micro-narrative assessment method for innovation accounting that aims to reimagine the liberal arts for a rapidly changing world.

Hannah Levinson, Davidson College
Kristen Eshleman, Davidson College

The Odd-Shaped Lego: Innovation in a university

Inworks is a new initiative at the University of Colorado Denver. It is an academic unit focused on teaching human-centered design and innovation. Our facilities include a collaborative classroom and workshop space, equipped with extensive prototyping tools. What may be more interesting is the way that Inworks is itself an innovation: Inworks sits outside of the other colleges and schools on campus. This gives our group remarkable flexibility within the university system, provided we still connect at key points with the university’’s bureaucracy; that is, our program can be a very odd-shaped LEGO brick, as long as the studs on the brick join to the course catalog, the class schedule, and a few other points. This oddness also brings challenges, such as students’’ hesitancy (“will this count?”) and some faculty mistrust. We offer a window into how our first year of teaching courses has developed.

Katherine Goodman, University of Colorado Denver

Track: Topics in I&E

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