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Building The Entrepreneurial Mindset In Senior Projects

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Design

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.252.1 - 15.252.10



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth Cook Lawrence Tech University

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Jerry Cuper Lawrence Tech University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Imagine the challenge of teaching a capstone course that sparks the entrepreneurial mindset in students. Building this mindset required several teaching techniques that were used for years and have proven successful in establishing the framework for this attitude. This course is comprised of students from different academic majors working on the same project. The student majors cover the spectrum of electronic, mechanical, construction, industrial, management, architecture, and manufacturing technologies. These different majors prove to be a great asset for the project teams. Just as in industry, a varied group of people with diverse backgrounds are pulled together to successfully complete a project. Students are expected to conceive an idea, research, develop, manufacture, market, and establish a sales distribution network for their product. This duplicates real-world pressures to produce a quality product with market viability in a short-delivery time. The professor acts as the CEO of an international corporation and the students are employees from different operating divisions that are in trouble. They are brought together to develop new or innovative products. It is very important in the entrepreneurial mindset that a management style be established by the CEO/professor that fosters teamwork with a free spirit of brainstorming new products. This structure provides real-world situations as in industry. Students must demonstrate their product to the CEO/professor, their peers, and industrial advisors.

Foundation for Entrepreneurial Spirit

Lawrence Technological University (LTU) was founded in 1932, as a result from Henry Ford and the educational community requesting part-time programs in the evening. At that time, there were no colleges or universities in the Detroit area that offered evening courses. The Dean of Engineering at the University of Detroit (U of D), Russell Lawrence, was approached to create a night school program. He left U of D and started Lawrence Institute of Technology (LIT) to offer engineering and technology programs that were open to part-time as well as full-time students. Mr. Lawrence had the entrepreneurial spirit to start LIT even in the depressed economy of 1932.

In1986 the Bachelor of Science in Technology degree was initiated and the name was changed to the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in 1990. As a foundation for this program, and since the LTU philosophy is “Theory and Practice”, a capstone course needed to be developed. An important requirement for this senior project course was to have it taught by a professor that had an entrepreneurial mindset. Also, the senior project would use all of the skills that students learned from their previous courses.

Cook, K., & Cuper, J. (2010, June), Building The Entrepreneurial Mindset In Senior Projects Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16233

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