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Creativity And New Product Development: Bringing Entrepreneurship Into Engineering Design Classes

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Utilizing On-Line Technology in Entrepreneurship Education

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.422.1 - 12.422.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Larry Richards University of Virginia

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

Creativity and New Product Development: Bringing Entrepreneurship into Engineering Design Classes Abstract

We have taught a course on Creativity and New Product Development since 1995. It is unique in its attention to all aspects of the product development process, including the personal and interpersonal issues in product development, as well as the technical ones. Our focus is not just on studying product development, but on actually DOING it. The students develop a new product idea and carry it through to a physical prototype. They must also formulate a business plan, marketing strategy, and an appeal for funding. We bring in guest speakers with expertise in intellectual property issues and several successful entrepreneurs (including former students from this class). In this paper, we discuss the three versions of this class, and how they have evolved. We also discuss our students’ successes, and some of the problems they have encountered in trying to commercialize their ideas.

Index terms - Creativity, new product development, entrepreneurship, distance learning


The first version of our course Creativity and New Product Development was developed by Henry Bolanos and Dave Lewis. Henry is an inventor and entrepreneur, and Dave is a mechanical engineer with extensive business experience. They proposed a course that would teach the new product development process by simulating it in class. Student teams would come up with ideas for new products, design and prototype a concept, develop a bill of materials and manufacturing plan, and prepare a financial analysis, a marketing strategy, and a business plan. Each team’s final presentation for the course would be a briefing to a group of venture capitalists – appealing for funding for their new company. Each team was also expected to submit a disclosure document or provisional patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I assumed responsibility for this course in 1998. Since then, the traditional course has continued to evolve, and it has been adapted to different audiences and contexts. There are now three versions of Creativity and New Product Development, but they all share common goals and objectives.

Class objectives

We have three general goals for this course: (1) to provide an overview of the basic processes in new product development in a competitive marketplace by simulating them in class, (2) to acquire the skills for successfully creating and developing a new product through hands-on, team-based projects, and (3) to become more creative individuals and more effective team members.

The topics covered in this class fall into four categories: technical skills, creative thinking, business strategies, and people skills. Technical skills focus on issues of product specification, concept selection, product architecture, modeling and documentation, bill

Richards, L. (2007, June), Creativity And New Product Development: Bringing Entrepreneurship Into Engineering Design Classes Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3010

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