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Cultivating An Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration And Networking

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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

Engineering Entrepreneurship and K-12 Education

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.426.1 - 12.426.11



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Paper Authors

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Donald Carpenter Lawrence Technological University

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Gregory Feierfeil Lawrence Technological University

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

Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset through Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Networking


Lawrence Technological University, a private institution located in the Detroit metropolitan area, has an enrollment of approximately 3000 undergraduate students in day and evening degree programs. Unlike a majority of institutions were entrepreneurial programs tend to originate in the college of management or business, the entrepreneurial programs at the University originated in the College of Engineering. In the College of Engineering, the belief was that engineering graduates play many roles in industry, all of which require business and entrepreneurial skills. In response to this situation, the college developed the entrepreneurial certificate program. Separately, the College of Arts and Sciences, through the Undergraduate Management Program, also developed a certificate program and concentration in entrepreneurship. However, these two programs operated separately and only impacted a small percentage of the entire student population. In addition, a majority of the entrepreneurial focus, especially in the College of Engineering, has been on business skills and not on developing the “entrepreneurial mindset.” Entrepreneurial mindset outcomes include innovation, vision, teamwork, communication, problem solving skills, opportunity recognition and risk management. In 2005, it was recognized that these two entrepreneurial programs, as well as the University as a whole, would benefit from collaborating.

The opportunity to collaborate and network presented itself in May 2006, when the University was awarded a Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) Fellowship Grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Association (NCIIA). The grant provides funding to integrate the existing programs into a new innovative interdisciplinary program focused on developing the “entrepreneurial mindset” on campus. In addition, the grant bestows Kern Fellow status on two University faculty and provides access to the KEEN Network, which includes ten private institutions across the Midwest. This network has provided a support mechanism, assisted with program development, and broadened the impact of the funding. This paper will describe the KEEN Network, discuss the specific strategies employed to implement the new program at Lawrence Tech, provide program assessment and evaluation background, present assessment of the first year program outcomes and an evaluation of program impact, and finally, lessons learned by the program implementation team. It is anticipated that the narrative provided by this paper and the corresponding presentation will highlight how regional collaborations can support entrepreneurial efforts at individual campuses and how on an individual campus groups can coordinate to enhance impact. In fact, since being awarded a KEEN Fellowship Grant, developing an entrepreneurial mindset across campus is one of the revised Educational Goals of the University and an educational cornerstone of the new administration.

Carpenter, D., & Feierfeil, G. (2007, June), Cultivating An Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration And Networking Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2419

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