June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
12.631.1 - 12.631.11
Engineering Entrepreneurship Educational Experience (E4) Initiative: A New Model for Success
Recognizing the effect of entrepreneurial activities on student motivation and excitement, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A&M University have begun a unique initiative in the area of entrepreneurship. The Engineering Entrepreneurship Education Experience (E4) model brings entrepreneurship from the private sector into the undergraduate environment. It begins with the idea/concept process. At brainstorming sessions with private industry, faculty, and beginning capstone students, new ideas for products and systems are identified for development. Student teams select ideas that have strong industry support, and through two semesters of planning and implementation transform them into fully functional prototypes. At the end of the second semester, the E4 student teams deliver a combined technical/business/marketing presentation to invited private sector and business development representatives. Selected projects may follow one of two paths: the new venture path (regional start-ups) or the technology transfer path (licenses).
The most promising products/systems take the new venture path, and the student developers who have now graduated are offered the opportunity to continue in the development of a new business through an undergraduate-dedicated technology incubator located at Texas A&M University. To develop and grow its business, each company receives one full year of support in the incubator. After this, the company leaves the incubator and local economic development councils work with these start-up businesses by offering incentives to keep them in local area .
If the project is not selected for incubator support, the student team may follow the technology transfer path. In this case, the University will work as the agent for the inventors (students and faculty), and negotiate with interested companies to license and transition the product know-how to the private sector for production and commercialization. This paper will discuss the new E4 model and present specific examples of student success.
Motivation. At the 2006 ASEE National Conference, the authors briefed the ETD Division on a conceptual initiative on entrepreneurship. Since then, much progress has been made. This paper details the Engineering Entrepreneurship Educational Experience (E4) Initiative and describes current progress, E4 successes, and future directions.
The EET/TET Programs faculty established the Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory (MISL) in 2002 to enhance the senior project design experience for the undergraduate students. The single semester, “works once” project model typically employed in academia was expanded to a two-semester sequence for project planning1 and project execution.2, 3 This resulted in three key benefits to the curriculum. First, because the students were given an additional semester to complete their project, the faculty noticed a significant increase in the quantity and quality of effort by the students. Second, this increase in quality has resulted in more interest in the design
Porter, J., & Morgan, J. (2007, June), Engineering Entrepreneurship Educational Experience (E4) Initiative: A New Model For Success Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2559
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