June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.606.1 - 10.606.12
Expectation Management: Lessons Learned in Establishing a Start-up Multidisciplinary Technology Entrepreneurship Program*
R. Keith Stanfill
University of Florida Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Abstract The University of Florida Integrated Technology Ventures (ITV) program is designed to provide engineering and business students with an intense, immersive entrepreneurial experience. Participating students learn the entrepreneurial process as members of a virtual company led by a serial entrepreneur who acts as a volunteer CEO. The company is composed of a CEO, a business development team of several MBA students (coached by entrepreneurial faculty) and a multidisciplinary technology development team of 6 undergraduate engineers (coached by engineering faculty). The company is responsible for creating an alpha system prototype and collateral materials such as a business plan and a presentation for entry in academic business plan competitions. Three pilot entrepreneurial teams chartered in the initial offering completed their projects in spring 2004. Funding for these companies was secured through the Economic Development Administration, the Lemelson Foundation (via the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance), and the University of Florida. A board of directors was formed to oversee the direction of the ITV program and serve as the board for each virtual company. During the pilot offering, it was discovered that the ITV stakeholders—including students, inventors, faculty coaches, CEOs and board members—had different levels of understanding and operated under differing assumptions regarding the roles and responsibilities for themselves and the others. This paper addresses the lessons learned in managing these expectations and the going forward strategies for current and future offerings of the ITV program.
Introduction Expectation management is a term used by project managers. Burns (Burns) describes expectation management like this: Here's the situation: I expect you to deliver the moon on a stick, because that’s what was in your pitch. If I still believe that that’s what I’m getting when it’s delivered, and it’s not, you’ve got a problem because I think you’ve failed me. However, if you’d told me much earlier “We can't find a stick long enough, guv’nor, so we can’t do that. But we can get you a large balloon on a stick if that’s OK,” then when I get a balloon on a stick, I’m not disappointed.
*This paper is based in part on a paper entitled Establishing and Managing Stakeholder Expectations in a Start-up Multidisciplinary Technology Entrepreneurship Program prepared for the 9th Annual NCIIA Conference Dynamic Learning: Changing Models for Changing Times, San Diego, 2005.
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Stanfill, R. K. (2005, June), Expectation Management: Lessons Learned In Establishing A Start Up Multidisciplinary Technology Entrepreneurship Program Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14939
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