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This paper presents exemplary cases of learning entrepreneurial mindset from an institution that provides faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students separate theory-driven trainings in entrepreneurship and subsequent opportunities to practice experiential learning of entrepreneurship together. A sequence of project-based learning courses in engineering brings together faculty and students to work in multi-disciplinary teams. Students gain experience solving practical, open-ended engineering problems and developing professional skills throughout their studies. Opportunity identification, feasibility analysis, product development, professional communication, leadership, and teamwork are emphasized. Both faculty mentors and students build foundations in the entrepreneurial mindset via training certificates and funding programs offered by the institution through a dedicated center in innovation and entrepreneurship. By leveraging support from these programs, student-initiated ventures become viable. Research project-based courses, accessible laboratories, and trained faculty provide an enabling environment for students to accelerate their entrepreneurial experiences. Herein, a snapshot of three concurrent student-initiated ventures into food engineering is captured. The student leaders of these ventures offer different approaches to ideation and venture initiation, especially representing three successive cohorts of students – a third-year, a fourth-year, and a newly graduated engineering student. Their backgrounds and visions vary, and the changing world, including last year’s COVID-19 pandemic and research lab shutdown, impacts them in different ways. Yet, these students share a drive to innovate and make the most of available opportunities. The perspectives of these students on the engineering entrepreneurship education they receive through this institution helps to assess and develop a framework for structuring future projects and entrepreneurship programs.
Thompson, G., & Atsu, P., & Patterson, B. (2022, August), Experiential Entrepreneurship in Food Engineering: Student Perspectives on Three Student-Initiated Ventures Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41611
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