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From Senior Design To Starting A Company—A Model For Entrepreneurship

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.514.1 - 6.514.8

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Paper Authors

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Lynn Nored

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David Compton

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Entrepreneurship and education have gotten engaged in the last few years, and will either enjoy a blissful marriage or require some counseling to prevent a breakup. Some universities might reject the idea of creating new companies or products based on faculty or student research. There could be nostalgia for pure research, where scientific research funds do not depend on business marketing success or failure. Other universities might wrongly expect entrepreneurship to be the panacea for funding ills, creating a free flow of capital into the research environment. Balancing the two, scientific research and product creation, allows a university to benefit from commercial successes and keep the focus on teaching students. This paper describes the success of one trial program conducted at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma. The flexibility of the electrical engineering curriculum allowed students to pursue their own invention as a senior design project. The engineering faculty, intrigued with the project, allowed the students to stay on after graduation. The students cleaned out a storeroom and started a company. In return, the students signed a license agreement with the university that provides a means for profits to be shared with the engineering department. Along with the university, the State of Oklahoma helped these young engineers. They benefited from established technology commercialization centers, grants, and cooperative legislation created to keep technologies and skilled workers in the state. The success of this project can serve as an example for universities wishing to try an informal program. With a flexible curriculum and a supportive environment, entrepreneurship can flourish even without a fully dedicated academic program.

Nored, L., & Compton, D. (2001, June), From Senior Design To Starting A Company—A Model For Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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