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The Engineering Entrepreneurs Program (Eep) Portal: A New Tool For Improving Entrepreneurship Pedagogy

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Capstone Design and Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1284.1 - 11.1284.5

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Miller North Carolina State University

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Stephen Walsh North Carolina State University

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

The Engineering Entrepreneurs Program Portal: A New Tool

for Improving Entrepreneurship Pedagogy


The Engineering Entrepreneurs Program Portal (EEP Portal) is a web-based tool designed for use by students who are participating in the EEP to manage their E-Teams.

For background, the EEP is an undergraduate program centered in the College of Engineering, but open to students from all academic disciplines. The program’s methodology provides students a more in-depth exposure to entrepreneurship and new product development. E-Teams are lead by engineering seniors who are fulfilling their senior capstone design project requirements. They organize E-Teams comprised of undergraduates and run these teams as virtual start-up companies. Underclassmen serve as virtual employees of these E-Teams and participate for either 1-credit or 3-credits.

Topics covered in the EEP include leadership, management, project planning, marketing, sales, operations, organizational behavior, financials, corporate formation, business planning, and intellectual property. The EEP Portal provides the students a structured, yet flexible, mechanism to manage their teams and the product development process. In addition, the EEP Portal allows faculty to observe the E-Team’s progress in real-time and to monitor the program’s pedagogical effectiveness.

This paper discusses the impetus in developing the EEP Portal, its actual design and implementation, and provides a qualitative discussion of the results to date.


Why the EEP Portal? As Louis Pasture said over 100 year ago, ‘Chance favors the prepared mind.’ Therefore, first and foremost, the EEP Portal forces discipline into the design and development process. This discipline is one that the students will experience in their professional careers and it is crucial to their future success to develop the skills afforded by it. Nearly all the students welcome this opportunity to hone their skills, but some still do come ‘kicking and screaming’ at first. However, after a few weeks of being on a team they fully understand the merit of using it in this full-immersion environment approach to new product development and entrepreneurship.

Engineering is fundamentally about creating new products that customers need or want and at prices they can afford. Therefore, before an engineer begins the process of design, development and manufacturing of a new product they must be able to articulate both the problem – the ‘need’ or ‘want’ – and their proposed solution. The skill of being able to understand and articulate the problem of a customer is generally not part of undergraduate engineering pedagogy. Yet, this skill is precisely what employers expected them to have as professionals. This skill has its roots

Miller, T., & Walsh, S. (2006, June), The Engineering Entrepreneurs Program (Eep) Portal: A New Tool For Improving Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

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