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The Implementation and Assessment of an I-Corps Site at a Southwestern University: Lessons Learned

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry & Nonprofit Partnerships, has been at Texas A&M University since 1992 and served on several capacities across the College of Engineering, including Director for the Space Engineering Institute and Associate Director for the Space Engineering Research Center. Current responsibilities include pursuing strategic partnerships with industry to provide engineering students with opportunities to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams addressing real world challenges and with industry engagement. College signature programs include the Texas A&M I-Corps Site, AggiE_Challenge, INSPIRES, and two annual Project Showcases. Magda is the Principal Investigator of the Texas A&M University I-Corps Site grant and has been active in promoting entrepreneurship both at the local and national level.

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So Yoon Yoon Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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So Yoon Yoon, Ph.D., is an associate research scientist at Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation (IEEI) in College of Engineering at Texas A&M University and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). She received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with specialties in Gifted Education and a M.S.Ed. in Educational Psychology with specialties in Research Methods and Measurement both from Purdue University. She also holds a M.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics and a B.S. in Astronomy and Meteorology both from Kyungpook National University in South Korea. Her work centers on engineering education research, as a psychometrician, program evaluator, and institutional data analyst. She has research interests on spatial ability, creativity, gifted education, STEM education, and meta-analyses. She has authored/co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings and served as a journal reviewer in engineering education, STEM education, and educational psychology, as well as a co-PI, an external evaluator or advisory board member on several NSF-funded projects (CAREER, iCorps, REU, RIEF, etc.).

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Rodney Boehm Texas A&M University

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Rodney Boehm is the Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor of Practice in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering. He has broad industry experiences, including over 35 years in all aspects of the telecommunications industry (sales, marketing, manufacturing, business development, and technical design), the creation of a telecommunications standard (SONET - Synchronous Optical Network) for the fiber optics industry that is still in use internationally over 30 years later, a wide variety of business experiences in international companies, and startup experiences. This has helped him lead a very successful industry career.

Currently he is using his technical business experiences to develop and run entrepreneurial programs for the College of Entineering. These include Aggies Invent, TAMU iSITE, Invent for the Planet, Engineering Inc., and curricular classes. In addition, he mentors multiple entrepreneurial teams.

Formerly he was a Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Network Communications, headquartered in Richardson, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, Rodney was responsible for developing partnerships with leading network technology providers and driving marketing efforts for optical, access and data products developed by Fujitsu. Rodney was Chairman of the T1X1 Technical Sub-Committee (the organization responsible for SONET standardization) from 1990 through 1994. He has been active in SONET's National and International Standardization since 1985. In addition, Rodney has published numerous papers and presentations on SONET.

Rodney began his career with Fujitsu Network Communications in 1989 as the Director of Strategic Planning. He also held the positions of Director of Transport Product Planning, Vice President of Business Management, Senior Vice President of Sales Management, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Before joining Fujitsu, Rodney worked for Bell Laboratories, Bellcore (now Telcordia), and Rockwell International. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University.

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In 2011, the National Science Foundation launched the I-Corps Program and as of today close to one hundred institutions are participating through Nodes or Sites program. While both program focus on providing training and funds to accelerate the implementation of innovative ideas to market, they have different implementation models and thus challenges. For I-Corps Sites, while each institution utilizes similar approaches on the implementation, including an I-Corps team formation, knowledge and skills training, customer discovery and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs, each ecosystem is unique because the program outcomes are closely related to the entrepreneurial culture both on campus and also in the surrounding local community. A major challenge for Sites is recruiting quality teams and having access to qualified mentors to provide guidance to teams. In this paper, we will present the implementation of a Site in a large public institution located away from a large metropolitan area, the challenges we addressed both in recruiting teams and mentors, and how the program has evolved in its current state. In addition, authors will be able to present on data from the program evaluation which will include findings from pre- and post-quizzes on knowledge of entrepreneurship terms and pre- and post-program surveys that captured changes in perceptions of entrepreneurship, such as interest in entrepreneurship, confidence in value position, and self-efficacy in entrepreneurship, marketing/business planning, and customer interview. In this paper, we will present data from five I-Corps Site cohorts representing close to fifty student teams. Since program participants represent a diverse group (33% females and 15% ethnic minorities) and also wide range of educational levels (freshman to graduate students), we are able to evaluate program impact also with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, and classification. This paper will provide valuable information for institutions interested in pursuing an I-Corps grant and to those who are already have a grant but are looking for additional ways to further enhance program impact on their campus.

Lagoudas, M. Z., & Yoon, S. Y., & Boehm, R. (2019, June), The Implementation and Assessment of an I-Corps Site at a Southwestern University: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33400

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