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Using Lean Start-Up Approach to Integrate Engineering Education with Entrepreneurship Practices at Middle Schools

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Beyond the University

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jidong Huang California State University, Fullerton

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Dr. Jidong Huang is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at California State University, Fullerton. His research had been supported by National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and multiple private companies. Currently, his research interests are focused on innovative approches for STEM learning; robotics; the design of high-precision, integrated navigation system with high integrity; and their indoor/outdoor applications. He is a member of Institute of Navigation (ION); and a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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John B Jackson California State University, Fullerton

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Jackson is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Small Business Institute (SBI) which deploy an applied learning model that engages undergraduate and graduate students with local businesses. These student-led consulting projects challenge the students to practice what they have learned in the classroom. Jackson’s student team was recently awarded first place in the nation at the Small Business Institute national competition. (LINK)

John Bradley Jackson is also a Full-time Lecturer in the Management Department. Specializing in Entrepreneurship, Jackson teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing, New Venture Creation, and New Venture Launch. Known affectionately as "Professor JJ", Jackson brings practical marketing and sales knowledge to the classroom from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

Jackson is a strong believer in business incubation, which leverages CSUF STEM and business graduates and faculty. He began a pilot program which has launched a mixed use business incubator in Placentia, California. There are currently17 startups in residence at the new CSUF Startup Incubator. The incubator mentors fledgling businesses as they test and launch their business concepts. Student consulting teams support the fledgling startups

Jackson is co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation Grant called I-TEST; this $1,000,000 grant has created an after-school program at Anaheim middle schools which encourages STEM education and entrepreneurship.

As Center Director, Jackson conducts two all-college events: The Business Plan Competition and The CSUF Fast Pitch. Both events reach across the campus to engage students from all disciplines to idea-generate new business concepts, test feasibility, and pitch to a panel of real investors, bankers, and successful entrepreneurs. Jackson personally does the fundraising for the scholarships for both events.

A strong proponent of combining Business and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Jackson was on a team that was recently awarded a $50,000 National Science Foundation grant for the I-CORPS Program that embraces a “Lean Startup” methodology with STEM new ventures. (LINK)

Jackson recently created an innovative class called BUAD 410: “Starting and Managing a Small Business or Professional Practice.” Unique to this class is a roster of all non-business students from various disciplines including Kinesiology, Communications, Engineering, Earth Science, Art and others. The class was created in collaboration with the deans from HHD and COMM colleges. The end result is a diverse classroom experience centered on Entrepreneurship.

Jackson also helps coordinate the innovative Dan Black Phys-Bus Program with the Physics department. This program allows students who are earning a BS degree in physics to have an emphasis in business that substitutes certain physics requirements with accounting, marketing, and entrepreneurial courses in Mihaylo College. (LINK)

Jackson was recognized in spring of 2015 by CSUF for his recent book on social media called “Socially Close: Social Media Marketing for Small Business”. The book is about how businesses should be using social media in their marketing campaigns.

Also, in spring of 2015 Jackson was recognized by Mihaylo College with the Faculty Award for “Excellence in Service to Students.” Jackson’s work with student consulting and the CSUF Startup Incubator were cited as evidence of his commitment to service.

Jackson's career began in high technology sales in the semiconductor industry at Signetics Inc., but he soon moved to high technology market research with Dataquest Incorporated. At Dataquest, he served as Vice President for nearly ten years and held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, and research. Later, he joined Bowne and Company, the world's largest financial printer, and served as Senior Vice President responsible for sales, marketing, and operations. Jackson also was Sales Director at Forrester Research Inc., an Information Technology advisory firm.

As an entrepreneur, Jackson founded The BirdDog Group, a marketing and sales consulting firm that specializes in helping small and medium sized businesses with marketing and sales strategy. In particular, he is an expert in digital marketing including social media, web development and search marketing.

Jackson’s other professional activities and accomplishments include:
• Faculty Adviser for CSUF Senior Honors Project titled An Analysis of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Silicon Valley Innovation. 2015 to present
• Faculty Adviser for CSUF Entrepreneurship Students, 2009 to present
• Faculty Adviser for the student Club “Entrepreneurship Society”, 2009 to present
• Faculty Adviser for the student Club “Sigma Epsilon Mu”, 2014 to present
• Faculty Adviser for the Innovation Fellows program sponsored by NSF, 2014 to present
• Mentor at Mihaylo Leadership Academy for Fulltime MBA Students, 2011 to present
• Management Department Strategic Goals Committee Leader, 2013 to present
• Advisory Board Member at Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), 2012 to present
• Board of Director at Global Vision Holdings, Incorporated, 2012 to present
• Advisory Board Member at O2free, LLC, 2015 to April 2016
• Advisory Board Member at BrandMixer, LLC, 2011 to 2015
• Advisory Board Member at Tri-Tech SBDC, 2015 to present
• Author of the book "First, Best, or Different", 2007, (
• Author of the book "Déjà New Marketing", 2010, (
• Author of the book “Socially Close”, 2014 (
• Author of the book “Your Entrepreneurial Journey – Fifteen Guiding Principles About Your Entrepreneurial Journey”, 2014, (

Jackson owns a small horse ranch in Norco, California with his wife and daughter.

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Pradeep Nair California State University, Fullerton

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Pradeep Nair received his Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009. His research interests include power/performance tradeoffs in the nanoscale domain, leakage power reduction in digital systems, computer performance analysis and evaluation, low Power FPGAs, and biomedical circuits and systems. Dr. Nair is also the co-advisor of the IEEE Computer Society chapter at CSUF.

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Amy Cox-Petersen California State University, Fullerton

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Professor, Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education

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STEM-Inc is a 3-year NSF ITEST project designed as an after-school program targeting 7th and 8th grade students from traditionally underrepresented groups in Anaheim, California. This project created a simulated technology business ‘incubator’ in an afterschool program for junior high school students at the Anaheim Union High School District. Its goal is to make middle school students and their parents aware of STEM career paths in addition to engage and attract the students to STEM fields and careers. To this end, the project focuses on getting the students involved in exciting real-world projects that involve Engineering, Computer Science and Business concepts.

Toward this goal, the Lean startup approach has been used as a tool to integrate informal STEM learning with Entrepreneurship practices. Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products. It provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups; and has the potential for a startup company to deliver a desired product to its potential customers fast and effectively. Using Lean startup method, students in STEM-Inc worked in groups to complete their Engineering and Computer Science projects.

As a design and development project, research questions in STEM-Inc frame formative data collection and analysis to address aspects of the design that are succeeding and others that require revision. Summative measures focus on student learning outcomes, as well as student attitudes toward science and engineering and self-efficacy. Preliminary results from the first two years of STEM-Inc showed positive indicators in both formative and summative data, which supported the use of Lean startup method for integrating Engineering education with entrepreneurship practices.

Huang, J., & Jackson, J. B., & Nair, P., & Cox-Petersen, A. (2017, June), Using Lean Start-Up Approach to Integrate Engineering Education with Entrepreneurship Practices at Middle Schools Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29080

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