June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
Why don’t commuter-school students pursue startups?
This paper reports the results of an empirical study of why student teams at commuter schools, particularly with underrepresented populations, do not pursue their course projects as startups. The study was conducted at a large public university at which 98% of undergraduate students commute to school, 84% are employed, and 80% are Hispanic-American. Interviews were conducted with 16 students in an engineering major, a participation rate of 47% of the subject pool. The interviews covered the students’ reasons for pursuing or not pursuing their course project after the conclusion of the course, reflection on factors that would encourage or discourage students from pursuing their projects, and employment status during and after the course. The results of the interviews were assessed through thematic content analysis. The interviews suggest that (1) that students do not continue with their projects because they cannot take time away from the paying jobs that are supporting their education, (2) that students completing their junior year do not want to take time away from their senior-year studies, and (3) that students completing their senior year do not want to take the risk of pursuing a startup when they could instead obtain a “real” job. Additionally, student startups appear to have been discouraged by their expectation in the courses, by the composition of the project teams, by lack of passion for their projects, and by uncertainty about the path forward.
Novick, D. G. (2019, June), Why Don’t Commuter-school Students Pursue Start-ups? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33560
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