For the second year in a row, Missouri University of Science and Technology has been awarded a faculty development grant from VentureWell to incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education.
Dr. Bonnie Bachman, professor of economics at Missouri S&T, was the principle investigator in securing the grant. John Lovitt, currently an S&T entrepreneur-in-residence who earned a master’s degree in computer science from Missouri S&T in 1970, also helped secure the grant.
The grant will be used to continue developing the innovation and entrepreneurship classes and activities that are offered at Missouri S&T.
“Missouri S&T is just getting started developing our entrepreneurship programs,” says Bachman, “We can enhance the innovation culture of our campus and create an entrepreneurial mindset by offering courses and activities that develop important innovation skills in our students.”
As a result of the grant, Missouri S&T is offering five new courses that will teach leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The new multidisciplinary, experiential courses are:
— Skill Development for Entrepreneurs and Innovators, which offers an intensive introduction of transferable and technical skills in firms of all sizes
— Domain Exploration and Innovation Methods, which covers different methods and concepts of problem definition and ideation in design
— Advanced Domain Exploration and Innovation Methods focuses on the later stages of innovation in product and knowledge system design to create technical solutions that can be validated through rigorous testing
— Interpersonal Dynamics for Entrepreneurs and Innovators, which explores the boundaries of group dynamics and methods of creating lasting relationships
— Experiential Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists in which students work in teams mentored by experienced entrepreneurs to generate innovative ideas and transform them into business models that are economically viable.
“These courses are not just about turning out entrepreneurs,” says Bachman. “They are about developing an innovation mindset that companies are looking for in new hires.”
The five new courses are part of a proposed campus minor program in technical innovation and entrepreneurship that Bachman hopes will be offered for the first time in the fall of 2016.
VentureWell, founded in 1995, funds entrepreneurs, offers grants to academic programs that foster innovation and works to move new ideas closer to commercialization.