KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 14, 2006) — In awarding $19.5 million to six universities, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation hopes to change the culture of entrepreneurship education on American university and college campuses.
Among the criteria judges used in deciding upon the grants were:
- Whether a school could make entrepreneurship a common and accessible activity for all students;
- The level of involvement of the president or chancellor;
- The ability to generate matching funds;
- Whether the school could serve as a model for other colleges and universities;
- The relative strength of the innovative approaches; and
- The likelihood that the initiative would change campus culture and produce a sustainable entrepreneurial spirit on campus.
The recipients will embark upon an astonishing variety of programs aimed at instilling the spirit and skills of entrepreneurship into college life. Some universities will create minor degree programs, develop and offer new courses in entrepreneurship, conduct research on the field entrepreneurship, use cutting-edge technology to help students build their social networks and find mentors, and develop or expand local businesses that benefit students and the surrounding communities. Others will broaden existing entrepreneurial activities to include greater participation from the liberal arts and technology-oriented fields of study. All campus initiatives involve faculty and students from a variety of academic disciplines outside of the conventional business curriculum.
Given the freedom to innovate, each school presented unique plans for embedding the culture of entrepreneurship on its campus. Highlights of each university's plans include:
- Arizona State University: "University as Entrepreneur"— $5 million Arizona State University will use its grant dollars to bring together its 4 campuses and the community for innovation and entrepreneurship. The centerpiece of their program is SkySong, a unique complex covering 40 acres that will be the hub for enterprise and innovation for students, faculty, staff, and community entrepreneurs and will include a student entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Additionally, there will be student entrepreneurship advisors on each of the 4 campuses, and an online database of the community's entrepreneurial landscape. A documentary titled Real World Entrepreneurship: Best Practices for Working with Student Entrepreneurs will track the progress of the initiative.
- Georgetown University: "Entrepreneurship In Service"— $3 million In keeping with its heritage of service, often by leading, Georgetown will use its grant to create courses in social entrepreneurship while engaging the participation of socially conscious programs and centers, such as their Center for Social Justice. Based on an existing program in the German department, Georgetown will create a unique curriculum that ties entrepreneurship education to language study and cultural research. They also have plans to connect their expertise in diplomacy and international business to entrepreneurialism.
- Purdue University: "Catalyzing Entrepreneurship" — $1.5 million Funds from the grant made to Purdue will be used to further enhance their entrepreneurship programs at Discovery Park, a multi-disciplinary innovation space that encourages collaboration and unexpected academic collisions. On the curriculum front, Purdue will introduce several innovative programs including a certificate program in entrepreneurship; a "From Bench to Business and Back" program that connects research to commercialization by evaluating market needs during the research process; a Best Practices Workshop for all Kauffman Campuses; and provide Global experiential learning opportunities.
- Syracuse University: "Transforming Campus and Community Culture" — $3 million In an entrepreneurial move of its own, Syracuse University is collaborating with 5 colleges and universities to transform the campus and the community that surrounds it. Grant dollars will be used to design a new version of their successful faculty development conference, The Experiential Classroom, that will be tailored to non-business faculty. The grant will also go towards establishing a certificate, minor, and major in entrepreneurship; introducing entrepreneurship "modules" to be embedded in existing courses; supporting the Inner City Incubator, law clinic, an artist relocation program, and towards an annual national research conference on entrepreneurship. They will also research a new tenure model to reward faculty engaging in entrepreneurial activity.
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County: "Entrepreneurship Across the Campus" — $2 million The grant awarded to University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will be used to expand its existing entrepreneurship center to further its reach across the campus. They will also work toward greater commercialization of their renowned research; host a faculty summer seminar lead by faculty fellows; expand their ACTiVATE program, a unique program that employs the experience of women executives to commercialize leading university research; and identify student-centric methods for building awareness.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison: "KCI-Wisconsin" — $5 million With its vast network of campuses and strong support of the state of Wisconsin, UW-Madison will use its grant to create a state-wide entrepreneurship council; develop a Learning Resources Portal, an online inventory of all courses relating to entrepreneurship that will be available to outside institutions; award student entrepreneurial incentive grants; develop a general education course on entrepreneurship in society; and establish an affiliation between the Center for Research and Poverty and UEP, Milwaukee. It also has plans to encourage more Masters in Biotech and develop Business Idea Centers at each campus.
Northeast Ohio Schools (in partnership with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation):
- Baldwin-Wallace — Support from the Burton D. Morgan and Ewing Marion Kauffman foundations will provide Baldwin-Wallace with the resources to launch their vision to be a significant contributor to economic development through their recently established Center for Innovation and Growth. The Center’s vision is to innovate and grow with integrity. The mission is to attract and develop student and leadership talent that convert passion into opportunity to support regional economic development and infuse an entrepreneurship mindset campus-wide. The strategy is practical execution through local and global partnerships that integrate the perspectives of business and the liberal arts. Projects include a mentorship program, global entrepreneurs seminars, and a faculty fellows program.
- College of Wooster — The College of Wooster has received a grant from the Morgan and Kauffman Foundations as part of their initiative to support entrepreneurship activities at colleges and universities in northeast Ohio. The College of Wooster has created a Center for Creativity and Innovation (CCI) that is designed to enable and facilitate entrepreneurial ideas through components such as student internships, integrating entrepreneurship into courses, connections to alumni and local entrepreneurs, workshops and seminars, and post-graduate fellowships for students to transform their Independent Study project into a new endeavor.
- Hiram College — Hiram’s entrepreneurship program will build on Hiram College’s strengths, help us implement the Education that Works Strategic Plan, and provide support for improving what we already do well. Hiram’s entrepreneurship program will foster in our students the desire to take action to generate value (broadly conceived) for themselves and their communities. The E.Integration@Hiram program will consist of new courses across the curriculum, an entrepreneurship minor, an entrepreneur in residence program, experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty, support for an annual symposium focusing on entrepreneurship and an enterprise plan symposium. The minor will consist of an Interdisciplinary Foundation Course, an enterprise plan development course, three elective courses related to the student’s major, an Experiential Learning component, and a Capstone Experience. Because of the flexibility of the electives, experiential learning and capstone requirements, the Entrepreneurship Minor will enable interested students to develop a minor that complements and enhances their chosen major (i.e., art, music, history, biology, sociology, French, etc.). The interdisciplinary foundation course, tentatively entitled “The Liberal Arts and the Entrepreneurial Mindset,” will use case studies to examine the values, abilities and personal characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and relate these to learning styles and cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Students will also complete a ‘personal enterprise plan’ for their minor. This plan, similar in structure to a business plan – the student is now the ‘enterprise,’ will include an inventory of skills, knowledge and interests, a list of courses and experiences, and an explanation of how the courses and experiences relate to the development of the ‘enterprise’ – the student. The student, the student’s advisor and the entrepreneurship mentor will review this plan on a regular basis until graduation.
- Lake Erie College — Lake Erie College has undertaken significant steps toward defining and building engagement in our vision for making entrepreneurship a common and accessible experience for all of our students. Through the energy and leadership of the Center for Entrepreneurship, we have branded this vision as Put Your Passion to Work. Both quantitative and qualitative measures are used to demonstrate the progress, continuous improvement and success of the center in six key areas - student engagement, faculty engagement, faculty development, experiential engagement, community involvement, and value creation and commercialization. The long-term goal of the initiative is to make the academic study and experiential practice of entrepreneurship a mainstream part of the Lake Erie College experience and culture. Our campus has started to put their passion to work.
- Oberlin College — Oberlin College’s Creativity and Leadership Project is an integrated program designed to reflect Oberlin’s musical and artistic excellence, its rigorous liberal arts curriculum, and its longstanding commitment to preparing students for leadership and civic engagement. The program emphasizes creativity and leadership as attributes at the core of successful ventures in any field. New semester and module courses are being designed to provide students with a global, ethical, and socially responsible perspective on entrepreneurship, to introduce them to topics they will encounter in advancing their initiatives, and to begin to develop skills to realize their ideas. Workshops and lectures by alumni and practitioners from northeastern Ohio will enrich these course offerings, foster a support network for aspiring entrepreneurs, and encourage innovative collaborations across disciplines, sectors, and generations. The Creativity and Leadership program builds on two successful campus projects, the Oberlin Business Scholars program and the Conservatory’s winter-term performance projects, to provide students with vital experiential opportunities to explore entrepreneurship through internships or the chance to develop their own artistic projects