Academic journal article Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship

Accelerating Collegiate Entrepreneurship (ACE): The Architecture of a University Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Encompassing an Intercollegiate Venture Experience

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship

Accelerating Collegiate Entrepreneurship (ACE): The Architecture of a University Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Encompassing an Intercollegiate Venture Experience

Article excerpt


Entrepreneurial activity is a type of planned behavior for which intention models are ideally suited (Krueger Jr, Reilly, and Carsrud 2000). There are two primary intention-based models used to predict entrepreneurial intent (El). The first is the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen 1991), which is based on perceptions of personal attractiveness, social norms, and feasibility. The second is the model of the entrepreneurial event (Shapero 1982b), which argues that entrepreneurial activity depends on perception of personal desirability, feasibility, and propensity to act. Work by Kreuger supports the predictive capability of these models on El, and slightly favors the Shapero model (Krueger Jr, Reilly, and Carsrud 2000) Neither of these models finds that individual factors, such as demographics, have a strong effect on predicting El, but do find such factors useful in identifying boundaries that define different groups within a population. Shapero found that some groups produce more entrepreneurial events than others (Shapero 1982b). Florin (Florin, Karri, and Rossiter 2007) further explore the basis of the entrepreneurial drive (ED), which they posit as being made up of five personal traits, including preference for innovation, nonconformity, proactive disposition, self-efficacy, and achievement motivation, all of which have some representation in both Shapero's model and the theory of planed behavior model. According to Shapero, the most obvious entrepreneurial event is the formation of a new company, and strong intention to start a business should result in an eventual attempt.

From the perspective of economics, an entrepreneur starting a successful company benefits the local community in terms of job creation and business growth (Chatterji, Glaeser, and Kerr 2013, Delgado, Porter, and Stem 2010, Glaeser, Kerr, and Ponzetto 2010, Kerr 2013). As a result, governments and private organizations focused on economic development have been increasingly interested in fueling entrepreneurial activity (Schramm 2006). While there is a high risk of failure involved in new entrepreneurial businesses, especially technology-based ventures, entrepreneurs can earn large returns and continuously expand their wealth if successful (De Nardi, Doctor, and Krane 2007). A 1999 study showed that the three countries with the highest levels of entrepreneurial activity also enjoyed the highest average growth in gross domestic product and the highest levels of employment (Hardy 1999). Economists believe that entrepreneurial activity is critical to economic progress because entrepreneurs create new businesses, and in turn new businesses create new jobs (Drucker 1999, Malecki 1997, Nijkamp 2003, Quadrini 2000)..

From a university standpoint, the eventual attempt and (hopeful) success of entrepreneurs is a measure of the impact universities can have on entrepreneurial education (Galloway and Brown 2002) and ultimately on economic growth. As universities undertake the national challenge to broaden their entrepreneurial impact, a transformation is underway that is challenging the traditional academic models of entrepreneurial education (Navarro 2008).

Given the potential impact of university entrepreneurship programming on the development of new businesses and the creation of jobs, the educational architecture regarding entrepreneurship merits a timely review. Our paper is comprised of three sections: (1) a discussion of the current apparatus of entrepreneurship programs; (2) the integration of business plan competitions into the current entrepreneurship constructs; (3) a proposal and review of a new pedagogical construct, Accelerating Collegiate Entrepreneurship (ACE); and a discussion of the implications and the potential for the adaptation of this structure at a US university.


(1) Entrepreneurship Education in the US

Entrepreneurship education has broadened significantly during the past thirty years, and has become one of the fastest growing subjects in the undergraduate curriculum (Béchard and Grégoire 2005, Fayolle, Gailly, and Lassas-Clerc 2006, Henry, Hill, and Leitch 2005, Katz 2003, Kirby 2004, Kuratko 2005, Matlay 2008, McMullan and Long 1987, Oosterbeek, van Praag, and Ijsselstein 2010, Pittaway and Cope 2007, Solomon 2007). …

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