Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative Promotes Experiential Learning

Baylor Business Review, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative Promotes Experiential Learning


The efforts for technolog entrepreneurship at Baylor hav been approved as a strategic initiative of the University.

The Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative seeks to make a campuswide and global impact through an international, multi-disciplinary approach. This initiative will further experiential learning for Baylor undergraduate and graduate students by establishing partnerships among schools within Baylor, other universities, companies, and countries around the world.

Greg Leman, director of University Entrepreneurial Initiatives and the Curtis Hankamer Chair in Entrepreneurship, is spearheading Baylor's technology entrepreneurship efforts. Leman said the initiative is a "win-win" situation for students and companies.

"This initiative is driven from the wonderful reality that technology companies - whether Fortune 100 or research-based startups - need the very things our student teams can provide through our hands-on learning approach," Leman said. "More specifically, these firms and entrepreneurs almost always have more opportunities identified than they have resources to validate fully."

Baylor's Immersion Into International Interdisciplinary Innovation (i5) program is one aspect of the initiative that has already proven to be successful. The i5 program is a collaborative effort among universities in China and the United States: Baylor University, American University, Thunderbird University, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, and Hong Kong Baptist University.

Baylor's Hankamer School of Business and Baylor's School for Engineering and Computer Science hold a bilateral partnership in the program, with students and faculty from both schools participating. Over the summer, undergraduate and graduate students from all participating universities work in China on project teams for five weeks, interacting and partnering with Chinese companies to provide real business solutions.

Leman said students have a much "richer, more transferable educational experience" by engaging with the firms and completing market research and other investigations. Leman hopes to offer this experience to science students as well, adding them to the mix of business and technology students.

"My goal is to broaden the current scope of the initiative to enable all science, technology and business students who desire it to have experienced the process and excitement of assisting a technology venture in bringing a value-adding innovation to market," Leman said.

MBA candidates have the chance to be selected as an intern in one of the partnering multinational corporations, which sponsor the projects, and then lead an international team to complete that project. Undergraduate students with a business or engineering background have the opportunity to work on one of these international projects, gaining in-depth, cross-cultural experience. …

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