Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation

Baylor Business Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation

Baylor Receives Grant to Foster Entrepreneurial-Minded Engineers

April 2, 2012

Baylor University and three other private universities - Villanova University, the University of Dayton, and the University of Detroit Mercy - have been awarded a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop innovative entrepreneurship programming for engineering students.

"This award signifies a new milestone in the mission to bring entrepreneurial skills and mindset to the entire Baylor campus," said Greg Leman, Ph.D., director of university entrepreneurial initiatives and the Curtis Hankamer chair of entrepreneurship in the department of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor. "The Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative (TEI) began with a partnership between Entrepreneurship and the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and now includes Film and Digital Media and the IP Law program."

The grant will be used to further advance the Helping Hands Dense Network (HHDN), a deep network within the larger Kern Entrepreneurship Network (KEEN) made up of 21 higher education institutions. The HHDN will focus efforts on two initiatives: developing an "intrapreneurship" curriculum and intercollegiate student projects. Baylor and the University of Detroit Mercy will concentrate on the first initiative and develop curriculum that will teach students how to apply the entrepreneurial spirit within existing companies. Villanova and the University of Dayton will focus attention on facilitating intercollegiate projects, allowing students to share resources and experience in new ways. Faculty from each school will offer input on both initiatives.

"The Kern Family Foundation is eager to support this joint initiative of four prestigious universities that desire to work together to change engineering education for the benefit of their engineering students," said Timothy J. Kriewall, Ph.D., program director for the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN). "Their graduates will be effective team players who will be entrepreneurially minded and who will be able to deploy technology to benefit people around the world."

In addition to Leman, Baylor's other principal investigators on the grant are Cynthia C. Fry, assistant dean of the School of Engineering & Computer Science; William M. Jordan, Ph.D., professor and chair, department of mechanical engineering.

"The three-year project will leverage industry ties to help students develop a deeper understanding of intrapreneurship and build a curriculum to enrich student learning," said Leman. "It will provide the students with hard skills and learning opportunities to help them develop soft skills and professional attributes necessary for career success."

Established by Drs. Robert and Patricia Kern in 1998, the Kern Family Foundation seeks to enrich the lives of others by promoting strong pastoral leadership, educational excellence, and high quality, innovative engineering talent. For more information about Baylor's Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative visit www.baylor.edu/tei.

Return to April/May 2012 Newsletter

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