Conference Dates

January 12-16, 2003


Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are not so different from those of successful engineers. Intelligence, creativity, risk management, tolerance of uncertainty and persistence in achieving an inner directed goal are associated with entrepreneurship, but they are characteristics of anyone, like engineers, who bring about innovation. Educating young people to embrace entrepreneurial traits and behaviors will also help to prepare them for productive careers as leaders in the engineering profession. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requirements have recognized that the 21st Century engineer needs both breadth and depth to be prepared for the complexities of the modern technological workplace and the world it serves. At Rose-Hulman, efforts are being made to integrate entrepreneurship into the students’ educational experiences to prepare them for this future. Rose-Hulman has recognized that goals of business and entrepreneurship are different from those of higher education. For example, business encourages secrecy and other protection of new knowledge, while universities have historically favored dissemination. Moreover, education encourages students to make ambitious efforts and learn from failures, while entrepreneurs must be cautious to match their efforts to what markets are ready to accept. Rose-Hulman’s response has been to provide a range of activities with primarily educational focus from entrepreneurship courses and in-class projects aimed at forming e-teams to Engenius Solutions, a unique student-managed organization to promote the commercialization of studentdeveloped ideas. At the other end of the education and business spectrum is Rose- Hulman Ventures where students and faculty work for about two dozen clients who are attempting to launch technology-based businesses. This incubator /new-product development cent! er provides first-hand experience in both technology and entrepreneurship. This paper will describe the objectives and results of Rose-Hulman’s various efforts at technical entrepreneurship and show how together they provide both solid preparation for engineers and the background to launch independent entrepreneurial endeavors.