In the modern competitive and global world confronting today's engineers, innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) are increasingly important perspectives for every engineering career. Individuals proficient in I&E are likely to possess unique competitive advantage over those who donot. This course develops the foundation for developing such proficiency by examining the functional roles of the business/commercial aspects of engineering disciplines as well as establishing a basis for innovative thinking. Specific cases where I&E has lead to new products innovation and new enterprise development will supplement course materials. Recommended background: None.
To tackle the World's Great Problems requires technical skills to come up with innovative new solutions. As you become a WPI engineer, you will learn the foundations of engineering and how to use your knowledge to develop innovative new ideas. To implement these new ideas, however, it is increasing important for engineers to understand the context of their innovations and how to move them toward the marketplace. At WPI we have many opportunities for you to engage in entrepreneurship activities, but many do not engage until their junior or senior year.
The course brings entrepreneurship to first or second year students and builds a foundation that enables students to better take advantage of other opportunities later in their studies.
The specific goals of the course are two-fold. The first is to introduce a series of entrepreneurial skill sets in the format of a functional "tool box". The second is to develop these concepts in a context of innovation and global competition. These two paths are inextricably linked to the probability of the success of any technological solutions and their commercial viability.
The style of the course is participatory and will culminate in a written and verbal presentation of a Project Plan Analysis for an innovation-based technology endeavor. Case examples grounded in technology applications will be used. A suggested model for analysis and presentation will be offered.
This course satisfies the "Entrepreneurship" requirement for RBE students and counts as a free elective for all others.