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Engineering education on the ‘fuzzy' front end: a high-technology entrepreneurship model

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We have developed a university entrepreneurship program, culminating in a prototype and business plan, with five objectives: (1) value for all academic participants' (2) introduction to engineering issues for students; (3) refinement of engineering students' ‘soft' skills; (4) training for students in creating value out of embryonic ideas; and (5) a genuine entrepreneurship opportunity for students who wish to pursue a start-up company. The framework is disclosed in the context of three case studies. Furthermore, educational outcomes are derived and discussed based on participant evaluations and faculty reflection. Value creation is evaluated in terms of student performance in graduation exams, in external competitions, industrial interest, investment, intellectual property creation, and market intelligence. Finally, factors that add value to or redirect university research are discussed in the context to better serve society.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Fuzzy front end; Innovation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Technical University of Eindhoven, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, P.O. Box 513, 5600, MB, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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