Engineering Entrepreneurship Educational Experience (E4) Initiative: Bringing Entrepreneurship To The Undergraduate Classroom
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Currently, internships and co-operative education agreements are used to move the student's experience from the university to the private sector. This allows the students to gain some amount of experience in the private sector before graduation through short stays with industry. We are currently creating an alternate model. The Engineering Entrepreneurship Educational Experience (E4) initiative will bring private enterprise knowledge into the university. To this end, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology programs at Texas A & M University are partnering with a small, local company to establish an initiative that will create an undergraduate entrepreneurial experience within the EET/TET curricula and stimulate collaboration between public and private sectors. The goal of E4 is to allow students to create product prototypes that can then be commercialized by an entity external to the University. Using the current senior project sequence, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology programs, through their faculty and student workforce, will be responsible for the "idea to prototype" phase of product/system development. The proof-of-concept prototype can then be transferred to the private industry partner who will be responsible for the "prototype to profit" phase. Because the partner is local, interested students can continue to participate in the process. Thus, students will be able to participate in all aspects of the "productization" cycle. The first phase of this project is complete and includes the conceptual design and planning activities. This paper presents the work that has been accomplished and discusses ongoing activities associated with E4. American Society for Engineering Education, 2006.