A Course in Innovative Product Design: A Collaboration Between Architecture, Business, and Engineering
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2015 IEEE. The importance of innovation and entrepreneurship has grown significantly over the past decade. Institutions of higher education have recognized the increasing level of importance being placed globally on producing college graduates with the skills to innovate new products and services, and many are rising to the occasion. Recently, Texas A&M University has established a small business accelerator available to all students. In addition, the University has supported the development of a new course where junior and senior students across the University can interact and learn about ideation, innovative product development, and entrepreneurship. Looking across the literature, most institutions are moving in a direction of fostering entrepreneurship through interdisciplinary courses either within engineering, business or through partnerships between both. This new course is novel in that, in addition to integrating product development with entrepreneurship, it also incorporates the ideation and innovation processes through involvement of the College of Architecture. By embedding architecture students into the teams of engineering and business students, expertise in these areas is added to the teams. Finally, the course exposes all students to new tools such as the lean startup method and Launchpad Central.