What Does Entrepreneurship Mean to You?

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy features the University Innovation Fellows Program during National Entrepreneurship Month.

In his Presidential Proclamation of National Entrepreneurship Month 2016, President Barack Obama writes: “Through their intrepid sense of possibility and resilience, and their unwillingness to give in or give up, entrepreneurs from every walk of life make invaluable contributions to the American experience — turning bold ideas into real progress.”

Replace the word “entrepreneurs” with “University Innovation Fellows” in that sentence, and add a dash of higher education, and you’d be describing the student leaders in our program. Since this program’s inception four years ago, our community of student and faculty change agents has been inspired by the Obama administration’s commitment to supporting America’s innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors.

This is why our community celebrates presidentially-declared National Entrepreneurship Month and National Entrepreneurs Day each November. The Fellows use their entrepreneurial mindset to drive lasting change in higher education. Their mission is to help all young people realize that it is critically important to hone their entrepreneurial mindset. Fellows help their peers develop these skills in school no matter what paths they pursue, from starting a new venture to making an impact in their hometown to helping their company develop a new product. Hear what entrepreneurship means to Fellows in a video commemorating National Entrepreneurship Month:

In previous years the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has featured the work of our Fellows during National Entrepreneurship Month (see this article from 2014 and this article from 2013), the White House Science Fair (see this article from 2015), and the White House Demo Day (see this article from 2015).

Today, OSTP has published a list of entrepreneurship-related accomplishments during President Obama’s administration, which features the University Innovation Fellows program. Read the fact sheet here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/11/30/fact-sheet-celebrating-president-obamas-top-10-actions-advance.

As our program expands to new schools around the country and the world, we will continue to invest in the future of higher education by supporting our community of changemakers. As President Obama writes in the closing of his declaration, “an investment in that future can start as something small and turn into something great.”

– The University Innovation Fellows team: Humera, Leticia, Katie and Laurie

White House Demo Day, Higher Education Commitment Letter

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2015

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113
llhmoore@stanford.edu

Higher education leaders send letters to President Obama

with commitment to expand innovation and entrepreneurship offerings

August 4, 2015 — In letters of commitment shared with President Barack Obama on the first-ever White House Demo Day, 30 institutions committed to actions that will expand innovation and entrepreneurship education offerings in order to enhance the economic potential of colleges and universities and better prepare students to create products that benefit humankind.

The White House Demo Day showcases talented innovators from across the country to demonstrate the value of giving all Americans the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas. The event was hosted by President Obama and took place at the White House.

To support this effort, the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) gathered institutional commitments to expand innovation and entrepreneurship education by means of a signed letter shared with President Obama on Demo Day. Epicenter is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

The letter collected signatures from leaders, faculty and students at 30 institutions. These supporters committed to one or more of eight key actions aimed at providing students of all majors on campus access to innovation and entrepreneurship learning opportunities. These commitments include advancing team-based learning that tackles real world problems, integrating underserved populations into the innovation ecosystem, celebrating faculty and student entrepreneurial outcomes, and supporting innovative faculty teaching practices.

Schools included in the initiative to date are:

  1. Bucknell University
  2. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  3. Case Western Reserve University
  4. Clark Atlanta University
  5. Clark University
  6. Clemson University
  7. Georgetown University
  8. Illinois Institute of Technology
  9. New Mexico State University
  10. New York Institute of Technology
  11. New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering
  12. North Dakota State University
  13. Olin College of Engineering
  14. Temple University
  15. Tennessee Technological University
  16. Universidad del Turabo
  17. University of Alabama
  18. University of Maryland
  19. University of Michigan
  20. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  21. University of New Haven
  22. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  23. University of Oregon
  24. University of Pittsburgh
  25. University of Portland
  26. University of Texas Arlington
  27. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  28. William Jewell College
  29. Wingate University
  30. Albemarle County Public Schools (K12)

Five individuals representing Epicenter’s University Innovation Fellows program are attending the White House Demo Day in support of the letter. There, they will share the initiatives they are collaborating on with their school’s leaders to address the goals put forth in the letter.

This letter was supported by organizations including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), Engineers Without Borders and Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS).

Read the letter on the White House website.

About Epicenter:

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell. Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and the Fostering Innovative Generations Studies research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.

About Stanford University:

At Stanford University, the Epicenter collaboration is managed by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center in Stanford’s School of Engineering. STVP delivers courses and extracurricular programs to Stanford students, creates scholarly research on high-impact technology ventures, and produces a large and growing collection of online content and experiences for people around the world. Visit us online at stvp.stanford.edu.

About VentureWell:

VentureWell was founded in 1995 as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and rebranded in 2014 to underscore its impact as an education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions. A not-for-profit organization reaching more than 200 universities, VentureWell is the leader in funding, training, coaching and early investment that brings student innovations to market. Inventions created by VentureWell grantees are reaching millions of people in more than 50 countries and helping to solve some of our greatest 21st century challenges. Visit www.venturewell.org to learn how we inspire students, faculty and investors to transform game-changing ideas into solutions for people and the planet.

#uifresh Announcement March 23, 2015

Update on #uifresh here: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/20-colleges-and-universities-launch-innovative-orientation-activities-to-retain-stem-students/

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2015
Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113
llhmoore@stanford.edu

University Innovation Fellows launch #uifresh campaign to attract and retain first-year students to STEM majors

March 23, 2015 — Today, the University Innovation Fellows launched a campaign to expose all incoming freshmen at a school to the types of experiences in design thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation that will attract and retain more incoming students in the STEM disciplines.

According to a report published by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology [1], about 60 percent of students who arrive at college intending to major in STEM subjects switch to other subjects, often in their first year. To combat this trend, the University Innovation Fellows program is partnering with 10 universities and colleges to launch “#uifresh” (University Innovation Freshmen).

The #uifresh campaign is being launched as part of a White House collection of initiatives to further enhance STEM in the United States. The initiatives are being released to coincide with the White House Science Fair on March 23, 2015, to increase nation’s stakeholders’ commitment to expand and enhance STEM activities. View the White House announcement here.

Fact Sheet Screenshot

The University Innovation Fellows program is run by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell. The program empowers students to become change agents in higher education who help their peers learn an entrepreneurial mindset and creative confidence.

The Fellows are working with their institutions’ leaders and orientation week organizers to provide learning opportunities that are fun, experiential, creative and lead to increased interest in making an innovation on campus. Fellows were required to secure letters of support from their college and university presidents in order to join the campaign.

Schools involved in the initiative to date include:

Many of the 291 University Innovation Fellows at 115 U.S. schools are working working to gather signatures on campuses in the coming weeks. In preparation for the launch of #uifresh at their schools this Fall, Fellows will work together to determine how the programs will be rolled out at their campuses and share best practices regarding the retention of freshmen in STEM.

Ben Matthews, a University Innovation Fellow from the University of Virginia, and Humera Fasihuddin, co-leader of the Fellows program for Epicenter, were invited to attend the White House Science Fair to celebrate the launch of the #uifresh campaign. At the fifth White House Science Fair on March 23, President Barack Obama welcomes more than 100 of the nation’s brightest young minds, with some showcasing innovative inventions, discoveries, and science projects.

To learn more about the University Innovation Fellows, visit http://universityinnovationfellows.org/. The program is currently accepting applications for Spring 2016; apply by October 26 at http://universityinnovationfellows.org/apply/application/.

[1] https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-engage-to-excel-final_feb.pdf

Update on #uifresh here: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/20-colleges-and-universities-launch-innovative-orientation-activities-to-retain-stem-students/

About Epicenter:
The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and a research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.

About Stanford University:
At Stanford University, the Epicenter collaboration is managed by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center in Stanford’s School of Engineering. STVP delivers courses and extracurricular programs to Stanford students, creates scholarly research on high-impact technology ventures, and produces a large and growing collection of online content and experiences for people around the world. Visit us online at stvp.stanford.edu.

About VentureWell:
VentureWell was founded in 1995 as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and rebranded in 2014 to underscore its impact as an education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions. A not-for-profit organization reaching more than 200 universities, VentureWell is the leader in funding, training, coaching and early investment that brings student innovations to market. Inventions created by VentureWell grantees are reaching millions of people in more than 50 countries and helping to solve some of our greatest 21st century challenges. Visit www.venturewell.org to learn how we inspire students, faculty and investors to transform game-changing ideas into solutions for people and the planet.

 

 

 

Related Links

March 2015: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/20150323uifresh/

September 2015: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/20-colleges-and-universities-launch-innovative-orientation-activities-to-retain-stem-students/

About #uifresh: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/uifresh/

 

 

Fellows Speak at White House

On September 24, 2014, two University Innovation Fellows went to the White House to address 60 leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who attended a half-day Maker Workshop. Two Fellows, Jaime Aribas Starkey-El of Morgan State and Ulysses Knight of Virginia State. Jaime spoke on a panel (see video) about his efforts to bring a maker space to Morgan. He also happens to be on the team of Fellows driving the Student IP Rights project (independent of Epicenter, Stanford or VentureWell) and was able to garner support and visibility for their efforts.

This is one in a series of followup events the White House is holding to leverage its first ever Maker Faire held this past summer. As part of that event, Tim McNulty, Vice President of Government Relations at Carnegie Mellon, gathered 150 signatures from University Presidents to commit to the development of Maker Spaces. HBCUs were largely absent from that list. That’s not OK. It is imperative that HBCUs are at the forefront helping lead the movement that has the potential to democratizing innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity. The workshop was designed to make that case and introduce resources in support of the effort.

 

IMG_3029The day was designed to shed light on the power of the Maker Movement to educate. The Founder of Make Magazine and the increasingly popular events called ‘Maker Faire’, was an inspiring keynote speaker following Tom Khalil’s opening remarks. Our colleagues from the United College Negro Fund and the American Public Land-grant Universities discussed their efforts to expand Innovation & Entrepreneurship offerings at HBCUs. All three referred to their partnership with Epicenter, through the Fellows program. Tim McNulty expressed an interest in developing a community amongst the 150 signatories, much in the way Fellows have used community to acheive its change strategies on campus. Our colleague Craig Forest of Georgia Tech highlighted the success of the Invention Studio, an entirely free student-run maker space available to all majors for class projects or pet projects. Students have access to an array of equipment and also teach one another classes to acquire new skills.

 

University Innovation Fellows was up at bat again in the last half, with yours truly speaking on the a panel alongside TechShop, Maker Faire/Make Magazine and NSF’s HBCU-UP Program, as resources to help HBCUs get started. The audience was very receptive to the our message of using students to get traction on space and, more importantly, what goes on in the space. Design thinking workshops, lean startup events, challenges and other learning opportunities are the kinds of things that make the difference between a cool room and a vibrant student community. This strategy, along with the students completing the landscape canvas and networking campus stakeholder efforts together, has aided the university administration’s efforts to expand I&E on campus. Fellows created 22 innovation spaces last year alone, three that attracted additional funded by the institution in the millions of dollars as they demonstrated strong student engagement. A number of school committed to bringing on the University Innovation Fellows program that day. There were many highlights to the day, but my personal favorite was meeting Megan Smith, former executive with GoogleX and new Chief Technology Officer of the United States of America (pictured below). With her at the helm as CTO, we may just see some amazing ‘moonshot’ approaches to embedding the maker movement into all schools throughout the U.S.

~Humera Fasihuddin, University Innovation Fellows

 

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White House Hosts STUDENT STARTUPS Hangout with #UIFellows Own Jared Karp & Shark Tank Hosts

November 23, 2013 – The video recording of the Student Startup Google Hangout is now available. Due to technical difficulties, they are in two parts. Watch the first video until just after 7:30, then switch to the second one to view the remainder of the session:

Here’s our favorite excerpt…

STUDENT INNOVATOR TELLS WHITE HOUSE HOW CAMPUSES CAN ENGAGE STUDENTS IN INNOVATION

Q: Doug Rand, The White House: What kinds of projects do Jared’s friends get to work on in the innovation space and how can other universities get such an innovation space?

A: Jared Karp, University Innovation Fellows @  UC Berkeley: there are a ton of projects people work on. It is a free space for students to bring their own ideas and projects to the table, to recruit help from other talented individuals. For example sometimes students work on industry-sponsored projects or they design for a cause. One of my friends recently designed a water pump for farmers in India to replace high-cost diesel-powered water pumps, using capillary physics to generate water from a well and bring it up to the source. Other students work on fun projects such as video games like Campus Cart, which is a live mapping of your college campus and you use an RC car to drive around the levels that are made by your own environment. I actually made this (holding up device) … this is a mini MPC, which is a music production tool which fits onto the back of most cellular phones and you can export the files to your favorite music production software and make beats on the go. For those who are interested in connecting with BetaVersity (company that installs maker spaces at college campuses) or bring an innovation space on campus you can check out the website http://www.betaversity.com or as a student there are many ways to bring an innovation space to your campus without necessarily having to go through an external party (see wiki page: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/wiki/How_to_build_and_outfit_an_on-campus_innovation_space).

________________________________

November 22, 2013 – Today the White House hosted a #wethegeeks Google Hangout with our very own Jared Karp and Engineering Undergraduate student at University of California Berkeley. According to the White House blog, the live streamed online conversation will celebrate “the extraordinary stories of young entrepreneurs—students who, along with all the usual demands of pursuing a high school, college, or a graduate degree, are building companies today that are spreading homegrown ideas all over the world.”

Join us at 2pm ET here.

The blog goes on to say, “Two proven entrepreneurs featured on the popular TV show Shark Tank will join these student innovators to share lessons from their own entrepreneurial journeys”. Barbara Cochoran and Daymond John, two of the six sharks on the show, will be joined by Jared, three other college students and members of NIFTY, a program that inspires young people in low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures.

More about Barbara Cochoran and Daymond John…

http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/bios/daymond-john

http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/bios/barbara-corcoran

Tweet questions using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks. See you at 2pm ET.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Senior Program Officer, University Innovation Fellows

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#wethegeeks

White House Features University Innovation Fellows

Today, University Innovation Fellows launched a new wiki platform at http://www.universityinnovation.org for students to share information and best practices about innovation and entrepreneurship at their schools. The wiki provides student leaders in academia with resources and how-to strategies for enhancing the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus. Information on courses and programs also enables students on campus to find resources to advance their skills in topics such as creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization, technology translation and venture development.

White House Blog Mentions UI Fellows program and wiki.

White House Blog Mentions UI Fellows program and wiki.

The launch of the wiki coincides with the release of the report, “The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University: Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Focus,” published by the Department of Commerce. Eleven ‘deep dives’ into innovative and entrepreneurial universities provide best practices for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting student and faculty entrepreneurship, university-industry collaboration, technology transfer and regional economic development. The data shared by the Department of Commerce report are now accompanied by 21 deep dives completed by University Innovation Fellows.

Celebrating the release of the report during the Presidentially-declared Entrepreneurship Month, the White House issued this blog post recognizing the University Innovation Fellows, Epicenter and the launch of the wiki.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, @ihumera

Senior Program Officer, University Innovation Fellows.