Seeding Entrepreneurial Methods Through Mock Customer Challenges
NOTE: This teaching activity showcase is one of two during the 10:30am-12:00pm session. Â It will be presented within that session from 10:30am to 11:10am.
BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION:
We will (a) explain the methodology and approach, (b) provide a mock customer discovery challenge for faculty participants, and (c) conclude with a brief explanation of how this could be used across disciplines. Â Participants will be able to describe how to weave more entrepreneurial methods or activities into their instruction.
Mason's Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation has been working with select Mason faculty in the STEM domains to seed entrepreneurial methods into the student learning experience. We work one-on-one with faculty members and take a flexible and customized approach to each course, but the general idea is for an entrepreneurial mentor/coach to visit the classroom 2-3 times during the semester to share with students the importance of â€œcustomer discoveryâ€ as a component of a research and/or product development project. We have found this approach to work especially well with senior capstone courses in STEM-related fields. The objective is to encourage students to take early proactive steps to understand the needs of the â€œcustomerâ€ before building a solution. We have piloted this approach in bioengineering, and are actively looking to collaborate with faculty in other fields, both STEM and non-STEM. In our presentation, we will (a) explain the methodology and approach, (b) provide a mock customer discovery challenge for faculty participants, and (c) conclude with a brief Q&A.