Seeding Entrepreneurial Methods Through Mock Customer Challenges

Sean Mallon, Bob Smith, Karen Livingston

Session Information

Year: 2018 | Time: 10:30am-11:10am | Location: TEACHING ACTIVITY SHOWCASE 10:30-10:45: Johnson Center (Room G)

Abstract

NOTE: This teaching activity showcase is one of two during the 10:30am-12:00pm session.  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.  Participants will be able to describe how to weave more entrepreneurial methods or activities into their instruction.

 

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FULL ABSTRACT:

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 “customer discovery” 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 “customer” 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.

Keywords

Entrepreneurial methods

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