Seeding Entrepreneurial Methods Through Mock Customer Challenges

  • Sean Mallon George Mason University
  • Bob Smith George Mason University
  • Karen Livingston George Mason University

Abstract

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.

 

Author Biographies

Sean Mallon, George Mason University
AVP, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Bob Smith, George Mason University
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Karen Livingston, George Mason University
Associate Director for Entrepreneurship Programs
Published
2018-08-08