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Bucknell University Student Priorities

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Bucknell University is a private liberal arts institution that was founded in 1846. With the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the School of Management, Bucknell has always been aiming to educate well-rounded college graduates with an interdisciplinary mindset.

Contents

Project Pitch Video

2016 Pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWxELfKQB_I

Overview

Over the years, Bucknellians have gone on to found Lending Tree, StellaService, Home Depot, Kiva.org, Quidsi, The Pit, Y-Combinator, Integra Life Sciences, and countless other successful ventures. In the latest Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey, 35% of incoming Bucknell students indicated that "Becoming successful in a business of my own" was essential or very important to them. At Bucknell, there are many actions have been taken to create a better entrepreneurial ecosystem with the belief that this is something students want. With its new president, President John Bravman's extensive support on improving the entrepreneurship on campus, many previously uncoordinated efforts have been synthesized in a much more effective way. In the rest of the article, the detailed entrepreneurship programs available for both student faculty, as well as the resources available to further nurture the entrepreneurial endeavors.

At the same time, Bucknell's small size and rural location inherited some limitations on its ecosystem. Two most prominent gaps are insufficient entrepreneur awareness on campus, and weak financial and network support.

Insufficient Entrepreneur Awareness Although we have a lot of resources available for students, yet most of students are unaware of their existence. Events are not arranged frequently; students don't show up; lack of followup events. These are all the problems that current Bucknell problems are struggling. To increase the student awareness and benefit most from the existing facility are the key to a growing ecosystem.

Weak Financial and Network Support Since Bucknell doesn't have any fund resources for student ventures, looking for the first seed fund is very hard for student entrepreneurs. The most financial support that a student can get from Bucknell is by winning the Business competition which gives $1,500 to the first place, $1,000 to the second, and the third gets $500. Considering making a minimum viable product for a software app can easily go up to $5,000, these financial input couldn't help much.


Link to Prezi overview of campus ecosystem:

Calling all Students

Informational Session

  • Where: Dana Engineering Building, Room 137
  • When: Wednesday 10/30, 5:00pm
  • RSVP: ygg001@bucknell

IsBucknellReadyForEntrepreneurs.PNG


Strategy #1: Influencing the Campus Climate

Value Proposition:

  • Sow the seeds for a fundamental change to Bucknell’s campus climate by getting students interested in entrepreneurship early in their college careers


  • Deviate from “top-down” approach of entrepreneurship/venture creation on-campus
    • Consistently reaching out to same group of students is not sustainable
    • Resources should be demanded by students, not vice-versa


The following are an array of strategies that wil fully address gap #1 over a two to three year period:

Tactic #1: I&E Advisory Board

Description: The I&E Advisory Board will be made up of selected faculty, administration, and students who will serve as a structure that supports and guides students in their entrepreneurial undertakings. This includes but is not limited to linking them with resources internal and external to campus as well as actively seeking out opportunities for new initiatives.

Team Leader: Administrator/Faculty TBD

Tactic #2: First-Year Workshops and Informational Sessions

First-years at Bucknell are required to take seven informational seminars that are out on by the University throughout the year. By including dedicated I&E-related seminars in these programs, students will be exposed to the enterpreneurial mindset from an early stage. We hope that this will dramatically help to foster a better entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus. 

Team Leader: Faculty TBD

Tactic #3: Redesigning Collaborative Student Spaces

Although there are many identifiable spaces for student work on campus, there is a lack of truly free, innovative space where students can collaborate creatively. By targeting certain key locations on campus and transforming their "study-room" like spaces, students will have the opportunity to tackle class projects as well as extra curricular ventures in a facilitating environment. 

Team Leader: TBD

Team Leader: Administrator/Faculty TBD

Tactic #4: I&E Pre-Orientation

Directed toward first-year students to introduce students from all majors to I&E techniques, the general project development processes, the flow of bringining ideas to potential commercialization, and essential team-building skills. This tactic seeks to place in students from all disciplines an understanding and more fully realized vision of themselves as potential entrepreneurs and innovators.

Team Leader: TBD

Team Leader: Administrator/Faculty TBD

Tactic #5: I&E Foundation Seminar

Getting a wide variety of students exposed to the I&E culture at Bucknell as soon as possible is extremely important.  A foundation seminar would provide the perfect experience to new students at Bucknell that exposes them to all of the opportunities available and helps guide them on how they can be positive change makers on campus.



Team Leader: TBD

Team Leader: Administrator/Faculty TBD

Strategy #2: Increase Awareness of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Value Proposition:

  • Increase awareness about the meaning and value behind innovation and entrepreneurship


  • Encourage students to think broadly, diversely, and creatively both in and out of the classroom setting


  • Allow students to take control of their own ideas and form visions for future potential ventures


Following are an array of strategies that will fully address Gap #2 over a two to three year period:

Tactic #1: Student Residential Weekend Workshop

  • Description: Currently at Bucknell, there are six distinct themed Residential Colleges and many affinity houses. Some of them are closely related to I&E, such as Social Technology Residential College and the Engineering & Innovation House. Students chose to live in those houses are interested in I&E. By creating weekend workshop gatherings, we can foster the collaboration between students and help them start working on their ideas. Getting started is always the first hurdle. This will help students who are already interested in I&E to overcome the get started dilemma.
  • Team Leader:: RAs
  • Milestones:
    • Arrange the first Meeting with RAs on related residential halls and houses.
    • Reserve the workshop space and get permission from school.
    • RAs arrange the interest meeting on their individual hall.
    • Propose a year long weekly events based on student's interests.
    • Start the project.


Tactic #2: TEDx Event

  • Description: Bucknell currently has a speaker series called: Tech/No. It invites famous authors, businessman, managers to have a open one-on-one interview. Students showed a lot interests in those event. Having a TEDx event will further foster the innovation ecosystem at Bucknell.
  • Team Leader:: TBA
  • Milestones:
    • Apply TEDx event license
    • Invite speakers
    • Reserve event space
    • Advertise the event on campus
    • Hold the TEDx event

Tactic #3: Student Focused Start-up Workshop

  • Description: Although Small Business Development Center holds start-up workshops regularly, most of these workshops are community oriented. Many of them are off campus and unknown by students. This workshop series will be student focus. Inform interested students with how to start a business, and show them the current available resources. This event will be an introductory event.
  • Team Leader:: SBDC student consultants
  • Milestones:
    • Meet with SBDC director
    • Reserve room for workshop
    • Invite speakers: Professors, Alumni entrepreneurs, SBDC consultants, etc.
    • Advertising the event on campus, fliers, posters, emails
    • Holding the workshop

Tactic #4: KEEN Design Competitions

KEEN Design Competitions act as a primary means of encouraging constructive and creative interdisciplinary interaction between students outside of the classroom setting.  They are currently held approximately three times per semester, and have steadily grown in popularity within the College of Engineering.  These competitions require fast-paced creative design and prototyping.

To date, they continue to receive little attention from Management and Arts & Sciences students.  Introducing a variety of KEEN Design Competitions, ranging from rapid prototyping to landscaping an entire business model would help foster interactions with an even more diverse group of students, and could genuinely contribute to a revisioned campus climate.

Team Leader: Nate Siegel, David Cipoletti, more Professors TBD)

Tactic #5: Start-Up Weekend

A Start-up Weekend is the perfect way to get students excited about the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship.  This would essentially function as a college-level science fair at which local/regional start-up companies, many owned and operated by Bucknell alumni, would visit campus and advertise their hard work.  Students would not only begin to see the range of possibilities that comes from venture creation, but also begin thinking creatively about their own economic futures.

Team Leaders: University Innovation Fellows, Steve Stumbris

Tactic #6: Creativity Wall

Description: This tactic involves locating heavily trafficked areas on campus where a creativity wall can be placed. Open-ended questions would appear on the wall weekly, and students passing by would be free to answer them as they wish. This should get students engaged in thinking outside of the box and also make them comfortable with a deeper level of analysis for everyday considerations. 

Team Leader: Student TBD

Tactic #7: Broadening the scope of I&E practices through Inclusion and Recognition

Description: Enhancing the essential foundation of I&E by practicing and educating on inclusion and recoginition toward the diverse individuals essential to the widespread success of I&E. This tactic seeks to utilize educational workshops on cultural fluency, highlighting the importance of recognizing the array of backgrounds from which rising entrepreneurs emerge from so that the ideas brought to I&E remain collaborative and mindful. To go with this, studetns from various backgrounds, identities, skill-sets, and majors will be encouraged to participate in I&E related activities. Ultimately, we hope to use difference as a force of empowerement and momentum through inclusion, recognition and celebration.

Team Leaders: University Innovation Fellows

Strategy #3: Curricular Integration

Value Proposition:

  • Integrate I&E culture into the university curriculum in order to balance and complement traditional educational techniques


  • Allow students to take coursework that is more experiential and more aligned with their diverse interests


  • Push drive for change beyond the College of Engineering
    • Coordination between stakeholders across as many disciplines as possible

Tactic #1: Professors encouraging experiential learning & Experiential Learning Interdisciplinary course

While understanding that students are often restricted to required coursework, it is important to encourage professors in all disciplines to encourage a more experiential and creative approach to group projects. This will allow students from all over the University to experience risk-taking, design thinking, and failure in a new way. 

The Experiential Learning Interdisciplinary course may take many forms, be it a music/cinema coruse focused on connecting local organizations and networks, and putting students across disciplines together, to develop a film or music project. The course may also be geared toward the interdisciplinary development of multimedia technology and/or improvements to existing technologies that would involve students focused in the arts with those in engineering & science toward a common goal.

Team Leader: Student/Administrator/Faculty TBD

Tactic #2: Course Credit for Entrepreneurial Ventures

Currently, students at Bucknell doing research with a Professor during the semester can apply to receive a half-course credit from the University. This same concept would apply to Entrepreneurial Ventures, therefore encouraging and enabling students who want to pursue their ideas but are concerned about courseload, requirements, and free time.

Team Leader: Student TBD

Tactic #3: KEEN IDEAs Design Courses

Currently, KEEN IDEAs Design courses (ENGR 251, ENGR 450, etc) represent a push by the College of Engineering to instill an entrepreneurial-mindset within the students.  These classes have ranged from the basics of developing strong business model canvases to creative systems design, and their success represents a steady acceptance of I&E on-campus.  However, these classes tend to target the same segment of students (who no doubt benefit from the experience) and fail to penetrate to the majority of the College of Engineering, let alone Bucknell's other's schools.  

Moving forward, these courses represent an exciting movement towards more collaborative learning environments and cross-discipline interactions within the classroom setting.

Team Leader: Erin Singleton, Charles Kim, Joe Tranquillo

Strategy #4: Venture Realization Supports

Value Proposition:

  • Encourage students to take a risk on themselves and their own ideas beyond the walls of a classroom


  • Provide budding ventures with the resources needed to survive and prosper outside the Bucknell bubble


  • Sastisfy student desire to take part in the creation of something unique and beneficial to their future (and that of our community)


Following are an array of strategies that will fully address Gap #2 over a 2-3 year period:

Tactic #1: Establish Student Venture Fund

Description: Starting a company, finding seed fund is always the most difficult task, especially for student entrepreneurs. Student Venture Fund can help solve this problem by investing enough capital to help student entrepreneurs make their first minimum viable product to show their ideas. This can largely help students who do not have the money to implement their ideas and make them ready for a larger stage. *Team Leader:: Yifan Ge *Milestones: **Get school permission **Register the organization **Find advisers **Seeking funding from interested student, faculty, alumni or staff **Make a fund at endowment office **Plan the first call for proposal and advertise **Hold a proposal review session **Select one project per year and connect the advisers with the student entrepreneurs

Tactic #2: Student and Alumni Entrepreneur Network

  • Description: Bucknell has a large successful alumni network. A lot of them are working in finance industry. Also, Bucknell does have one Alumni Entrepreneur Network. However, the students are loosely connect with them. The purpose of this tactic is to bring students and alumni together. By holding gathering event, alumni can get to know the current student entrepreneurs on campus. Possibly they can help them get funding or connect with financial support with their network. They might even join the venture.
  • Team Leader:: TBA
  • Milestones:
    • Contact Alumni Entrepreneur Network
    • Contact Alumni Relations office
    • Prepare events
    • Hold events at Bucknell or New York City

Tactic #3: Software Development Office

  • Description: Most of the start-up now are software based. One of the problem student entrepreneur facing are high cost for implementation. Although they may have great ideas, the high price to obtain even a minimum viable product may deter them from pursuing the venture. So this office is aim for providing an inexpensive software development assistant. This will greatly help entrepreneurs to explore new ideas and realize lean start-up.
  • Team Leader: Yifan Ge
  • Milestones:
    • Find developers
    • Establish a website
    • Get permissions
    • Advertise

Tactic #4: Lean Launch Pad

Faculty and alumni volunteers could act as facilitators on this monthly panel that provides valuable perspectives and input.  This would be a useful resource throughout the maturation of a student venture, from conceptualization to prototyping to market strategization.  It is essential that facilitators understand the versatility they must embody, coaching projects at all levels of development.  Furthermore, it is imperative that all students are granted equal access to this tool should they seek its use.

Team Leader: Faculty/alumni facilitators TBD


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