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How to assess your impact and the innovation ecosystem

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We believe students can make a big impact in expanding the innovation and entrepreneurship climate on campus. That is the premise of this wiki and the basis for the creation of many student change-maker organizations. Conducting a survey gives you two things: one, an understanding of the nuances of what motivates your student peers to seek out innovation and entrepreneurship, and two, a measure of your campus's culture at the beginning and end of your academic year to show campus administration that you are making a difference.

Before you begin your academic-year and implement your changemaking strategies in earnest, you need to measure the campus climate for interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.

You can design a survey easily using Google Forms, or create a free Survey Monkey account. Design a survey that should take the user no more than FIVE (5) minutes to complete.


The following is a list of questions derived from a survery used by an Engineering School in the mid-Atlantic:

  1. What school are you in?
    • Provide a drop-down list of schools at your institution (i.e., engineering, business, liberal arts, etc.)
  2. What degree level are you pursuing?
    • Provide a drop-down list of degree levels, including faculty if desired
  3. What is your level of interest in acquiring innovation and entrepreneurship skills, or in starting a business?
    • Provide a scale from 1 - 5, with five being the highest level of interest
  4. Why are you interested in innovation and entrepreneurship activities?
    • Allow respondents to 'check all that apply'
      • I want to be my own boss
      • The potential financial rewards
      • I want to have an impact on society
      • I have a great idea
      • I want to work on creative and innovative ideas
      • I feel the need to be able to create my own job and/or job security
      • It's a cool thing to do
      • I'm not interested in entrepreneurship
      • Other (add space for respondents to fill in additional reasons)
  5. On campus, how available are programs and activities that support student entrepreneurship?
    • Provide a scale from 1 - 5, with five being the highest availability of support
  6. How would you characterize the culture at our institution?
    • Leave this as an open-ended question
  7. What has been your highest level of exposure to innovation and entrepreneurship at our institution?
    • Allow respondents to 'check all that apply'
      • I am not involved and will not likely participate in any form of innovation and entrepreneurship
      • I have not been involved previously, but I would like to be
      • I am a member of a student club
      • I have participated in a business plan competition
      • I have gone to seminars or workshops
      • I have taken a class
      • I have been in enrolled in a degree/certificate program
      • Other (add space for respondents to fill in additional reasons)
  8. Which of the following would stop you from starting your own business?
    • Allow respondents to 'check all that apply'
      • I have not graduated yet
      • Lack of experience and/or knowledge
      • Lack of mentors and connections
      • Fear of failing
      • I do not think I could find financing to start a business
      • I need to find a more secure job for financial reasons
      • I need a job with health insurance and other benefits
      • I don't know how to find others to help me build my project
      • I have no fears about starting a business
      • Other (add space for respondents to fill in additional reasons)
  9. Do you have innovation and entrepreneurship experience outside of the classroom?
    • Allow respondents to 'check all that apply'
      • I do not have any experience oustide of the classroom
      • I have been employed by a start-up
      • I currently have an idea and am trying to start a business
      • I have licensed an invention to a company
      • I have already started a business
      • I have started more than one business
      • Other (add space for respondents to fill in additional reasons)

This is not an exhaustive list of questions, and all questions may not apply. The list above should begin the thought process of writing a survey for students about innovation and entrepreneurship. Questions should be tailored, added and deleted in order to suit the needs on your campus.

Other Measurement Instruments

Please feel free to share instruments you have seen, or implemented, on your campus using the 'edit' function above. If you add to this page, and are willing to-do so, please leave a form of contact so student change makers can reach out to your for further information, as we are trying to build a collaborative environment through student-led university innovation. For more information, visit the website designated to University Innovation Fellows.