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Pennsylvania State University Student Priorities

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Penn State offers many Innovation and Entrepreneurship resources varying from classes, to organizations to attaining funding for entrepreneurial activities. There are over 150 classes offered in the varying areas of entrepreneurship. There are 5 minors offered in the umbrella topic of entrepreneurship, along with a semi entrepreneruial B.S./M.B.A program. Penn State is the home to three research centers and two entrepreneurship and innovation centers. By holding continous events such as Global Entrepreneurship week, Ultimate Trader Challenge, Hackathons, Pitch competitions, Springboard competitions, PSU covers a wide area of student interests in innovation and entrepreneurship. There are only a few areas lacking for Penn State to become a fully functional entrepreneurial school. 

The main two areas would be Perceived and Applied strategies of entrepreneurship. Specifically, Penn State needs to improve on speaker series and connection with current entrepreneurs in the perceived strategy. In the applied strategy, students need a place to work creatively with their ideas. They also need a way to gain experience in an entrepreneurial setting.

Link to Prezi overview of campus ecosystem:

Calling all Students

Informational Session (come hear plans, offer feedback and help expand opportunities for all students)

Strategy #1: Perceived - Bettering Speaker Series

Following are an array of strategies that will fully address Gap #1 over a 2-3 year period:

Tactic #1: Outreach group, Logistics group, Marketing Group

  • Description: Get three different groups on campus that are concentrating on promoting entrepreneurship on campus. By splitting them up into committees, it easier to mark progress. The outreach group would be responsible for reaching out to alumni and businesses, interviewing them, convincing them to speak at PSU, and knowing their availability. The logistics group would be responsible for all PSU-backend things, such as booking rooms, finding PSU availability, and confirming dates and times with speakers. The marketing group would be responsible for marketing the speakers to students to increase involvement. Each committee will have a head who is responsible for making sure that work gets done in a timely manner. 
  • Team Leader:: Entrepreneurship Speaker Overall
  • Milestones: 
  • Find interested students 2/13
  • Make committess 3/13
  • Get a lineup of speakers 6/13
  • Start speaker series 10/13

Tactic #2: Department Board

  • Description: One faculty member and one student from each department will sit on a boad to inform the other departments regarding all entrepreneurial activities including, but not limited to, speakers. Then it can be decided whether that speaker coud also visit another department, or if they could hold a meet and greet with a few students.
  • Team Leader:: Department Outreach
  • Milestones: 
  • Find department heads who are interested, and inform them of the board 12/13
  • Get department head to suggest a faculty, who will then suggest a student 2/13
  • Hold first meeting 3/13

Strategy #2: Applied: Bettering Innovation Spaces and Communication

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

Tactic #1: Building Two Innovation Spaces

  • Description: By building two innovation spaces to foster two different type of businesses, students will want to venture more into entrepreneurship. For a service based business, the innovation space should be built in the business school. For a product based business, the innovation space should be built in the engineering or IST school. The product based innovation space should include woodwork and manufacturing machinery.
  • Team Leader::  TBD
  • Milestones: 
  • Talk to department heads/president of university 12/13
  • Get student, faculty and alumni support 3/14
  • Find donors 6/14
  • Construct a plan with heads of the university 10/14

Tactic #2: Local Career Fair

  • Description: Hold a career fair for local businesses and students interested in working during school. This allows students to interact with entrepreneurs during the school year. 
  • Team Leader:: Mridul Bhandari
  • Milestones: 
  • Get businesses involved 9/13
  • Inform students 10/13
  • Test run 11/13
  • Create a sustainable plan 1/14

Tactic #3: Hosting Start-up/Entrepreneurial Section at Penn State's Career Fair

  • Description: Penn State invites over 500 companies to recruit during the career fair, and almost none of them are small companies. Many Penn State students want to do something entrepreneurial but lack experience. By hosting a startup section, or an entrepreneurial section during the career fair, students will be able to talk to companies that they want to work for. This allows them a chance to enhance their entrepreneurial skill while ganing experience. 
  • Team Leader: Mridul Bhandari
  • Milestones: 
  • Talk to companies to gage interest 10/13
  • Talk to career fair administration 11/13
  • Talk to Engineering and IST department heads for a push to career fair administration 12/13
  • Contact startups and entrepreneurship companies 2/13
  • Hold a test run 3/13
  • Construct sustainable plan 5/13


Related Links

Pennsylvania State University

Mridul Bhandari