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Purdue University Student Priorities

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Strategies for change

Strategy #1: Host Innovation Workshops for Undergraduate Students 

One of the primary problems that students in the Certificate Program face is coming up with an original business idea. As much focus intitally is placed on profitability and scalability, more creativity needs to be placed on the earlier stages of thought ideation. By providing an Innovation Workshop soley focused on generating ideas, the creative mindset needed to think outside-the-box and make truly progressive changes. 

Tactic #1: Choose different locations on campus and challenge students to imagine how they can be re-engineering to be a more creative environment. Have students brainstorm together on possible ideas. 

Tactic #2: Take the 20 Grand Engineering Challenges and ask students how they can create inventions and innovations to help solve these major challenges. Posing these questions would require very large picture thinking and would challenge students to reimage what is possible. 

Strategy #2: Create Student Ambassadors for Purdue Entrepreneurship

While the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program flourishes on the Purdue Campus, the program could use more reigonal and national recognition. In order to showcase the achievements of the students involved in the program, student ambassadors are needed to represent the program beyond the walls of the University. 

Tactic #1: Involve students in Regional Entrepreneurial Events. Giving students the opportunity to represent the program at the regional levels with organizations such as VentureClub Indiana, the Indiana Small Business Development Center, and LINK Indiana. 

Tactic #2: Represent students at major National Conferences. By representing Purdue Students at high profile events, the reputation and prestiege of the program will travel with the student's excellent abilites and accomplishments. The national exposure will aid in the facilitaiton of new partnerships and interest with Purdue University. 

Strategy #3: Develop Key Student Partnerships with Purdue Research Park

While Purdue Research Parks currently have five locations across Indiana and have over 260 companies involved with those locations, the Parks represent tremendous opportunities for students to learn from and become involved with. By having a means for Entrepreneurship students to become invovled with these businesses, further development and innovation could be fostered by utilizing Purdue's own environment of student talent and intelligence.

Tactic #1: Develop intern programs with the tech companies for current students. As many of the companies located within the Purdue Research Parks have labratories on premise and are looking for part-time entry level lab assistants, it would be easy to match their needs with the talents of undergraduate and graduate students. This would only require open communication between the Research Parks and the Unveristy Academic Offices. 

Tactic #2: Create specific networking events for Research Park Companies and current students. By having an opportunity to actively engage with each other, the Research Parks can evaluate the talent and Purdue students offer. Similarly, Students can explore options and opportunties that are available through the Research Parks.  

Strategy #4: Enhance Cross-Disciplinary Student Interaction in Entrepreneurship

While students are brought together across disciplines in the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation classes, there still remains a high level of growth for students to work together across majors. Instead of focusing on academic cross-disciplinary research and formal programs, initiatives should be focused more on informal student interactions.

Tactic #1: Have specific discipline-targeting days at the student co-working space. While many students in Liberal Arts, Health and Human Sciences, and Agriculture do not see a place for themselves in Entrepreneurship, having a day specifically dedicated to them will make them feel more comfortable with the environment. Also, the interactions that happen at Purdue's student co-working space, The Anvil, will create further interest and create new project ideas. 

Tactic #2:  Brand the student co-working space beyond Entrepreneurship. To appeal to different majors, The Anvil should possibly brand itself as a Thought Creation center for Design, Discovery, Creation, and Communication. By having a larger frame of their purpose, The Anvil can draw students from many different backgrounds instead of just traditional STEM and Management involvement.

Strategy #5: Organize Entrepreneurial Success and Failure Realities Event

Within the context of the 21st century, Entrepreneurship has been highly romanticized as an easy way to make a living and avoid the corporate lifestyle. Through the influence of the movie The Social Network, the TV series Silicon Valley, and the media surround other Tech Unicorns, many students believe that Entrepreneurship is easy and that every business idea will generate a multi-million dollar income. However, Entrepreneurship is much more challenging and requires an incredible amount of preservance. To emphasize this idea, an event considering the trials of real Entrepreneurship should be available for students to gain a realistic perspective.  

Tactic #1: Dedicate class time to go over strategies for overcoming failures. While this may seem elementary for students, it is critical that they understand how to learn from failure, and how to accordingly recover. This will not only give them greater success in their ventures, but also in all of their personal endevors.  

Tactic #2: Highlight popular failures of Entrepreneurial Ventures and explain why they were a failure. By using both small businesses and even once successful businesses as case studies, students will understand that no matter what stage of development a venture is at, it has the potential to fail. Recognizing this point will demonstate the importance of always understanding the environment the business have targeted itself towards.

Strategy #6: Create a Platform to Connnect Student Innovators

While there are many student innovators around campus, there are many resources available to student innovators and entrepreneurs such as hackathons, clubs, accelerators, open-labs, and co-workspaces. Although going to these places are beneficial, students may still feel disjointed. However, in a large university population, it can be difficult to find mentors, other student innovators, and the right resources. Therefore, there is a need for a platform to connect student innovators.

Tactic #1: Create an online login system that allows students to sign up as members. These members get ranked by innovative competency through a survey. Members have the ability to find other student innovators, professors, workspaces, clubs, departments, etc. Members also have the ability to list themselves as a resource to help or mentor others.

Tactic #2: Develop a mobile app to locate student innovators nearby. Knowing where student innovators are will help other students better recognize their envirnoment, especially freshmen. Having the right resources will help student innovators accelerate the development of their idea.

Strategy #7: Create a Workspace to allow Innovative Project Development

While there are many spaces for students to do homework and studies, these places offer basic furniture such as tables and chairs. Room that can be used by students in buildings include conference rooms, focus booths, and libraries. However, these rooms do not allow students to operate hardware tools or power tools and are not an ideal space for students to keep their equipment. Since many technical majors involve students working with tools, developing hardware prototypes, soldering, and 3D printing enclosures, there is a need for an environment (perhaps a large room or floor of a building) which has tools and equipment dedicated to helping students ideate and bring their idea to life.

Tactic #1: Propose a workspace to the appropriate leaders of multiple departments to request for dedicated workspace for student innovators. Some departments may be able to help with finding space around the university. 

Tactic #2: Propose a dedicated workspace plan to the management of co-working spaces in an attempt to have accomodations for student innovators who have projects that need to stay in one location consistently and require dedicated space on a frequent basis.

Related Links

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Purdue University Strategic Priorities

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