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Santa Clara University

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Santa Clara University

Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Santa Clara University has many institutions perfect for growing its students entrepreneurial skills.  A very popular minor at the school is entrepreneurship, where students take classes in many different business disciplines.  This minor also includes an internship with a start up in Silicon Valley. Similarly, the school offers a minor in Technical Innovation, Design Thinking and the Entrepneruial Mindset, which is held within the School of Engineering with the purpose of being easier to fit in to an engineer's schedule than the entrepeneurship minor. The school also offers opprotunities for project-based design thikning experience through clubs such as Bronco Design, ASME, IEEE, Santa Clara Entrepenurship Organization and more. The SCU School of Engineering offers many elective courses in design thinking and innovation as a part of the KEEN program, which looks to encourage innovation on campus. The KEEN program also sponsors quarterly project-based competitions with cash prizes to incentivize students to gain valuable experience. Santa Clara is currently in the process of implementing STEM 2020, a project which involves demolishing all of the current engineering buildings and replacing them with a massive STEM complex called the Sobroato Campus for Discovery and Innovation (SCDI). The new spaces are being built with promoting innovation in mind.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Being in the Silicon Valley, a lot of the professors here at Santa Clara come from entrepreneurial professions.  Many teachers in the business school teach with the entrepreneurial mindset, and give real world examples from their own experiences.  Often, faculty also have important relationships with start up companies and encourage these companies to come speak on campus.  Professors also get many grants that the hand off to students to encourage entrepreneurship.  For example in 2008, the engineering school was given a very large grant to grow the entrepreneurial opportunities on campus, and that they have.  Every single senior engineering student must create their own design product, working along side faculty, considering many entrepreneurial ideals. Santa Clara also hires real-world entrepenuers to teach some of their 1-unit elective offerings in the area of Innovation and Entrepeneurship through the engineering school.  

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus facilitates the transfer of technology to students.  It runs various programs and brings speakers on campus all in the name of entrepreneurship.  The center provides a network of connections to various companies and technologies so the students can best flourish in the entrepreneurial mindset.  Technology is also encouraged in the Maker Lab at Santa Clara University, where any student who goes through training can use the lab as much as they wish and create anything they want there.  This very much encourages the creative mindset on campus. Furthermore, through the construction of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovaiton (The new space for STEM at SCU), the school is investing in "Innovation Spaces" throughout the massive new buildings where students can collaborate on projects, as well as Maker Spaces similar to the Maker Lab to allow for hands on learning.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

The university has many useful connections with companies in and out of the Silicon Valley.  Handshake is a site where students can see job and internship postings for companies looking for Santa Clara University students.  There are many startups and entrepreneurial opportunities on the sight.  As stated earlier, there are also very many useful connections with professors. Furthermore, all of the quarterly KEEN competitions that the school puts on are done with industry partners who the projects are based around.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts  

Santa Clara very much encourages its students to aid in regional and local economic efforts.  One very integral way is through the many jobs that Santa Clara University supplies the area with.  Students are given very many opportunities in the area and often stay to work in the area.  The school also runs collaborations with quite a few businesses in the area.  An example of this is the collaboration with NASA and the SCU Robotics Systems Lab, which is filled with graduates and undergraduates doing research. The school also encourages its students to be socially responsible in all things including promoting charitable programs in dorms, and even requiring an "engaged learning and social justice" core ciriculum requirement which gets students out volunteering in the community.  Santa Clara very much cares and utilizes the surrounding area in a beneficial way.

Landscape Canvas  

LINK to our Landscape Canvas assessment which breaks down and highlights the courses, programs, and organizations that promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship on our campus.

Related Links

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellow:

Taylor Mau Mariah Manzano Connor Tisch Michael Mehta

Laura Tschudy, Andrew TorranceRory PannkukWill Mcmullen, Matt Belford, Melody Yang