Priorities:Ohio University Priorities
Ohio University is a beautiful campus with a plethora of entrepreneurship and innovation resources; however, the problem lies in the disconnect amonst the various great opportunities on campus! There are plenty of students interested in exploring their ideas, but very few know where to begin their innovation journey -- that's where we hope to come in with programming to educate about entrepreneurship and the facilities to support new ideas.
Strategy 1: Increase Entrepreneurial Knowledge
In the Classroom
Entrepreneurship majors and certificates are a fantastic step in the right direction for increasing student access to I&E, but we can't stop there! Far too
many students are under the impression that they need to be a business or engineering major in order to benefit from basic entrepreneurship knowledge. Long story short, those students are as good as excluded regardless of the decidedly inclusive pamphlets and course descriptions that are sent out.
Because of this, our first strategy for augmenting Ohio University's entrepreneurial impact is getting basic entrepreneurship coursework into every introductory and career orientation class. English major or pre-med, basic entrepreneurial knowledge will help to set students up for success after graduation by instilling in them the fact that entrepreneurship is an option, and one they have an understanding of, regardless of wether they pursue their own company,
Ohio University is not yet known for being an entrepreneurial powerhouse, but we are on that track! It is about time that there are workshops specificially geared toward innovation and entrepreneurship. These could include two-week programs on web app development or two-hour workshops on how to fill out a business model canvas and survey end users. By starting off with reasonable time-commitments and relevant subject-material, Ohio University will be able to grow its workshop model to rival top programs.
Strategy 2: Live and Breathe...Entrepreneurship
There are many universities that have living/learning residencial options available to their students that wish to commit themselves to an idea or project for the semester, year, or longer. Ohio University could benefit from having this sort of immersive entrepreneurship experience where everyone in a dorm was excited to brainstorm and innovate in hopes of creating a better tomorrow.
Even without living in an incubator, students should always have access to an innovation-conducive environment. One way to make sure all students feel like they have access is to centrally locate whatever new resources there are, and to try to shift the existing resources into more convenient locations. Bridging together the multitude of resources Ohio University has will not be an easy task, but it will ensure that a student always has somewhere to go with an idea, for mentorship, or for a workspace.
Strategy 3: Makerspace
Brick and Mortar
In a technologically advancing world, more and more is being accomplished through electronic platforms, but there is nothing like a face-to-face meeting with an important stakeholder to get someone excited about entrepreneurship. Through having a physical location for an entrepreneurship hub, Ohio University aims to provide a space for those sorts of meetings to happen. Additionally, this space will have ideation laboratories, brainstromming rooms, and a "zen" office (free of any tech) to give students the best chance of success when working on the different aspects of their idea (including coming up with one in the first place).
The online resources available through the University Innovation Fellows Program have been invaluable in developing a better understanding of Ohio
University's entrepreneurial ecosystem; our wish is to give that same benefit to students on campus by having some solely online entrepreneurship and innovation resources. For those students who have great ideas but aren't yet ready to "commit to entrepreneurship" (because as we know, it does change your life), these resources will be a way for them to explore and get more information, without "alerting the media." Additionally, many of the online resources will be relevant for anyone with a new idea -- a club, event, travel -- in order to figure out what the most important tasks are for them to complete (design thinking in action)!
Ohio University Project Pitch Video: