School:Alabama State University

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= Overview— Motivate & Inspire, Especially the Underserved 2 = Alabama State University, founded 1867, is a historically black university located in Montgomery, Alabama. Under the leadership of President William H. Harris, the university continues its role as a purveyor of innovative scholarship, especially in the African American community. Alabama State University considers the NACIE commitment letter as an affirmation of the school’s historical role, and current initiatives to make entrepreneurship a core part of its future strategy. Breaking with orthodoxy, Alabama State University requires faculty to enhance their theoretical knowledge of entrepreneurship with practical experience, through summer internship with entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship has also moved from the exclusive domain of the College of Business Administration (COBA) to become part of a larger university culture. The COBA students are now also allowed the option of choosing either an international business, or entrepreneurship concentration. More recently, the College of Visual & Performing Arts, Health Sciences, and the Communications Department have added entrepreneurship curriculum. The Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Change’s (CEIC) Entrepreneur-In- Residence Lecture Series introduces and motivates student participation in, and understanding of, entrepreneurship. CEIC also sponsors the attendance of 80 College of Business Administration students at the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute in Lithonia, GA. This institute teaches professional etiquette, public speaking, and other educational activities to augment student preparation for business ownership or corporate employment. The College of Business Administration’s partnership with CEIC extends beyond the university gates. Through their jointly administered International Business Summer Camp, 14 rising junior and senior high school students, from rural Alabama, were brought to ASU campus for training. The students were also taken on an international excursion to the Bahamas to further challenge their imagination and international exposure. A second High School Summer Boot Camp brought rising juniors and seniors from an urban setting (Detroit, MI), to entrepreneurship and college readiness immersion camp. Another initiative at COBA’s Center for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises/Supportive Services provides On-The-Job Training programs and other services to minority owned Highway Construction businesses. Through On-The-Job Training, the Center retrains displaced minority workers in Highway Construction. Additionally, COBA’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides broader technical and management assistance to small businesses and prospective business owners. In the spirit of the NACIE commitment letter, ASU’s membership in the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) facilitates a collaborative relationship with local industry. The university organizes faculty and student study-tours, seminars, and workshops with local manufacturers. These include Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, Honda assembly plants, and ThyssenKrupp. = Student Entrepreneurship = Through a curriculum that combines theoretical and practical interdisciplinary learning, ASU offers an Entrepreneurship Minor for both Business and non-Business Major students. Additionally, the Center of Excellence for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration (COBA), in close cooperation with accomplished and successful entrepreneurs, inspires and teaches the entrepreneurial spirit to students through several programs that will contribute to the economic development of the state of Alabama and the broader southern region. These programs include: *The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Lecture Series, pairs some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the black community with ASU’s student entrepreneurs in vibrant practitioner lecture series *Women in Business Experience, provides coaching, training and peer support for women-owned businesses through various stages of development *Development of Communities, targets communities within 2 miles of the ASU campus to address blighted conditions, and infuse ASU’s entrepreneurial spirit to improve various sectors including residential and commercial housing
The Center of Excellence for International Business will internationalize ASU’s innovation and entrepreneurship by providing opportunities for faculty, students, and the business community to develop and broaden their international business expertise and cross-cultural understanding. *Foreign Study Tours: Implement overseas week-long study-tours to South Korea and China with assistance from ASU’s global university partners–the ChungAng University in Seoul, Korea; and the Fudan University in Shanghai, China; *Domestic Study Tours: Organize study-tours for students and faculty to seminars, workshops, and manufacturing facilities (such as Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, Honda, and ThyssenKrupp) within the state of Alabama that involve global business; and *NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Club (CGBP): Establish a student club that will foster an educational and cultural environment in which students who have an interest in international business and CGBP certification can share ideas and experiences
In addition to these initiatives, the College of Business Administration (COBA) & the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Change (CEIC) will host the Business Empowerment Series on Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 5pm – 7pm. = Faculty Entrepreneurship = ASU faculty members will also benefit from the Center of Excellence for International Business through the following entrepreneurship initiatives: *FDIB: Provide faculty training in international business (through CIBERs and other programs) to facilitate higher standards in teaching and research; *Promote  faculty development and research in International Business; *Seminar Series: Organize quarterly seminars conducted by experts on International Business both from academia and industry; and *Trade Missions: Support faculty participation in Governor of Alabama’s trade and business development missions = University Technology Transfer Functions = ASU does not have a tech transfer office in the conventional sense. However, The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at ASU provides technical and management assistance to small businesses and prospective business owners. As an institutional member of the Alabama Small Business Development NETWORK the SBDC is one of twelve University-based business assistance sources located throughout the state of Alabama. The SBDC is committed to providing quality technology transfer services, in addition to other functions to businesses in an eight-county catchment area including—Autauga, Bullock, Chambers, Coosa, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, and Tallapoosa counties—in Central Alabama. In addition, the Center of Excellence for International Business has been instrumental in ASU becoming one of the few universities that have won the prestigious Business and International Education grant from the US Department of Education for two consecutive cycles.  = University-Industry Collaboration = The Center of Excellence for International Business also plays a crucial role in ASU-industry collaboration. The Center will conduct the following: *Workshops on Exporting and Strategic Sourcing will be conducted in association with our industry partners. These summer workshops will seek to assist SMEs with their export and strategic sourcing *Roundtables on Global Accounting Issues will include roundtables that focus on fundamentals and fine points of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), international accounting, transfer pricing, auditing, tax issues, and how to do business in diverse regions of the world *New Website: The Center will develop, host, and maintain a new web site for International Business Resources for the community = Regional and Local Economic Development = The Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprise (DBE) department within ASU’s College of Business Administration is leading a major effort to increase job creation in the state of Alabama. This initiative includes a summit held January 20, 2012 to introduce the Alabama Works, Alabama Wins project which aims to boost competiveness among Alabama’s contractors, and therefore their ability to create jobs in the state. As part of ASU’s commitment to Alabama Works, Alabama Wins program, the university will establish the Emerging Contractors program. This program will among other services, provide classes for subcontractors to help them develop increased business skills for the construction industry. Subcontractors who complete the program will be placed on the bidders list for construction jobs in the state. The Emerging Contractors program will adopt the curriculum that is used by the Alabama chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC). = Deep-Dive Questions = *Is innovation an integral part of ASU’s institutional culture? *Why is it important? And how does it influence entrepreneurship and tech transfer? *How do you envision your program in the future? *What is your vision for each of the case study’s bucket? *How does your institution leverage (or intend to leverage) geographic endowment? *Are your innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech transfer programs integrated?

  • Why, or why not?
  • Are there any unique successes (and or challenges) you may wish to highlight? = Conclusion = Alabama State University (ASU) is a small university by population, and does not appear to have the benefit of large budgets that is common in typical Association of American Universities (AAU) member schools. It can however be argued that dollar-for-dollar, ASU derives similar levels of academic and entrepreneurial outputs with its larger counterparts. Even so, there are lessons from larger university innovation programs in scale, impact, program rigor, and access to capital that may be applicable to ASU. The Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship university innovation case studies should be a good starting point for ASU’s faculty to compare innovative practices. Comments by Ms. Janel Bell Haynes and her colleagues have been instructive in better understanding Alabama State University’s various innovative entrepreneurship programs, as well as the impact of the NACIE commitment letter on the school’s strategic plan and institutional culture. The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship thanks Alabama State University’s assistance with this case study, and looks forward to a continued close and collaborative relationship in building America’s innovation infrastructure.

    2 Comments by: Ms. Janel Bell Haynes, Chair, Business Administration Department, Alabama State University; Dr. Le-Quita J Booth, Dean, College of Business Administration/Director, the Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprise (DBE), Alabama State University; Dr. Kamal Hingorani, Chair of Computer Information Systems, Alabama State University; and Dr. William Pickard, Entrepreneur in Residence, Alabama State University, Chairman and CEO of Global Automotive Alliance, LLC.

    The Center of Excellence:
    The SBDC:
    Source: "The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University: Higher Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Focus", Department of Commerce, October 2013.

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