School:Quinnipiac University

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Quinnipiac University

Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Quinnipiac University has a goal to promote innovation and entrepreneurship on its campus. Already, the university has a few programs and events to spread the word on campus. Currently Quinnipiac University offers Entrepreneurship as both a major and a minor with full-time faculty on hand. There are various courses offered in the School of Business that students can take to educate themselves on the world of Entrepreneurship even if it is not their major. Quinnipiac University also offers a club, The Entrepreneurship Club, which is run by students in the entrepreneurship major but offered to students all over campus. This club promotes entrepreneurship on campus and helps students pursue their ideas. There are a number of events and competitions that Quinnipiac offers to its students. First off is 60 Second Lectures hosted by the Quinnipiac Honors Program. This event consists of having multiple professors on campus step up and talk about any topic they wish for 5 minutes or less. Although this does not directly promote innovation and entrepreneurship, it encourages students to step outside of their comfort zone and learn about something they probably wouldn’t have come across otherwise. Secondly, Quinnipiac offers a Hackathon every semester hosted by the Quinnipiac Computing Club. During this competition, students get together and try to brainstorm and create an idea in a matter of hours to compete for prizes. This brings students together and also gives them a crash course in computer science and collaboration. Lastly, the Entrepreneurship and Strategy department brings a group of students to an event called Startup Weekend Stamford. Here students have comprehensive weekend where they can learn about starting their own business and can take a shot at creating something of their own to pitch to different investors that attend the event.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Although Quinnipiac University has a new initiative to promote innovation on campus, faculty encouragement has fallen by the wayside in the startup of this movement. Faculty members on Quinnipiac’s campus are encouraged to pursue original research either on their own or in conjunction with students. In many disciplines, faculty and students publish their findings together. In fact, most majors at Quinnipiac require students to participate in an internship before they graduate, however they have expanded that program to allow students the option to replace an internship with a research project alongside a professor. However faculty encouragement is not something that is widely publicized, making it an addition on Quinnipiac’s list of areas for improvement.

Actively Supporting The University Technology Transfer Function

Quinnipiac University students have the opportunity to engage in an independent study over the summer. During this independent study, they can conduct research and develop a thesis or idea. With the help of a faculty advisor, the student can flush out this idea and present it to the administration. If the project is well-planned and thoroughly researched, the student may be given funding to implement this idea. Another option for students wanting to pursue an idea lies in the up-and-coming Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This will serve as a tech transfer station that allows individuals to actively pursue projects with the help of administration, faculty, and staff. Currently, Quinnipiac is working on building up this resource and creating a marketing campaign. When the center is finished, students will be able to gain access to lawyers, marketers, investors, students that are looking to participate in a project, and more.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Quinnipiac’s campus includes the CCE, or Center for Communications and Engineering, which provides students with not only space to collaborate, but space to create. Most notably, this building houses a 3D printing lab that can be used to produce physical materials and prototypes for student ideas. Additionally, the building is home to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is still in its early stages of development. When fully functional, this center will serve as a tech transfer station and as a collaborative space for students to implement their ideas with the support of university administration, other students, faculty, and staff.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

Quinnipiac University reaches out to the local economic development efforts through two competitions. First off is the Statewide Business Plan Competition which many of the School of Business students participate in annually. This competition is hosted by the Connecticut Venture Group and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development who aim to educate students on starting and evaluating business ventures and to open up students to different mentors that can help them in their future careers. This competition gives away more than $50,000 in prize money to help students start their business venture. A similar campus competition is the QU Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition. This allows multiple student groups to test out their ideas on a smaller scale by presenting their ideas to faculty in order to win smaller cash prizes. Although these two competitions provide big opportunities for students to pursue their ideas, Quinnipiac needs to work on the options they offer to students to take their idea to the next level.



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Related Links

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2016:

Janine Jay

Caroline Millin