The groundwork for entrepreneurship and innovation at Penn State

President Barron shared some promising words and even more promising funds to support entrepreneurship across all Penn State campuses at the beginning of 2015, $30 million dollars to be exact. Supporting “economic development and student career successes” is an already prevalent field at Main and Commonwealth Campuses and is continuing to grow.

Stakeholders from across the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor gathered  at the start of the summer to share success stories of the program, brainstorm new initiatives, and learn about the many entrepreneurship resources available on campus.

The ENTI Minor positions students to succeed by arming them with critical thinking, management, and leadership skills. The seven clusters that students can choose from apply to all passions that expose students to innovative thinking in various industries.

Core courses in the minor include Entrepreneurial Mindset, Entrepreneurial Leadership, and New Venture Creation. Aside from these classes, students engage with their specific interests through clusters, a group of 3 additional classes in one of the following categories:

Many resources exist to support student start-ups outside of academia as well. A few of the major competitions include the Ag Springboard competition, Inc. University, Smeal Idea Pitch, and IST IdeaMaker Challenge.

Multiple day events are also available to students throughout the year. For instance, the College of Communication holds a Freelance-a-thon that applies entrepreneurship to interests and careers of communications students. Hack PSU is another valuable multi-day event that challenges students to work in collaboration to develop any kind of program!

Possibly the largest entrepreneurship event takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week when resources across Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world come together to support to entrepreneurship.

Outside of competitions and events are student groups and Penn State-community collaborative programs that support start-ups. Students at various levels of knowledge and business development can join Innoblue and even earn grant funding from Lion Launch Pad (that’s us!). Penn State’s Smeal College of Business has a chapter of Net Impact as well, an organization that supports social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

A great mingling of the State College and Penn State communities takes place in the NL3 Program that is open to all students at Penn State. Teams pitch to win co-working memberships at the coworking space, New Leaf Initiative in downtown State College and participate in monthly goal-setting meetings with peers and New Leaf and Lion Launch Pad leadership.

The commitment from Penn State to support entrepreneurship will hopefully act as fertilizer to the already valuable programs available to students while contributing to the development of new, innovative initiatives. Stay tuned for what some of those are!