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New living and learning program: Entrepreneurship and innovation

By Krystle Idnani
On October 25, 2010

 

The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) presented one of the newest Honors College programs on campus: the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. The EIP team consists of three core members: Jay A. Smith, the program director, Dr. David F. Barbe, the faculty director, and Alyssa E. Cohen Sherman, the coordinator for entrepreneurship education.

According to the EIP website, the faculty members have worked toward creating this two-year living and learning program to provide students with "a world-class education in entrepreneurship and innovation" mainly "through experiential learning, dynamic courses, seminars, workshops, competitions, and volunteerism."

All students part of EIP, launched Fall 2010, will be housed in LaPlata Hall on North Campus both their freshman and sophomore years, and are broken up into teams to develop and foster an innovative idea. Each team produces a product plan to work on while under faculty mentorship.

The program offers a $50,000 seed fund to EIP students in hopes of prompting them to make a "positive social impact, typically in education, healthcare, environment, and related areas." Students can compete for a share of the funding and compete in a $75,000 business plan competition held by this university.

EIP students are placed on a track to prepare them for the entrepreneurship field. They are required to take four courses spread across their first four semesters at Maryland. Each course is unique in its focus on a different aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation, ranging from its foundation to contemporary issues and international perspectives of the field.

"[EIP is] a multidisciplinary program consisting of about 40 percent business students, 30 percent engineering students, and the remaining 10 percent are of various other majors," said Smith.

 


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