Since 2007, with the support of the Kern Family Foundation, Villanova’s College of Engineering has been elevating engineering education by incorporating entrepreneurially minded learning (EML) principles into curricular and extra-curricular activities. By implementing the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) initiative, we have transformed the College’s culture, resulting in more creative, innovative and business savvy graduates.

Nathan Cheong Computer Engineering

“We had great freedom but also great responsibility on our summer innovation project. When we hit a wall, we had to look at the problem from another angle and move on.”

Nathan Cheong, Computer Engineering

Paige Innamorato Chemical Engineering

“The Engineering Entrepreneurship minor teaches you creativity with business sensibility, which are skills that not every engineer has.”

Paige Innamorato
Chemical Engineering

Bryan Ramirez Civil Engineering

“We’re very fortunate to have such an extensive, supportive network at Villanova that allows us to pursue our passion for engineering, service and innovation.”

Bryan Ramirez
Civil Engineering

A leader among the dozens of KEEN partner institutions, Villanova Engineering has:

In addition to entrepreneurially minded learning in the classroom, the Engineering Entrepreneurship program hosts (or co-hosts with Villanova’s Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship) several on-campus co-curricular entrepreneurial activities and competitions:

24 Hour Imagination Quest (24 Hr IQ):  This quick moving, time-sensitive entrepreneurship competition lends itself to working across colleges in multi-disciplinary teams.

Villanova Student Entrepreneurship Competition (VSEC): A semester-long, interdisciplinary extracurricular entrepreneurship competition, VSEC is designed to give Villanova students the experience of innovating, creating and designing products, businesses and/or services to fill a variety of needs. Those who reach the final round work with outside judges and mentors to refine and enhance their ideas and then progress to deliver their final pitch to a boardroom of investors.

Pitch Day: Pitch Day features the finalists in the Villanova Student Entrepreneurship Competition (VSEC), who compete for $10,000 in prizes in addition to invaluable feedback from mentors and advisors that can help advance their ideas. Pitch Day also includes REALtech where students work collaboratively over a 10-week period to develop modern tech solutions to these issues and a Virtual Reality Competition.

Android Hackathon: In the Android Hackathon, undergraduate and graduate students from engineering, computer science, and business compete in teams to develop an award-winning Android application within a 24-hour period.

Arduino Workshop and Hackathon: A workshop trains students in the use of the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping platform and is followed a week later by an Arduino hackathon competition. 

Raspberry Pi Workshop and Hackathon: A workshop introduces students to Raspberry Pi, an inexpensive, single board computer that uses Linux. The following week, students compete in a Raspberry Pi hackathon putting their new-found knowledge to work. 

INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program: A partnership program of the College and L3Harris Technologies, this competitive, self-directed engineering design program supports multidisciplinary student teams in developing and prototyping solutions to real-world problems of their choosing.

Dr. Lauri Olivier
Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship


Students Address Real World Challenges through INNOVATE Program

Students Address Real-World Challenges through INNOVATE

Each summer, INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program, offers teams of engineering students a fully-funded opportunity to engage in the engineering design process to address real-world problems. The premise is simple: the best way for students to learn engineering is to practice engineering.

E2SI Teams Pitch Unique Products

E2SI Students Deliver Unique Products

The seven-week Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute (E2SI) culminates in student teams presenting their products and services to an audience of would-be investors. In the process, they earn a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Lauri Olivier

College Welcomes New Engineering Entrepreneurship Director

Dr. Lauri Olivier is the College’s new Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship. In addition to more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, innovation management, business development and entrepreneurship, she is an engineer at heart, holding both a bachelor’s and PhD in engineering.