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.

Alec Garino, Computer Engineering

“The Engineering Entrepreneurship minor, 24 Hour IQ Challenge, Villanova Student Entrepreneurship Competition and Villanova in the Valley program helped round out my education.”

Alec Garino
Computer Engineering

Francesca Stadtman, Chemical Engineering

“I learned that anyone can be an entrepreneur. It’s important not to suppress your creative mindset as you age, but instead to direct your creativity into new and innovative ideas.”

Francesca Stadtman
Chemical Engineering

Caroline MacLaren, Computer Engineering

“INNOVATE provided a great opportunity to get real hands-on experience and see an idea come to life. Working at your own pace with interdisciplinary peers made it especially rewarding.”

Caroline MacLaren
Computer 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


Members of the Snake Bot team show off their prototype.

2020 INNOVATE Teams Impress Audience during Final Presentations

Engineers’ resourcefulness was on display as teams in the INNOVATE L3Harris Summer Program adapted to a virtual environment. INNOVATE provides self-directed student teams with a two-month paid opportunity to develop innovative solutions to unmet societal or technical challenges. This year’s projects included Snake Bot, a Driving Simulator, Neuro Language Platform and Blue Blanket.

ME Makerspace: Spawning Creativity, Innovation and Racecars

ME Makerspace: Spawning Creativity, Innovation and Racecars

Villanova’s Formula SAE team, NovaRacing, has become an engaged member of Mechanical Engineering’s Makerspace community. Students are finding it to be an ideal setting in which to accomplish much of the early stages of the process, from 3D printing to laser cutting.

E2SI Wraps Up Successful—Albeit, Virtual—Summer Program

E2SI Wraps Up Successful—Albeit, Virtual—Summer Program

Like every other program scheduled on Villanova’s campus this summer, the Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute was held virtually. The 23 students in the 2020 cohort seamlessly adapted, forming six interdisciplinary teams that developed products and services for young adults, parents with babies and young children, golfers, gamers and television binge watchers. The teams presented their concepts to a Zoom room of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and College of Engineering leadership and faculty who found the students’ work impressive.