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.
“The Engineering Entrepreneurship minor provided an interdisciplinary entrepreneurial education and valuable networking opportunities, while the ICE Institute provided me the connections and funds to pursue a venture of my own.”
“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.”
“Villanova is a place where ideas are celebrated; the different programs, faculty and staff are tremendous resources when it comes to turning entrepreneurial endeavors into a reality.”
A leader among the dozens of KEEN partner institutions, Villanova Engineering has:
- Integrated Entrepreneurially Minded Learning in the freshman core engineering class
- Established the popular Engineering Entrepreneurship minor and Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute that graduates 35-40 students per year
- Provided faculty with Deep Dive EML training workshops
- Incorporated EML exercises in 18 upper level engineering courses
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.