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Villanova University Establishes New Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute

Villanova University Establishes New Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute

In summer 2018, Villanova University will launch the Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute (E2SI), a seven-week program of the College of Engineering. E2SI will introduce students of all majors to entrepreneurship from a technical perspective. In the process of earning an engineering entrepreneurship minor, students will develop problem-solving and creative thinking skills that will allow them to take their ideas from paper to prototype.

E2SI Director Edmond Dougherty explains the rationale for offering the program to students across disciplines. “The need for entrepreneurial skills is much broader than the focus on starting a new enterprise. Employers value self-starters who take initiative, show persistence and demonstrate leadership. These entrepreneurial competencies are invaluable in any career and differentiate students from the competition.” In addition to enhancing these “soft skills,” students in the E2SI program will enjoy a hands-on learning experience in product design and development, and business modeling. Requiring no technical knowledge or skills, courses include Creativity and Innovation, Introduction to Entrepreneurial Technologies, Opportunity Identification and Business Principles, Feasibility Analysis for Entrepreneurs, Product and Service Prototyping, and Market, Finance, and Venture Planning. The highlight of the program is a team project that challenges students—under the guidance of faculty members and experienced entrepreneurs—to develop marketable products and services.

E2SI has grown out of the College of Engineering’s traditional, three-year Engineering Entrepreneurship minor.  The most popular minor in the College, the program graduates 25–40 students per year. Alumnus Paige Innamorato ’16, an analytical chemist-technician with Integra LifeSciences, credits the program with her post-graduation success, “It was definitely my Engineering Entrepreneurship minor that helped me stand out and create a brand for myself while looking for employment. The skills to think not only analytically, but creatively and with a business sensibility, are skills that not every new college graduate possesses.”

Applications for E2SI are due February 26, 2018. The summer program begins on May 30, 2018. For more information, visit