Created in 2005, at a time when multidisciplinary entrepreneurship education was a novelty, the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is today among the largest entrepreneurship education programs in the country, serving approximately 1,500 students annually and integrating more than 300 new students each semester. During the Academic Year 2012-13, a total of 1,722 students participated in the program, or 6 percent of Purdue’s undergraduate total of 30,147 students.
Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is directly aligned with Purdue’s strategic initiatives, which include 1) Launching Tomorrow’s Leaders; 2) Promoting Discovery with Delivery; and 3) Meeting Global Challenges. It is well positioned for growth in an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship are considered key to economic growth.
The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is administered through and funded by the Office of the Provost and is governed by a faculty advisory committee representing each of Purdue’s 10 colleges. It is housed in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, which is within Purdue’s Discovery Park, a $600 million research and learning complex of eight core centers, where more than 4,000 faculty members and students collaborate to tackle the grand challenges of today and help generate economic development for the State of Indiana and the nation.
Successful Program, Successful Students
Certificate Program alumni have received national attention, winning first place at the Hong Kong Polytech Business Plan Competition, receiving a Thiel 20 under 20 Fellowship, and appearing on “The Shark Tank,” “The Big Idea,” “The Osgood Files” and in the New York Times. Others have received local attention by winning regional case and entrepreneurial competitions.
We are also proud of our students’ academic success. Their graduation grade point average is a stellar 3.0+ on a 4.0 scale. Student feedback supports our belief that our curricula and the experiences students gained inside and outside the classroom truly set the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program apart from others. Here’s a sampling of what our students have to say:
- “I loved sitting in a multidisciplinary classroom with a diverse group of students.”
- “The amount of time it forced you to speak and step out of my comfort zone. Amazing experience!”
- “I feel like out of all of the classes I took at Purdue, these had the most useful coursework.”
- “The most beneficial fact to me is coming out of the program with a business plan in hand.”
- “I liked the positivity and support surrounding the process of becoming an entrepreneur.”
Students are united in saying the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program has made a definite impression on them:
- 96% report that the knowledge gained will be useful to them in their future careers.
- 90% report that it has improved their analytical, communication and presentation skills.
- 89% report that their level of confidence to be an entrepreneur has increased.
- 23% report that they are currently involved in an entrepreneurial venture of some kind.
- 81% report that they are likely to be involved in an entrepreneurial venture in the future.
Our students are ambitious. Click here to read more about our student and alum successes.
Multidisciplinary learning is a hallmark of Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. Until recently, teaming engineers, technology, and science students with those from the social sciences in the pursuit of products and ventures that are viable outside of the classroom was a rare occurrence on college campuses.
According to our program assessment surveys, those who complete the Certificate Program believe that the multidisciplinary teams formed in the classes are one of the most valuable experiences. Program alumni have commented that these diverse student teams are a great precursor to life in the real world.
Beyond the core entrepreneurship courses, the program leverages curriculum from across campus. More than 20 types of capstone options offer experience ranging from developing business plans for a student’s own business venture to involvement in the product innovation and technology commercialization process, and from work as a consultant for local businesses and non-profit organizations to an approved internship in an early-stage company.
Many other “option” courses from across campus are aligned with the program. Some of these include Business Writing for Entrepreneurs (English), Social Entrepreneurship in Practice (Management); New Product Development (Management); E-Retailing (Consumer Sciences and Retailing), Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy in Engineering (Civil Engineering), and Women and Leadership (cross-listed with the departments of Communication and Women’s Studies).
Mentoring for Success
Taught by faculty who are, or who have been, practicing entrepreneurs, students learn what it takes to make it in the professional world. All Certificate Program faculty have been with the program for five to eight years and each has participated in training, such as The Entrepreneurial Classroom (at Oklahoma State) and Lean LaunchPad (in New York and Silicon Valley). They are dedicated teachers and mentors, spending hours outside of class with their students, helping them further their venture ideas, and/or advising teams involved in entrepreneurial competitions, often providing them with important connections to the entrepreneurial community.
The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program also places a strong emphasis enrichment programs and extracurricular activities. Students attend lectures by successful entrepreneurs, and some join Purdue’s Entrepreneurship and Innovations Club, launched as a result of the certificate program.
Other opportunities include:
- The annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition
- The Certificate Program Elevator Pitch Competition
- The Young Entrepreneurs Program offered through the State of Indiana
- Attendance at Indiana Venture Club monthly luncheons
- Women leadership conferences
- The Entrepreneurship Student Ambassadors Program
- The Entrepreneurial Learning Community: Forty-five incoming freshman in this living-learning community participate in a host of activities designed specifically for this internationally diverse group of entrepreneurial students