The fall 2011 semester was an excellent one, and included the teaching of my entrepreneurship course “Creating a Scientific Business Venture.” This was the second time the course was taught, and many improvements were made to the course. The semester included several guest speakers who spoke to the students about their scientific ventures in diverse fields including computer science, biotechnology, and chiropractic medicine.
As part of the class, students were required to create a concept for a scientific venture. Students from last semester’s class developed plans to establish a medical clinic in Ecuador as well as dental practices in central Illinois. We also assisted the Agricultural Watershed Institute based in Decatur, IL. Specifically, the students were asked by the institute to examine the feasibility of using harvested prairie grass as an energy source, and identify new markets for the prairie grass.
I am pleased to report that the course “Creating a Scientific Business Venture” was formally approved by the university as a course in fall 2011, and thus, I was successful in more formally spreading entrepreneurship education across the curriculum. Prior to the class being taught again in fall 2012, I plan to identify local companies and organizations that are seeking students to assist them with their scientific ventures thereby providing students in the class with greater experiential opportunities.