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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A state of mind.

Thinking like an entrepreneur isn't limited only to people who create their own Silicon Valley startup. Being entrepreneurial is a state of mind.  For engineers, it means not just focusing on the technology we love, but discovering how to harness the power of that technology to solve real problems for real people, to imaginatively identify new opportunities to create value, and to do it in a way that is financially and logistically sustainable. 

Whether you want to work for a large company, as part of a social enterprise, or even in a start-up, being entrepreneurial is critical to helping your organization prosper and serve the world.  At Santa Clara University, we help you learn to think innovatively and develop your own entrepreneurial capabilities. We have lots of opportunities for you—from programs and courses, to project-based experiences, to extra-curricular activities.

We offer a series of 1-unit courses that are business or entrepreneurially oriented. These 1-unit courses may be bundled together into equivalent 4-unit courses to meet requirements for our new KEEN Certificate Program. Courses easily fit in student schedules and are typically accelerated to end before midterms in engineering courses.

  • ENGR 167  Go To Market Strategy
  • ENGR 168 - Startup Venture Law
  • ENGR 169 - Social Entrepreneurship
  • ENGR 171 - Opportunity Recognition
  • ENGR 172A - Applied Entrepreneurship 1
  • ENGR 172B - Applied Entrepreneurship 2
  • ENGR 173 - Intro to Business Fundamentals
  • ENGR 174 - Financial Decision-Making
  • ENGR 175 - Introduction to Business Model
  • ENGR 176 - Marketing Strategy
  • ENGR 178 - IP for Engineers
  • ENGR 179 - Intrapreneurship

Check out SCU Course Avail for current course offerings.

SCU students work with peers in collaborating universities within the KEEN network, developing exciting, real-world engineering systems and operating them in entrepreneurial ways—a model of education that was lauded by the National Academy of Engineering. Ongoing projects include professional operation of NASA and industry spacecraft and development of professional field-grade marine robotic systems and UAVs/drones.

Collaborating institutions include St. Louis University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Union College, Bucknell University, Ohio Northern University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Baylor University, Mercer University, and other universities across the country.

Pathways supplement the undergraduate core curriculum and allow students to choose a theme that interests them. The Design Thinking Pathway is the most popular on campus. It focuses on these four areas:

  1. technical innovation
  2. design processes that allow innovation to be incorporated into products/services/systems that solve a customer need
  3. enterprise strategies for harnessing the value and ensuring the sustainability of innovative products
  4. social aspects regarding the value and impact of innovation on the world  

Are you interested in exploring technical innovation beyond the Design Thinking Pathway?  Are you interested in developing skills that will help you apply your engineering degree so that you can effectively create real impact through the creation of value and improved circumstances for others?  Are you interested in complementing your major with courses and activities relating to technical innovation, business, law, and the world of design?  Are you interested in learning concepts that are critical to success in start-ups, large companies, social enterprises, and even civic organizations?  If so, consider selecting this new Minor, created especially for engineers and implemented in a way that allows every engineer to fit its requirements into their four-year program.

Details about the Technical Innovation, Design Thinking, and Entrepreneurial Mindset Minor can be found here.

Industry seminars and tours, entrepreneurial design challenges, Lunch with an Entrepreneur event, and an industry mentoring reception are some of the activities that take place each quarter. You'll meet engineers from many walks of life—seasoned veterans from neighboring Silicon Valley tech firms (think Intel, Nvidia, NASA), recent graduates who have launched their own start-ups, serial entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs—engineers who promote innovative product development within a corporate environment.

Many of our Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiatives are supported through KEEN, a collaborative network of colleges and professors championing the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering undergraduate students.

Contact Us

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Heafey-Bergin, Bldg. 202
Sobrato Discovery, Bldg. 402

408-554-5474 fax

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