by Jennifer Oliver
ATLANTA – The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute, a new academic unit in Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, brings together new and established entrepreneurship and innovation courses and experiences in the college and expands accessibility to these offerings to students across the university.
“At the end of 2015, Inc. magazine reported that 27 million Americans were running new businesses, which is a record high and a trend we strongly believe will continue,” said Richard Welke, director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute. “Consequently, we are excited to create an entity specifically charged to ensure all university graduates can be exposed to and develop entrepreneurial skills.”
Although it only recently received formal designation as an institute, the unit began operation in 2015 as an initiative for entrepreneurship and innovation. While it was an initiative, the unit introduced an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship — the first at a Georgia research university — open to all Georgia State students. The courses also support two Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) programs: a B.I.S. in Media Entrepreneurship in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a B.I.S. in Social Entrepreneurship in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. During the same period, the initiative created and supported university-wide competitions, including the first uVenture Challenge, in which student teams commercialized a ready-for-market child safety product.
A master’s-level four-course sequence on innovation and design thinking will begin in fall 2016 for students in the university’s newly created Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Biomedical Enterprise, presented by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Law and the Robinson College of Business. The four-course sequence also will be offered to students in Robinson’s part-time MBA programs.
The institute has taken the lead in creating a new university living-learning community (to be called e-House) where like-minded entrepreneurial students can live in university housing with their own support space and planned activities.
Robinson’s long-standing Herman J. Russell, Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship, established in 1999, will relocate from the Department of Managerial Sciences and become a center within the institute.
“Integrating the Russell Center into the institute will allow it to impact an even wider audience across campus than it has thus far,” said Richard Phillips, dean of the Robinson College of Business. “As one of the top five largest business schools in the nation, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our expertise and resource base to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs for the opportunities and challenges they will face.”
“The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute will deliver opportunities, both in and outside the classroom, for all university students who are passionate about launching their own business, working for a start-up company, or helping the company they work for disrupt their marketplace before others do it for them,” Welke said.
The Robinson College of Business is a community of students, educators, and professionals who specialize in discovering insights that drive smarter business decisions. Home to more Georgia executives than any other school, our programs are designed to push beyond the classroom and offer experiences that bridge the gap between business education and the business world.