Entrepreneurship is a rare attribute possessed by only a few individuals (Bohrmann 2015). In reality, even fewer students hold an entrepreneurial spirit that is strong enough to propel them to take on the challenge of starting a business. Over years of cultivating entrepreneurial talents through innovation-driven programs, this is one of the critical takeaways reflected upon multiple cases. As emphasized as “people first, projects second”, recruiting the right students with a true entrepreneurial passion is the first step of running a productive and successful entrepreneurship program.
As a faculty adviser, professor Feng has led E-Teams through NSF I-Corps regional program and national program. As one of the primary outcomes of the program, the entrepreneur leading students formed their startups housed in the innovation center at the University of Houston. As a strong advocate in inspiring students to innovate to solve real-world problems, he is committed to help students to develop their skills and succeed in their ventures.
This lab is designed as a startup accelerator focusing on generating, developing, and validating new technologies to solve real problems. Primary curriculum contents include:
• The Innovation Process,
• Research and design process and methodology,
• Real-world problem discovery: partnering with a network of partners.
• Evaluation by an interdisciplinary faculty team (Engineering, business, and design).
• New technology and design development.
• Co-creation process with stakeholders;
• Testing the ideas in prototypes; Further development and validate the solution in context: Business Development.
• Identify a business opportunity.
• The introduction of market landscape assessment, value chain, value proposition, competitive analysis, customer discovery and financing, legal and IP topics.
• Discover the key financial decisions entrepreneurs must make in the early stages of a startup.
• Understand the basic process of raising capital and how to speak to investors.
Faculty Team Support
Concerning the challenging and complex nature of technology and business development, student-led startups can not be confined to a one-semester course. Students’ E-teams demands strong and continuing support. Primarily, E-teams will be supported and mentored by faculties from the College of Architecture and Design, Engineering, and Business. More support from other expertise and disciplines will be arranged and provided on a need basis. During the course operation in the last three years, a network of partner universities, colleges, and faculty members has been formed and is expanding continually. A list of key collaborators is provided with credentials and expertise.
enLiving, LLC. dedicates to transformative technology innovation rooted in first-hand research directly with professionals and individuals with disabilities. EnLiving is committed to the improvement of patients' daily living, novel rehabilitation methodologies, and dissemination of potentially impactful work to the medical research community. enLiving’s advisory board includes an extensive network within the MD Anderson Medical Center, TIRR, Texas Women’s University, UT Health, and The VA Research Center.