Cultivating Innovation Capacity of Undergraduates in a Technology Commercialization Academy in Midwest America
Keywords:entrepreneurship , frameworks, sprint, feasibility
The Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA) was launched to promote the identification, assessment, and exploitation of economically viable innovations by undergraduates and retain those graduates in the southwest Indiana region. Further, as part of the I-69 Innovation Corridor initiative, the TCA was part of increasing the regional Innovation Index score 20% by 2025. Through the seven years of implementation, the program has determined that there is a crucial tool set that is necessary for new graduates entering industry, including instilling that innovation is a balance; innovation is agile; innovation must fail, pivot, and focus quickly; and lastly the program must realize its capabilities, be diverse in thought, and recognize that the personnel are key. By instilling these practices in the participants, using available programmatic information and surveys, 100% of job seekers post-graduation were employed within six months, 9% began their own startup from the program, and 64% of these high impact graduates stayed in southwest Indiana. Overall, the TCA program structure has shifted to demand side iterative processes that create long-tail value for the region and made the participants attractive hires who are keenly aware of practices to move from opportunity to execution.
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