SFU launches interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship and Innovation concentration

Sep 15, 2014

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A new interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship and Innovation concentration offered by Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business and its partners will teach undergraduate students the teamwork, problem solving, and creativity skills that are increasingly required to create opportunities after graduation.

The revised concentration – launched in fall 2014 and taught mainly at SFU’s award-winning Surrey campus – will feature a new open access Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation class available to second year students from across SFU.

Completion of this introductory class will, for the first time, provide a gateway to students from other disciplines at SFU to access other entrepreneurship and innovation courses offered by SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

In addition to building foundational entrepreneurship and innovation knowledge, a final integrative capstone class will require students to combine all of their skills, working in teams to create their own startup ventures.

“Innovation often happens at the intersection of disciplines, skillsets, and opportunity,” says Dr. Sarah Lubik, co-director of Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU, and a lecturer in entrepreneurship and innovation at SFU Beedie.

“By offering second year students from all disciplines a route into entrepreneurship, they learn from an early stage to think creatively and utilize complementary skillsets in teams.”

The program’s interdisciplinary cohort model will utilize experiential teaching methods, which will see students work with real life entrepreneurs, including clients of SFU’s student incubator Venture Connection.

Through this experiential approach, students will learn to find market-driven solutions to social and environmental challenges.

Current teaching partnerships that will be integrated into the concentration include Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU, in partnership with SFU’s Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Mechatronics Systems Engineering and the BC Innovation Council; platFORM, in partnership with Emily Carr University; and Change Lab, in partnership with SFU’s Faculty of Environment and social innovation lab and venture incubator RADIUS.

“As educators, we have an obligation to teach important skills that students from all disciplines need to be successful,” says Andrew Gemino, Associate Dean, undergraduate programs at SFU Beedie.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship require a mindset where students identify and pursue opportunities to make their own career after graduation, and this concentration will ensure they have the skills to do so.”