Where to Begin and What to Do Next? Stages and gates for an interdisciplinary student population

John Farris & Paul Lane, Grand Valley State University;
Clifton Kussmaul, Muhlenberg College

This session presents an attempt to organize and distill best practices for entrepreneurship into stages and gates. A stage is defined as a group of activities and resulting work products that are performed or generated concurrently. Gates provide objective criteria and rubrics to enable teams to assess the project and determine whether to proceed to the next stage. Best practices include activities, document templates, and tools from across the broad spectrum of the liberal arts as well as engineering and business. The goal is to help students with diverse backgrounds and experience levels work together effectively in project and E-Teams. Early stages address opportunity identification, screening, risks, and opportunities for business development; later stages address the business case, technical feasibility, and funding sources. This approach provides a useful reference and common vocabulary, especially for projects and teams that span departments or institutions.

>>Read the peer-reviewed paper here (PDF)

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