Restructuring Graduate Programs in Science Entrepreneurship

Case Western Reserve University, 2005 - $6,500

Over the past five years Case Western Reserve has pioneered innovative graduate programs in science entrepreneurship. The programs, called collectively the Science Entrepreneurship Programs (SEP), are a collaboration between the Weatherhead School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences. The programs (in physics, statistics, biology, and chemistry) have been rated among the top ten entrepreneur programs in the world by the Financial Times. However, with the appointment of a new dean to the business school, 80 percent of the entrepreneurship faculty abruptly left the university. The business school is rebuilding its entrepreneurship faculty, but with a different emphasis. The College of Arts and Sciences has committed to maintaining the SEP, and, with this NCIIA project, is helping restructure and strengthen the program.

The goal is to modify the curriculum and review and improve existing SEP practices outside of the core courses. Part of the curriculum modification is to include a practical overview of business principals, including accounting, budgeting, marketing and analysis in one of the program's required courses. Another component of the two-year master's program is the formation of E-Teams. E-Teams are formed with students, mentors and established businesses. The Commercialization Agent Program matches students with researchers, companies, and/or investment firms to help in developing entrepreneurial ideas. SEP hopes to expand and formalize the role of the Commercialization Agent to help recruit more outside partners to match with E-Teams.

SEP will also develop programs that involve people from the business and high-tech communities in the courses, as guest speakers, entrepreneur-in-residence, etc. Other improvements include increasing ties to local organizations dedicated to global awareness and encouraging students to volunteer as business plan coaches in inner-city Cleveland schools.