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Entrepreneurship education attracts interest


July 13, 2006

ASU is partnering with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to make entrepreneurship education a common and accessible campus opportunity for college students.

It's part of the foundation's $35 million commitment to colleges and universities across the country.

As part of the foundation's Kauffman Campuses initiative, ASU was among numerous colleges, universities or university systems invited to submit proposals outlining their plans to encourage entrepreneurship across their campuses. This initiative began in 2003, with $25 million in funding to eight schools that provided entrepreneurship education within liberal arts, engineering and other non-business programs.

ASU proposes to integrate entrepreneurship into university culture in ways that are unique for its interdisciplinary and universitywide reach, empowering students, faculty, staff, the external community and the university to turn ideas into reality.

“ASU has the potential to enhance and expand its entrepreneurial opportunities as a means of spurring regional social and economic development,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “The university as entrepreneur is an important part of our transformation into a New American University.”

The prospective Kauffman Campuses schools were selected based on a series of criteria, including the ability to generate a partnership with other foundations and funders, and the potential to create new, representative models.

In addition to ASU, other schools invited to submit proposal for this multimillion-dollar grant program include Purdue University, Brown University, Syracuse University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of North Carolina system, Georgetown University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, New York University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and a consortium of liberal arts colleges in northeastern Ohio.

“Our initiative is creating a cultural change and making the entire university system more entrepreneurial,” says the foundation's chief executive officer, Carl Schramm. “We want all students, not just those in business schools, to see the value of thinking like entrepreneurs. We want them to be able to recognize and seize opportunity when it presents itself, no matter what field they find themselves in.”

ASU was given a planning grant of $50,000 to develop its proposal, which will be presented to an independent panel of judges in December. Each participating school is eligible to receive a grant if the judges determine its proposal is innovative and sustainable. The grant amount will be based on each school's commitment to entrepreneurship education across all academic fields, its unique needs and the scope of its proposal.

“We're looking forward to the presentations, and the subsequent programs that will come out of those proposals,” said Judith Cone, the foundation's vice president of entrepreneurship. “We know from our previous Kauffman Campus schools that students benefit from learning to think entrepreneurially. It helps them see what's possible when one thinks innovatively about combining their passion and resources to create opportunity.”

For more information on ASU and its Kauffman Campus initiative, visit the Web site (www.asu.edu/ui/entrepreneurship).