Entrepreneurial Mindset

Equipping engineering students to excel

Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) is a set of attitudes, dispositions, habits, and behaviors that shape a unique approach to problem-solving, innovation, and value creation.

The entrepreneurial mindset amplifies the technical skills engineers already have. By combining EM with these skills, students are equipped to:

  • Recognize and identify opportunities
  • Focus their impact
  • Create value in any context

This cultivates the ability to solve societal problems and create an environment for human flourishing.


The 3Cs of Entrepreneurial Mindset

The entrepreneurial mindset consists of three key elements: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value—the 3Cs.

This emergent understanding came from years of work with KEEN faculty, students, and industry. Explore each C below:

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Curiosity

Today’s solutions are often obsolete tomorrow. Students must be empowered to investigate a rapidly changing world with an insatiable curiosity. Educators can help students understand the broader world and look toward the future by exploring multiple perspectives.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Connections

Discoveries alone are not enough. Students must habitually pursue knowledge, integrating it with their own discoveries to reveal innovative solutions, and placing old ideas in new contexts. Faculty can help students connect information to gain insight, manage risk, and reveal innovative solutions.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Creating Value

Innovative solutions are most meaningful when they create value for others. Students must be champions of value creation and have a positive impact through their work. Educators can help students seek opportunities, understand stakeholders, and be champions of value creation in diverse contexts.

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Putting It All Together: The KEEN Framework

Opportunity + Design + Impact 

The KEEN Framework is a downloadable guide that incorporates the 3Cs along with mindset outcomes. Use the Framework to create educational materials and teaching concepts to equip students with an entrepreneurial mindset. 

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Get the KEEN Framework.

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Your Class + Entrepreneurial Mindset

You don't have to redo your classes to fit in the entrepreneurial mindset. Instead, EM fits into your existing courses - and campus culture. 

Community members upload handouts, instructor tips, presentations, and other materials for you to take and adapt. Start small with a 5-minute activity or explore a semester-long project.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Search cards for activities and projects.

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Your Institution + Entrepreneurial Mindset

The entrepreneurial mindset allows institutions to be faithful to their original charter while preparing graduates to excel.

Under an entrepreneurial engineering approach, students can co-create with faculty members. Faculty in turn re-imagine courses, labs, and activities – and find greater fulfillment in the process.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Read stories of institutional change.

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Industry + Entrepreneurial Mindset

Companies want engineering graduates to be equipped with a broad set of skills—professional skills along with technical acumen. 

Teaching the entrepreneurial mindset will help students work better within teams, communicate more effectively, listen to stakeholders, ask the right questions, and understand the needs of others.  

Entrepreneurially minded learning helps students adapt and engage in a changing world of work. It gives them the “Why” to enhance the “How” in what they do. 

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Learn more from industry experts. [YouTube]

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Your Career + Entrepreneurial Mindset

When you learn about entrepreneurial mindset and its applications, you impact your career, teaching, and service! 

EM comes in a variety of faculty development learning opportunities. Take a workshop with peers, complete with year-long coaching. Book a Lunch and Learn for your department. Or do a quick module at your desk. 

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Explore faculty development.

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Scholarship + Entrepreneurial Mindset

As an academic faculty member, pursuing scholarship around entrepreneurial mindset can bring significant benefits to your career and institution. 

This type of research can provide valuable insights into how students can develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in entrepreneurial endeavors, in any context. Your scholarship will contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this area. 

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Learn more about scholarship.

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