Why teach entrepreneurship skills experientially?
Startup LaunchLab is based on the Lean StartUp philosophy, which is focused on learning by doing, rather than elaborate planning. By incorporating the industry phenomenon of StartUp Weekend into the curriculum students are able to take an idea and develop it into a new startup venture across the course of one semester. This enables students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that they can use to innovate either through their own businesses or within organisations when they graduate.
Why teach entrepreneurship to a multi-disciplinary cohort?
Successful businesses rely on having a broad range of skills. By teaching entrepreneurship to students from a range of different disciplines, students recognise the value of their own unique skillset as well as those of other disciplines. Research has shown that new ventures that draw from a diverse range of skills increase their chances of success.
Today’s knowledge economy is changing the way graduates should be educated. A university education should prepare graduates not for finding and keeping a job, but to self-manage their careers in response to a rapidly changing labour market. We view entrepreneurship as a problem-solving method which involves looking at problems as opportunities to innovate.
StartUp LaunchLab is built on the Multidisciplinary Experiential Entrepreneurship Model (MEEM) trial, which we ran at the University of the Sunshine Coast from 2014-2015. MEEM is based around three educational phases in which students are:
- prepared by discovering entrepreneurship theory and principles for action through workshops and online resources;
- created a start-up venture by participating in the Start-up Weekend; and
- asked to reflect on their experience; conceptualise a business model, and set goals in the form of a short, action-focused business plan.
What do students say?
Good Practice Guide