Triggering Entrepreneurship with Linking Core Case Studies
The UMass Integrated Science Concentration Program (iCons) and Isenberg School of Management have received funding from VentureWell to stimulate innovation output from UMass Amherst students. The team, led by Scott Auerbach, Mahoney Family Executive Director and Professor of Chemistry, and Mila Getmansky Sherman, Faculty Member Judith Wilkinson O’Connell and Professor of Finance, will develop a new case study program for iCons that connects business and STEM principles. .
Auerbach said, “This interdisciplinary education, connecting fields like STEM and business with the goal of sparking innovation, supports diversity, equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship.”
The team will build on iCons’ mission to inspire a diverse generation of innovators to develop solutions to societal challenges. A focus on unique, student-led innovation is an essential part of the student entrepreneurial team. Successful electronic teams are already emerging from iCons, a team currently working on a new healthcare invention. iCons seeks to continue the trajectory of launching innovative and diverse projects in the public and private spheres with the help of VentureWell.
To ensure this potential is fully realized, iCons has adopted a ‘trigger and sustain’ strategy to drive entrepreneurship by adding these two essential ingredients to iCons:
- Develop inspiring case studies that highlight student-driven product development and reveal the connections between STEM principles and business.
- Support innovation by providing funding to iCons electronics teams for product development and prototype research through a proposal process.
“We are excited for the opportunity for iCons and Isenberg to work together,” said Getmansky Sherman. “Bringing together more synergistic ideas and opportunities to grow together, while using tools within iCons and Isenberg, is an exciting starting point for business students to integrate with STEM and iCons, and vice versa. “
A seven-step plan, beginning with the recruitment of the team and ending with the release of a revised program, will be measured by the successful implementation of said program, which will result, to name a few quantitative measures, a increased number of business students applying for and completing iCons, an increase in the generation of electronic teams, and examples of use in case studies outside of UMass.
“There are clear concepts in the two overlapping areas,” detailed Scott Auerbach. “Stocks and bonds are quite similar to gene pools: diversity is key. This project is a creation of culture between business and STEM; not one of division, but one of unity.
About the UMass iCons program
The UMass iCons program is a real-world problem-solving certificate program in biomedicine and renewable energy open to all UMass Amherst students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and business. iCons’ mission is to inspire a diverse generation of STEM and business innovators with the attitudes and skills to solve the problems facing society. Now in its 12th year, iCons has graduated 230 alumni who have gone on to successful careers in education, entrepreneurship, industry, law, medicine, politics and research. The program is supported by UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences, the Mahoney Family, Chleck Family Foundation, and members of the iCons Industry Consortium.