Kettering University Department of Business faculty Art Demonte and Larry Navarre are attempting to present the ideals of intrapreneurship to every professor and student on campus through the creation of 11 interactive modules. Beyond Kettering, the modules are intended for all instructors in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).
“The motivation was to create materials that other KEEN institutions and other KEEN instructors could use in their coursework,” Navarre said.
Navarre and Demonte along with other distinguished faculty members in multiple departments at Kettering University have received about $40,000 each, for a total of $240,000 over the last two years, from the KEEN to embed and incorporate various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship mindset into their individual engineering and science courses.
Kettering also granted six additional internal topical grants valued at $7,500 each to faculty who creatively infuse entrepreneurial elements in their classrooms.
Each of the modules created by Navarre and Demonte focus on a different topic related to intrapreneurship - the idea that encourages “creating value within an existing enterprise.”
“It’s a more a specified area of Research and Development,” Demonte said. “Research and Development is an early creation or discovery of technologies. Intrapreneurship is taking a technology that is already developed and commercializing it.”
Kettering’s current 18-credit i2e elective course of study also emphasizes intrapreneurship in co-op jobs and in students' future full-time positions. Students in the i2e course of study begin by being exposed to innovation activities (engineering design and applied science), followed by an exploration of the mindset and activities of successful and failed innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Often people misunderstand the difficulty of commercializing a product,” Navarre said. “They may not understand what it takes to go from the idea end to marketable product or service.”
Navarre and Demonte each created five modules. Adjunct Instructor Sean Hickey created the other one. The modules include short videos, presentation slides, complementary classroom activities and discussion topics. The modules contain separate instructions for KEEN instructors to further explore the process of bringing an idea or product to market in the classroom.
“This is something that I’ve been very interested in expanding at Kettering,” Navarre said. “Until recently, we did not have a course in the business process for product development which is a major career track for our students. Many of our students go into the product engineering workspace.”
The intent of the 11-module curriculum isn’t necessarily to incorporate the content sequentially in the classroom but instead apply the principles of intrapreneurship selectively depending on the individual needs of students and classes.
“There’s a segment of Kettering students that are naturally entrepreneurially minded and if you give them the opportunity to think entrepreneurially, they are going to do it,” Demonte said. “Entrepreneurship across the University and the KEEN grant has given us the opportunity to let students experiment with that.”