What is the Entrepreneurial Mindset?

The entrepreneurial mindset is not simply about startups. It equips your engineering students to understand the bigger picture, allowing them to recognize opportunities, evaluate markets, and learn from their mistakes.

This mindset powers industries, transforms companies from within, and creates value for employees and customers alike.

Here are some examples of the entrepreneurial mindset at work in KEEN:

  • Entrepreneurially minded students use Maker Spaces to create value. To them, making means acting on an opportunity with an eye for impact, where impact is significance x scale.

  • By integrating entrepreneurial mindset into labs, extracurricular activities, courses, and across entire programs, universities are not just hubs of knowledge; they become hubs of transformational experiences.
  • Students who graduate with an entrepreneurial mindset have a head-start in their careers. These graduates are ready to take on challenges and propose solutions to employers.

The entrepreneurial mindset has a simple, three-part, definition...

Why Entrepreneurial Mindset Matters
Douglas E. Melton, Ph.D, shares why the entrepreneurial mindset is the key to success for engineering undergraduate students.
The 3C's of Entrepreneurial Mindset
After years of research, working with faculty from universities across the United States, and studying entrepreneurial thinkers, you can remember the core components of the entrepreneurial mindset with the 3C’s: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value.
Question with boldness. Explore contrarian perspectives.
In a world of accelerating change, today’s solutions are often obsolete tomorrow. Since discoveries are made by the curious, students must be empowered to investigate a rapidly changing world with an insatiable curiosity.
"Curiosity is the engine of achievement"
— Sir Ken Robinson
Think outside the box. Place old ideas in new contexts.
Discoveries, however, are not enough. Information yields insight only when connected with other information. Students must be taught to habitually pursue knowledge and integrate it with their own discoveries to reveal innovative solutions.
"Chance favors the connected mind"
— Steven Johnson
Creating Value
Think opportunity. Stakeholders. Impact.
Students must be champions of value creation. As educators, you can train students to persistently anticipate and meet the needs of a changing world.
"Success is about creating value"
— Henry Ford
By integrating Entrepreneurial Mindset in your courses, you will prepare your students to think criticially about the engineering field and how they are able to contribute to the industry in ways they may not have initially considered.
Equip Students for Success
Find Personal Fulfillment
Increase Student Engagement
“To solve society’s greatest challenges, we need engineers who can apply curiosity and creativity to the technical skillsets they have in order to come up with truly innovative ideas. This is where an entrepreneurial mindset becomes important!”
— AnnMarie Thomas, Associate Professor of Engineering and Business, University of St. Thomas