11 SPEC Kit 355: Campus-wide Entrepreneurship
knowledge and skills and/or launch new companies or ventures, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Activities can include formal courses and programs, co-curricular or extracurricular activities such as
boot camps, business plan competitions, or internships. The unique feature of campus-wide initiatives
is that they are not limited to, or reside in a specific faculty, school, or program. Physically, they may be
dispersed around and even off-campus, residing in multiple faculties, departments, or facilities, including
incubators, accelerators, or SmartParks. They may be centrally coordinated by a separate office of campus
entrepreneurship or be a loosely coordinated set of offerings by various campus stakeholders.
1. Does your institution have a strategic priority or goals focused on expanding innovation and
entrepreneurship opportunities and support throughout the university (i.e., both inside and
outside of the classroom) as described in the introduction? N=60
Yes 50 83%
No 10 17%
Comments N=33
Answered Yes N=29
Based on the widely-expressed desires of students, faculty and administration, we are in the process of
designing a collaborative space in our main library, where students will go to explore and imagine ideas
for social, cultural, community, and economic impact. The library is leading this effort in partnership
with diverse campus stakeholders including our entrepreneurship center, career center, community
leadership center, student clubs, multidisciplinary faculty, and the community. iZone will let students
build skills, access tools and resources, get advice, and connect with a community of collaborators
to generate and communicate ideas. The vibrant environment will provide programs, services, and
experts focused on supporting ideas, imagination, and innovators.
Based on York’s Strategic Research Plan, the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation
(VPRI) developed the Plan for the Intensification and Enhancement of Research (PIER) in 2016. The
document pledges to “develop York’s innovation landscape, supporting partnerships and translating
research into action” and “develop Markham as a research intensive campus.” It asserts that, “Access
to cutting-edge research, entrepreneurship, and innovation opportunities should become one of
the reasons that top students are drawn to York University as undergraduates.” VPRI launched
the Innovation York initiative in 2010, and it includes an incubator program called YULaunch.
As part of the plan, strengthening “Innovation York (to provide) a focal point for engagement for
the York Community for industrial liaison, research commercialization and entrepreneurship” is
a focus. Additionally, VPRI spearheaded York University’s membership in MaRS Innovation, the
commercialization agent for a discovery pipeline to turn the most promising technologies from its
members into products and services for local and global markets.
Duke University’s 2006 strategic plan, “Making a Difference,” states, “We must further develop our
capacity to support creative, entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary teaching and research among our
faculty and students: Through these efforts, we aim to institutionalize the conditions for innovation and
responsive engagement with emerging fields of knowledge, medical and technological challenges, and
public policy issues” (p. 25). Numerous programs supporting entrepreneurship have been developed
throughout the university, including the creation of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Initiative in 2013.
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