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Grant to fund Entrepreneurial Mindset Program

Feb 14, 2012

Ohio Northern University has received a Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) grant from the Kern Family Foundation to support “Saturating the Ohio Northern University Undergraduate Engineering Student Experience with the Entrepreneurial Mindset,” under the supervision of Dr. John-David Yoder, professor and chair of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Robert Kleine, associate professor of marketing.

This grant supports ongoing University efforts to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset in all ONU students and support those students interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

“Saturating the Ohio Northern University Undergraduate Engineering Student Experience with the Entrepreneurial Mindset” was designed to develop the entrepreneurial-mindset educational efforts at ONU focused on engineering students, improve outcomes-based assessment tools for KEEN, and strengthen ties to other schools in KEEN.

The newly received KEEN grant, totaling $442,580 over three years, provides the necessary funding for continued support for the project, which began in 2005. The Kern Family Foundation has contributed a total of $624,565 to ONU since then.

Kleine and Yoder began working together by creating interdisciplinary teams of business and engineering students. They have worked with The James F. Dicke College of Business Administration and the T.J. Smull College of Engineering to develop opportunities for students to work together. Since then, KEEN funding and effective collaboration with James W. Fenton, dean of the James F. Dicke College of Business Administration, Eric T. Baumgartner, dean of the T. J. Smull College of Engineering, professor Dan Ferguson and Dr. Tammy Schakett, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, and alumni have produced various extracurricular activities for students and staff, including a summer camp for high school kids, CEO club, workshops, speakers, Idea Pitch Competition and a student-run business.

According to KEEN, students with the entrepreneurial mindset can effectively collaborate in a team setting, apply critical and creative thinking to ambiguous problems, construct and effectively communicate a customer-appropriate value proposition, persist through and learn from failure, effectively manage projects through appropriate commercialization or final delivery process, demonstrate voluntary social responsibility, and relate personal liberties and free enterprise to entrepreneurship.