A Three-Semester Program
Highlights of the three-semester program include:
- Participating in entrepreneurial courses and activities.
- Touring centers of innovation and product development.
- Meeting entrepreneurs and leaders of industry.
- Developing your own idea and competing in pitch competitions.
Frank Scholars will be given preferential placement in the three courses that make up the “entrepreneurial track” of studies within the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture their junior and senior years.
Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Course (ENGR 401) – Spring Junior Year
This introductory course is offered spring semester for students of junior standing. This is an introduction to the various facets of entrepreneurship, including developing your own entrepreneurial mindset, how to be a successful contributor in a startup environment, how to capture and communicate your ideas, and how to discover your own passion for building a technology venture or establishing your own startup.
Multidisciplinary Engineering Design I (ENGR 420) – Fall Senior Year
Part 1 of a yearlong multidisciplinary, team-based senior design project experience for senior students interested in an entrepreneurial focus for developing engineered solutions of value for customers. Students will form their own teams, discover and pursue their passion, and research their own ideas for a senior design project.
Engineering Senior Design II (ENGR 421) – Spring Senior Year
Part 2 of a yearlong multidisciplinary, team-based senior design project experience. Students will learn how to apply the entrepreneurial mindset, critical thinking, and the various interdisciplinary skills within their team to investigate, research, propose, and create a compelling plan for a product or service of the student’s design. Hardware or software prototyping will be required. Course topics, learnings, and generated materials may be applicable for the launching of a startup, if desired, by the student team.
Details of the academic year activities for the entrepreneurship program vary depending on opportunities and current events. The following are typical:
Business Plan Competition
All students will be expected to apply to and, if selected, participate in the annual WSU Business Plan Competition that is sponsored by the Carson College of Business and judged by external referees. Other pitch competitions will be promoted during the year for extra credit or added experience.
Students will participate in interviews with multiple industry leaders throughout the year. Students will be given the opportunity to ask questions directly of these executives and get to know them and learn insights into their successes or failures.
Frank Scholars Alumni Dinner in Seattle
Current and past Frank Scholars get together to network and share experiences. Typically in November of their senior year.
On the Pullman campus, students spend a week learning a variety of skills that provide them with a firm foundation in entrepreneurship. Focus areas include:
- Visits with local Angel Investments, Startups, and IP legal firms
- Marketing seminars
- Business etiquette
- Building a professional profile
- Oral communication boot camp
- Research companies that will be visited
Following the initial week in Pullman, students head to a center of innovation and product development. Tours include:
- Informal interactions with entrepreneurs
- Networking opportunities
- Bank, Angel and Venture Capital Funding information
- Founder, CEO, and corporate attorney interviews
- Company operations from the inside
Past visits have included Google, Tesla, Facebook, Bloom Reach, Plug and Play Tech Center, HP Labs, Pebble Tech, BWise Vineyards, Chocolate Garage, Coherent, Pivotal, Alta Devices, CMC Rescue, and Stanford Product Realization Lab.