Engineering Entrepreneurship

​An ecosystem of entrepreneurship.

Engaging students beyond the silos of engineering, where external partners sustain our entrepreneurship program through deep, consistent engagement.

At USD's Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, we have created an entrepreneurial mindset that is pervasive in our students, faculty and industry partners — a place where our student entrepreneurship teams are creating successful ventures annually, using the scaffolding developed through USD to enter into incubators, venture or acquisition agreements, and transitioning into companies looking for talent to inject innovation within their organizations.

Student Opportunities

Workshops: We offer several workshops a year that help students develop ideas into project proposals.

Entrepreneurship Modules: Several modules have been developed for students to learn the basics of entrepreneurship. These modules will help students develop their ideas into potential projects that could lead to a new product or process that has customer value.

Formal Courses: The business school offers two courses that engineering students can take, along with an entrepreneurship minor. We are also developing an elective entrepreneurship class inside of the school of engineering.

Senior Design - Entrepreneurship Track: Students can select to work on an entrepreneurship project in conjunction with their senior design course. This will involve a little more work that will include studying the entrepreneurship modules, working with external mentors, and making several pitches throughout the academic year.

Summer Residence Program: Successful student capstone teams that have participated in the entrepreneurship program may be invited to continue developing their venture through a summer residence program.

students presenting project to audience

Partner Opportunities

Project Sponsors: Individuals or entities that pay a fee to sponsor a student project. In exchange, sponsors receive a share of the IP of that project and have access to the other projects. Project sponsors will have many opportunities to formally and/or virtually meet with the sponsored teams to see progress over an academic year.

Project Partners: Individuals or entities that have access to all of the entrepreneurial projects. They pay a fee for project access but do not get a right to IP. They also have the opportunity to engage with the teams and will be able to become a Project Sponsor during the course of a project. There are several opportunities through the academic year to hear the pitches of all of the entrepreneurship teams.

Leaders: Individuals or entities that provide resources to develop the initiative, often because of philanthropic motives. They may have opportunities to guide the initiative and to name elements of the initiative or spaces. There will be several opportunities through the academic year to hear the pitches of all of the entrepreneurship teams.

Project Mentors: Individuals who are willing to provide their time to mentor one or more entrepreneurial teams and therefore get direct access to the project they mentor and attend all of the entrepreneurship team pitches. While there is no fee for the mentorship role, there is a commitment of time to the team. Mentors do not get a right to the IP generated by the team, however, they are able to become a project sponsor during the course of a project that they mentor. Many meet face to face or virtually with their team at least several times each month.

Venkat Shastri

Entrepreneurship Faculty Lead

Students not only know how to engineer a product, but now think about it — What's the market? What customers benefit from the product and why? — this can help them build a foundation as a leader and gain more experience.

De Sanctis Professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship, Director of Industry Partnership

Contact us for partner opportunities

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Engineering Entrepreneurship: It begins with an idea