Innovation, Entrepreneurship Program Earns National Model Award

Dr. Joe Picken

Dr. Joseph C. Picken, clinical professor and director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs, holds the award the Jindal School received from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The Naveen Jindal School of Management’s graduate program in innovation and entrepreneurship has been recognized as a national model by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).

The Jindal School won the 2014 National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program award from the association as part of its Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards.

The USASBE, an academic organization dedicated to advancing the discipline of entrepreneurship, presented the award at its recent annual conference in Fort Worth. The Jindal School was among several college programs and universities that sponsored the conference, which drew more than 500 attendees from across the nation and the world.

“We are honored to receive this award for our growing programs in innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Jindal School dean and Caruth Chair of Management. “We are proud to offer rigorous courses that teach the skills that entrepreneurs need to launch successful businesses or to innovate within a corporation.”

Entrepreneurship courses have become increasingly popular in recent years. Enrollment in Jindal School entrepreneurship courses has climbed to about 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students this academic year. More than 7,100 students have enrolled in entrepreneurship courses since 2002.

Picken’s Three Things Needed to Succeed

Dr. Joseph C. Picken, a clinical professor who teaches entrepreneurship, tells students that they need three things to succeed.

1. A Great Idea
“I tell students, ‘You’re responsible for the great idea, I can’t do that for you.”

2. Fire in the Belly
“You need the passion and the energy, drive and commitment.”

3. Know-How
“You need to know enough about the process so you don’t make the most obvious mistakes. Most startups fail because the entrepreneurs lack the experience, don’t have the knowledge and make the same dumb mistakes someone else made last month. We can give you the knowledge, teach you the process and give you the perspective. We can tell you how to avoid the most obvious mistakes. You’re going to have to come up with the idea and you’re responsible for the fire in the belly.”

The Jindal School offers a Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MSIE) degree with concentrations in corporate innovation and new venture entrepreneurship. Equivalent concentrations also are available through the Jindal School, including two graduate certificates and several dual-degree programs. All are taught by full-time faculty with significant entrepreneurial experience.

In addition, the school’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship sponsors student and community education programs, including an entrepreneurship club and the annual UT Dallas Business Idea Competition.

Last fall, the school initiated the Startup Launch Program, a competitive track within the MSIE degree program that offers students up to $25,000 in startup funds plus office space in The Venture Development Center at UT Dallas and support and mentoring from faculty and experienced entrepreneurs.

Innovation is driving the economy and job growth, said Dr. Joseph C. Picken, a clinical professor and director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs, who helped start the Jindal School’s entrepreneurship program 12 years ago.

“The innovation economy is where the action is,” said Picken, who also serves as academic director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “More than 80 percent of the jobs in today’s economy are created by startups and small businesses. To compete in the innovation economy, firms will still need all of the traditional skills, but also will require employees and leaders who understand the process of innovation.”

Picken said the school sets itself apart by offering an integrated curriculum, extra-curricular support and faculty with work-world experience. He said it focuses on helping entrepreneurs test their ideas early in the startup process.

Matthew Hinson became one of the first students to enroll in the Startup Launch Program with his business venture, Rollout. Rollout — a patent-pending electronic blueprint display device for the architecture, engineering, construction industries — won the Business Idea Competition in the graduate category in December.

Hinson said he is excited to work with professors and mentors with extensive entrepreneurial experience who have challenged him along the way.

“One thing I have learned at the Jindal School of Management is how to think of business more along the lines of an art rather than exact science,” Hinson said. “A winning business is sculpted, not engineered; and to sculpt a winning business, it not only takes the proper tools, but also one skilled in the art who knows how to articulate the vision."

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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