College of Engineering Announces New E2SI Program

Sarah McAssey

Every summer, many undergraduate students choose to take advantage of VSB’s Summer Business Institute. This upcoming summer, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and earn a useful minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship through the College of Engineering’s new Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Insitute, E2SI, for short. 

This new program will run over seven weeks and is open to all undergraduate students seeking to earn a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. No prior technical experience is necessary. The goal of the program is to hone in on the development of problem solving and creative thinking skills. This experience will be an immersion into hands on learning with product design, development, prototyping, technology trends, financial management skills and market analysis. Case studies will be implemented and opportunities to directly interact with entrepreneurs will ensue. 

“E2SI is a unique multidisciplinary entrepreneurial experience that increases the students’ value in any sized organization, from start ups to the world’s largest corporations,” Ed Dougherty, the director of the program, said. “Through hands-on learning, teams of students create ideas, evaluate them, develop impactful prototype solutions and learn to create effective business models.” 

Innovation is a central theme in this experience. Students will work on teams with peers in a variety of different majors across the University. These groups will work to develop feasible business models and the consequent prototypes to relay the value of the innovations created. 

The program hopes to foster the integration of the skills and experiences relevant to success in a company of any stature, whether it be a start up or a Fortune 500 company. This learning experience will not just be completed in the classroom, as field trips are employed for inspiration and for participants to directly learn from experienced entrepreneurs. 

E2SI introduces students to the importance of financers, patent attorneys, marketers, accountants, sales people, designers, engineers, technician and manufacturers, specifically in their careers and processes. The goal of this introduction to these careers is to show students how they can actively collaborate with these positions.

Ed Dougherty, the Director of the E2SI Program, shares that the most common feedback he receives from students is that they feel they were provided with ready-to-use skills in a manner that is both refreshing and fun.