Elon wins national innovation award for entrepreneurship course

The Elon University course Creativity & the Doer/Maker Mindset was recognized for its creativity, quality, sustainability and impact on students.

Elon University received the 2020 Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) for the entrepreneurship course Creativity & the Doer/Maker Mindset.

Elon’s Creativity & the Doer/Maker Mindset (ENT 250) is not limited to learning how to start a business. Instead, the course trains students to look at life through an innovative lens. The entrepreneurial competencies students learn in the course can be employed across time, jobs, teams and experiences to them flourish both personally and professionally. These competencies include practical tools such as time management, attention to detail, public speaking, and basic finance, as well as sophisticated mental modeling tools ranging from higher order thinking, Fermi analysis, system dynamics, acting, and more.

While the course serves as a catalyst for students already interested in startups, it is designed to help students from all majors learn to recognize opportunities to bring applied creativity to their own area of study. It serves as the cornerstone course for the entrepreneurship major and minor degree programs, but classes regularly include non-degree seeking students from first-years to seniors.

The course was designed and launched in 2014 by Doherty Emerging Professor of Entrepreneurship Sean McMahon through a shared vision with Raghu Tadepalli, dean of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. Since then, the course has been refined and enhanced in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Elena Kennedy.

The USASBE is an inclusive community advancing entrepreneurship education through bold teaching, scholarship and practice. Its members are teachers, scholars, and program directors and practitioners. Elon was selected for the 2020 USASBE Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation award following two rounds of review in competition with other universities and a subsequent live presentation for a panel of judges against three other finalist universities at the organization’s annual conference held in January 2020 in New Orleans.