The goal is to instill a new innovative mind-set across the state – that Iowa State University is the place for entrepreneurship in Iowa.
That shift in thought is already taking hold, thanks to two new entrepreneurship programs offered at the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business. A PhD program, only the eighth in the nation, began in fall 2016 and a new undergraduate major, the first in Iowa at a public university, began in fall 2017.
“Over the next two to three years, I want everyone to think of Iowa State when they hear the word entrepreneurship,” said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding.
Efforts supporting entrepreneurship are spreading across campus, with a student innovation center being built near Marston Hall, and various entrepreneurship-focused partnerships between colleges.
A cutting-edge research paper that is gaining national attention is an example of such partnerships.
Younggeun (Young) Lee, an Ivy PhD student in entrepreneurship, co-authored a paper titled, “The Influence of University-based Entrepreneurship Education on the Formation of Entrepreneurial Capabilities,” with Patrick Kreiser, Bob and Kay Smith Fellow in Entrepreneurship and associate professor of management at the Ivy College of Business, and two engineering students: Alex Wrede, PhD student in mechanical engineering, and Sanvisna Kogelen, master’s student in mechanical engineering.
The paper was presented at the largest entrepreneurship academic conference in the world, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). The paper won the 2018 Best Overall Paper Award, competing with more than 400 submissions from 254 universities across 24 countries.
“USASBE’s mission is to advance entrepreneurship education through bold teaching, scholarship, and practice. Given our mission, quality research alone is not sufficient, said Eric Liguori, PhD, the 2019 USASBE president-elect.
“USASBE Best Overall Paper Awards go to scholars who are also bold and push the field forward. This is why Young and Patrick’s work was selected, and it is incredibly impressive to see work led by a doctoral student winning in this category.
Iowa State is really ramping up and helping educate the next generation,” said Liguori, the Rohrer Professorial Chair in Entrepreneurship and executive director of the Rowan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey.
The paper also received the 2018 USASBE Entrepreneurship Education Research Paper Award.
“USASBE is the leader in advancing entrepreneurship education, and this award-winning paper offers guidance about how higher education can facilitate the process of students developing their entrepreneurial capabilities,” said Matthew Marvel, the 2018 USASBE Conference Competitive Research Papers chair and the George A. Ball Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
“It is noteworthy that the paper is co-authored by a doctoral student, which is rare for a Best Overall Paper, and helps support USASBE’s mission to advance entrepreneurship education research,” Marvel said.
“That’s extremely impressive for a PhD student,” said Kreiser, who is currently chairing the entrepreneurship PhD program at the Ivy College of Business. “Young is the lead author on this paper, and I couldn’t be more excited for him to achieve so much success at this early stage of his doctoral program. It is an honor working with a student who is showing so much initiative.”
In his short time in the new entrepreneurship PhD program, Lee has already traveled to eight research conferences, and he presented at each one.
“When I go to conferences, I see first-hand how well respected our program is,” Lee said. “The Ivy researchers are very well known and respected at these conferences. This is an excellent program, and that is why I chose to study entrepreneurship in the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State.”
The doctoral program has taught Lee a lot about himself.
“I have learned and developed my entrepreneurial capabilities through the program,” he said. “And after receiving this award for Best Paper, I am even more passionate about entrepreneurship and conducting impactful entrepreneurship research.”
In the study, the authors examine the influence of university-based education on student entrepreneurial capabilities. While the prevalence of entrepreneurship education is dramatically increasing, the education that business and engineering students receive throughout their academic experience wields a direct influence on several entrepreneurial capabilities.
“The purpose of our study is to measure these educational influences on three specific entrepreneurial capabilities –
networking skill, proactiveness, and self-confidence. The reason that we want to be the top school in entrepreneurship education is because we know how important it is to help our students develop these valuable capabilities. That’s how dreams can become reality,” Kreiser said.
The authors aim to raise awareness for faculty and students in these various programs as they form networks and optimize the knowledge gained throughout their education.
Lee’s early success is to be celebrated.
“He’s a very impressive young man, who obviously has a bright future ahead of him,” Spalding said. “It’s important to note that this is exactly why I hired someone like Patrick Kreiser, a talented professor who can make these accomplishments happen.”
“It’s a team effort, and an exciting time to be at the Ivy College of Business,” Kreiser said. “When I told my undergraduate students about this paper, and the attention it’s been receiving, they got
really excited and wanted to read it and learn from it. We’re unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit and passion that resides within all of us.”
PhD student adapts well upon moving to Ames, Iowa
Younggeun Lee’s first two years as a PhD student at the Ivy College of Business have already been an amazing adventure. He earned his master’s degree from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia and moved back to his home in South Korea.
When he was selecting his PhD program, he was excited to learn more about Iowa State. It was the new entrepreneurship program that captured his attention. He interviewed with Department of Management and Marketing Chair Pol Herrmann and knew this was the place for him. “I was very impressed with everything about the program,” said Lee, who moved to Ames from Anyang, South Korea – a population of about 600,000.
Lee quickly adjusted to the change in weather, language, food, and life in a much smaller city. “The culture is so different. The people here are so nice and kind,” he said. “I feel so fortunate to be in this new program and I also feel a strong responsibility as the first entrepreneurship PhD student.”