Entrepreneurship is about action and engagement. People who exhibit the entrepreneurial mindset are not passive…they are doers. Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I) Experiences are small projects, related to entrepreneurship, that students complete as an extension of their normal coursework. Want to start a business? Write a business plan? Form a non-profit? Do a crowdfunding campaign? Attend Startup Weekend? Develop a prototype? All of these could form the basis of E&I Experiences.

Students can only do an E&I Experience in a course in which they are enrolled. It is not an extra-curricular project. Doing one  involves proposing to the course instructor a project that is over and above the typical requirements of the course. Think of it as an extra-credit project about entrepreneurship and innovation.

PLEASE invest five minutes in reading this page carefully, watching the video, and checking out the Examples and the FAQs. This will answer most of your questions, save a lot of time and eliminate a lot of potential confusion. This video, which is 3:11 in length, gives a quick overview of the E&I Experiences program.

A question often arises about who the instructor is for an E&I Experience. An E&I Experience is done as an extension to a course in which the student is enrolled. So for example, if a student wants to do an E&I Experience in the Spring 2018 semester, they will need to secure the support of one of the instructors of one of the courses in which they are enrolled that semester. Even if they wind up participating in an event off campus (like an innovation competition elsewhere), they still must have the support of an instructor for a course in which they are enrolled that semester. The recognition on their transcript (see below) will be for that specific course. The final decision about whether to support the proposed E&I Experience rests entirely with the faculty member.

Any undergraduate can do an E&I Experience in any course. Students in the E&I Minor are required to complete two E&I Experiences in courses that are not counted toward the 15 credit-hour requirement of the Minor.

Students who complete an E&I Experience in a course will have the following appear on their permanent transcript next to the course name:  ENTREP & INNOVATION OPTION.

How do I sign up?
Experiences are initiated by the student. Students should log into the Registrar’s website at https://reg.msu.edu/. Then click on Student Resources // Forms // Student-Instructor Forms. On that screen look for the form called “Application for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Experiences Option.” Once a student fills it out, it will be automatically routed to the course instructor for approval. If a student is in the Social Innovation Track, they will want to read those requirements carefully since they are slightly different.

The form asks five simple questions about the proposed project:

  1. Description of Proposed Option Coursework (Subject matter purpose, methods)
  2. Rationale (Explain how project satisfies one of the entrepreneurial criteria)
  3. Work to be completed (Describe specifically the work product)
  4. Evaluation Criteria (Describe specifically what will meet expectations)
  5. Date by which the project is to be completed   [Ideally the work should be completed during the semester, but cannot be any later than the start of the following semester].

This document is a one-page summary of the administrative procedures for signing-up for E&I Experiences. The Examples of E&I Experiences page has templates that tell students exactly how to fill out the administrative form. They will save a student a LOT of time.

Startup Tree
Students who are earning an E&I Experience are expected to document their projects on MSU StartupTree. This will allow fellow students, faculty, alumni, mentor and investors to see the details of the project (this is a semi-public website available to anyone registered on StartupTree) and over time we will build an important knowledge base of all of the work of MSU students. More importantly, a student can then request additional support through our network of mentors. Please enter your Experience as a “Project” on StartupTree.

Every college on campus has one or more E-Advisors. These are people well versed in the E&I Experiences program and also familiar with the programs and curricula of each college. For both students and faculty, they should be your first point of contact.

How about some examples?
The Examples page provides a long list of sample projects and ideas. There is a database of actual student projects at MSU StartupTree.

Where can I get more details?
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Experiences Option Program Handbook provides a comprehensive set of detailed instructions and guidance. If all else fails, please contact this office or reach out to the E-Advisor in your college. And be sure to check out the FAQs.

I’m confused
This is a new program and is sure to generate some head-scratching. Please contact us. We are here to help you be successful.