I am in the final month of my dissertation at George Mason University. This blog grew out of my early research, as did the twitter handle Campus_Entre. I’ve learned a great deal and am happy with the database of high growth student entrepreneurs, their firms, and schools, as well as the case study of the University of Chicago.
I also developed basic campus ‘pathways’ based on themes that emerged from the qualitative and quantitative data collected.
The question of whether the campus offers frontier attributes (liberty, diversity, and assets) is the center of this research. This portion of the paper uses the ideas of Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis.
Moreover, if the campus does in fact offer frontier attributes and supports ‘frontier outcomes (new norms, innovative products, new organizations, and socio-economic change), how can we replicate these attributes in other organizations, institutions and sectors?
Posted in Education Policy, Entrepreneurship Programs, Frederick Jackson Turner, Frontier Thesis, Phd, Research
Tagged entrepreneurship, Frederick Jackson Turner, Frontier, higher education, Phd, startups, Students
Been awhile lots of research and busy with new opportunities at George Mason Universities. The Campus is indeed the frontier. Three items from the frontier…
University of Chicago Booth School high growth startup GrubHub has filed for an IPO. From winning the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge to raising millions in venture capital, Matt Maloney‘s startup has been on the move.
Big celebrations in Chicago and at 1871 as a student startup from Illinois State, Packback Books, appeared on Shark Tank last week. They closed a deal with Mark Cuban. The company, founded Kasey Gandham, Mike Shannon and Nick Currier offers short term, pay per use digital textbook rentals. Kind of like renting a movie from itunes etc. Big changes in #highered #textbook market!
My dissertation, The Campus as Frontier for Entrepreneurship: High Growth Student Startups at U.S. Universities, will be completed in April 2014. The dissertation will include a case study, a database of high growth student entrepreneurs, their firms, and universities. Additionally, the work will propose 5 archetypes of high growth student entrepreneurs and will suggest a frontier framework for evaluating U.S. higher education and its value. I look forward to sharing this work as I complete by PhD from GMU’s SPP.
Posted in American Exceptionalism, Campus Eco-System, Disruption in Higher Education, Frederick Jackson Turner, Frontier Thesis, Research
Tagged entrepreneurship, GrubHub, IPO, Packback Books, Shark Tank, startups
I was fortunate to speak with Beckie Supiano of the Chronicle of Higher Education as she put together a piece on the efforts of various universities to support student entrepreneurs. From Supiano’s To Develop Student Entrepreneurs, Colleges Incubate Their Idea (sub required):
Beyond student demand for entrepreneurship training, worries about the weak job market are driving colleges’ response. Teaching students to start their own businesses is one way to give them a leg up after graduation. And some institutions see a responsibility to foster job creation more broadly, especially in their own backyards. To that end, they are increasingly offering majors and minors, incubators and accelerators, business-plan competitions and internships—anything from a single academic course or co-curricular program to an array of opportunities—for interested students.
Lots of great information and coverage of many incredible programs and student entrepreneurs. I am quoted and referenced near the end of the piece. Supiano writes,
“The campus is the new frontier for entrepreneurship,” says David J. Miller, director of entrepreneurship at George Mason University’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship. For his Ph.D., he is researching the conditions that allow college students to start successful firms. He is using the historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s theory of the American frontier.
Like the frontier, colleges provide assets, Mr. Miller says: space and human resources. They offer an unregulated atmosphere with no one person or entity fully in charge. And they are diverse places, both in the traditional sense and in that they bring together scholars from many disciplines.
Turner thought the frontier set the stage for America’s success as a nation. Now colleges are trying to make that kind of mark on entrepreneurship.
In my research, I propose a framework for viewing the campus based on the Frontier Thesis of Frederick Jackson Turner. One of the attributes that Turner points to as having made the frontier an innovative and entrepreneurial place was that assets were readily available. Universities, like frontiers, also present asset rich environments that high impact entrepreneurs exploit. One such example is the library system — often with a massive, beautiful and inspiring library at the center. Does this add to the creative mix of a campus? I believe so.
From Flavorwire, the 25 most beautiful college libraries (I have been fortunate to have studied in two of the libraries on the list)
The college library, whether ornate or modern, digital or dusty, is in many ways the epicenter of the college experience — at least for some students. It is at once a shining emblem of vast, acquirable knowledge, a place for deep discussions and meetings of the mind, and of course, a big building full of books, which, as far as we’re concerned, is exciting enough. Colleges and universities are understandably quite proud of their libraries, which can be a selling point for prospective students and donating alumni alike, and they often become the most well-designed and beautifully adorned buildings on campus. To that end, and perhaps to inspire your studies a bit, we’ve collected a few of the most beautiful college and university libraries in the world, from Portugal to France to Boston. Did your alma mater’s library make the list? Or did we miss one of your favorites?
via Flavorwire » The 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World.
I am in the midst of finalizing my dissertation proposal force defense on 08/25/2011. My proposed research employ’s Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis of American History. Here is a snippet:
He was forced to make old tools serve new uses; to shape former habits, institutions and ideas to changed conditions; and to find new means when the old proved inapplicable. He was building a new society as well as breaking new soil; he had the ideal of nonconformity and of change. He rebelled against the conventional.
Sound a bit like an entrepreneur or a college student? In certain cases it is both. That is where my research is focused.
I have spent the last month going deeper into the concept of American Exceptionalism and also reading more commentators on Turner. I am just about done with a The End of American Exceptionalism by David Wrobel.
The book looks into the era surrounding Turner’s development of and presentation of his Frontier Thesis. The end of the frontier was the end of a 300 year period of expansion and Turner was not the only person concerned with what it meant. From sociologists and politicians to economists and media outlets, the end of the American frontier received great amounts of investigation.
Beyond the academics and policy makers thinking, speaking, and writing on the ‘end of the frontier’, much of the American public reacted to this fundamental shift in America’s development and also its view of itself and its uniqueness. From calls for expansion abroad to demand for Western novels and art, the ‘frontier anxiety’ was real for decades after Turners presentation at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Il.