The idea of Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) is not new, it’s been around for quite some time. It may not be a real position in a firm or educational institute. Matter of fact, there are few variations to the function of this “position” depending on the firm or the institute. Here, I will focus on our implementation which is still in the experimental phase, never the less it produced so far an excellent results. The Accounting and Computer Education (ACE) department at Red River College (RRC) requires that students do an industry project as part of their education. The projects are typically provided by industry partners (usually well established organizations). They are real projects with specific outcomes. The students and faculty work on the projects and deliver the results by the end of the term. This year ACE wanted to open the door to young organizations in their early stages of development. An entrepreneur with a sound idea can qualify to be the Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) who will work directly with faculty and students to further develop the idea and change it to a real product. The investment to create this “position” is just a desk and safe environment where the Students, Faculty, and the EIR can brainstorm to transform the idea into something that is of benefit for everyone. The results were phenomenal, we can judge by the response of the students who took just a bare idea and in a short time transformed it into a product that can be displayed and demonstrated to the world. The interaction between the EIR and students was something of great interest, first this direct interaction taught the students how to be innovators themselves. Second, the EIR demonstrated first hand to the students how to pursue the path of being independent and how exciting to have a dream. There are other accomplishments achieved beside the academic goals that must be achieved as part of the students development in this term.
The overall experience was wonderful, we can say that in a short period of time with the help of an EIR we created more entrepreneurs with more ideas.
Date of Publication: October 2015
Author: Haider Al-Saidi