Entrepreneurial Pathways Program Expands Indiana’s Influence at Chinese University

August 31, 2016, Fort Wayne, Ind. – A strategic partnership among four key resources in the entrepreneurial community has led to development and launch of a pilot program to train Chinese students for careers in entrepreneurship. The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC), Global Alliance for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (GAT2E), Indiana University Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (JCEI) and University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) collaborated to develop and launch the Minjie Tujing Entrepreneurial Pathways Pilot Program.

The program was developed to serve two purposes. First, the program leverages the evidence-based entrepreneurship capabilities and proven track record of The NIIC. Second, the program trains the next generation of entrepreneurs to increase young talent to start new businesses and fuel the entrepreneurial mindset. “We are passionate about training young entrepreneurs for success. Millennials are the most educated generation, the most exposed to entrepreneurship yet the least entrepreneurial,” said Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC. “Providing the tools and a practical understanding of entrepreneurship will help to maximize millennial performance and engagement in the workplace, leading to increased levels of future entrepreneurship.”

The Minjie Tujing Entrepreneurial Pathways Pilot Program will help to build awareness and to develop mutually beneficial connections with strategic partners with China’s strong emphasis in entrepreneurship. This strategic initiative is opening doors to meaningful cross-border collaborations. “Preparing future global entrepreneurs has become one of the top priorities at UIBE and in China,” said Dr. Zhao, Vice President of UIBE. The program provides unique, experiential learning opportunity for the students and also for future, aspiring adult entrepreneurs. “We developed a highly interactive, coaching approach for the delivery of entrepreneurship, much akin to how we work with clients at The NIIC. Once students fully immersed and engaged in the program, their interest in being their own boss and feeling more confident they had the entrepreneurial talent to start a business grew exponentially,” said LaPan.

An excerpt from a student pitch presentation during the program conveys the enthusiasm of the students who completed the program. “The feeling when we catch every spark flitting across our minds is definitely beyond imagination. And we also know we wouldn’t achieve anything unique without taking a first step named ‘START’.” S.C. Max Yen, PhD, Founder, GAT2E, said, “The students completing this program will be leaders in the entrepreneurial community. They are the first generation of students in Asia to be formally trained in entrepreneurism through secondary education. The interactive component of this program brings a new experiential learning mindset to the students, allowing them to picture themselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur and as future business owners.” At the conclusion of the training program, the students have walked through the planning stage of creating a business and learned to validate their ideas and market potential. “The students’ mindset was transformed with ‘entrepreneurial DNA’,” said Yen.

Prior to beginning the program, each student was required to identify a business launch idea. The 25 students were formed into five groups and tasked with developing a three-year business plan for five of those business concepts. The program culminated with a pitch presentation to the program faculty and program classmates. Business concepts included online idle goods retail, a comprehensive traveling service and applications and online platforms centered on health and general well-being.

The NIIC enables entrepreneurs to start, grow and accelerate their companies. “While we try to help all individuals who engage with us, we have a special focus on young entrepreneurial talent as well. The Minjie Tujing Entrepreneurial Pathways Program is a natural extension and the first phase of the long-term, value-added offerings through The NIIC. Working with our strategic partners, we plan to build on this successful pilot program to further our vision to be a global leader in entrepreneurship,” said LaPan.

Dr. Donald F. Kuratko (Dr. K.), the Jack M. Gill Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship Professor of Entrepreneurship; Executive & Academic Director Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation stated, “We are pleased to partner with the NIIC, GAT2E and UIBE in offering our prestigious JCEI entrepreneurship certificate to participants who successfully complete the Minjie Tujing Entrepreneurial Pathways Program. This innovative program addresses the practical and educational skills required by today’s student entrepreneurs to prepare them to lead or work in Chinese entrepreneurial ventures.”

About The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC)
The NIIC is a non-profit, community-based, entrepreneurial resource center and assists in the launch, growth and development of innovative companies in Northeast Indiana. Formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations, The NIIC was recently recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. The Innovation Center is the country’s only ISO9001:2008 certified business incubation and acceleration program, serving entrepreneurs, business owners and existing businesses who want to launch, expand or to reinvent their companies. For more information visit: www.niic.net

About GAT2E
GAT2E is a consulting firm whose primary missions are: (a) to provide experiential based entrepreneurship and leadership training globally, (b) to facilitate the development of start-ups and strategic business partnerships internationally, and (c) to serve as a repository for global orphan technologies and intellectual properties. GAT2E was incepted in 2011 and endorsed by government officials, university executives, CEO of businesses and economic development leaders. GAT2E started its incorporation process in 2015. Partnered with The NIIC, JCEL and UIBE, GAT2E delivered the first entrepreneurship training program, Minjie Tujing Entrepreneurial Pathways, at the 2016 UIBE Summer School, Beijing, China.

About Indiana University Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (JCEI)
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University established the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (JCEI) in 1998, thanks to a financial gift from Richard Dick and Ruth Johnson given in recognition of their family, theJohnson’s lifelong commitment to the Kelley School and their own entrepreneurial achievements. Today, JCEI is the focal point for all entrepreneurial activity on the IU Bloomington campus. The Kelley School first offered an entrepreneurship program in 1989 and entrepreneurship courses at IU date to 1959. JCEI’s academic programs are nationally ranked and its center is recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in entrepreneurship education. JCEI¹s mission is to be the Premier Entrepreneurship Center in the World.

About University of International Business and Economics (UIBE)
The University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), situated in the northeast of Beijing, was founded in 1951. UIBE is a national key university jointly-sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Commerce and is the top university in the fields of economics and business. UIBE pursues to be an outstanding national university and a prestigious international university with its distinct characteristics. After over sixty years’ development, UIBE has already become a multi- disciplinary university specialized in the fields of economics, management, liberal arts, law and science and competitive in the subjects such as international trade, law, finance, business management and foreign languages. At present, UIBE offers over 50 majors to overseas students for bachelor, master and doctoral study. Among them, about 20 majors can be entirely offered in English. Dr. Zhao, Vice President, UIBE stated that preparing the future global entrepreneurs has become one of the top priorities at UIBE and in China.

Media Contact: Tammy Allen, Director, Marketing Communications & Programs, tallen@niic.net, Telephone: 260-407-6442


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