Technical Entrepeneurship

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By Liz Dominguez

I’m taking one class, called Technical Entrepeneurship, and it is by far the most interesting class I have ever taken. The first assignment of the class required each student to come up with an invention – something that has never been done, created, or attempted – and present it to the class. At the end of the first class, we all voted on our top 5 projects and broke into groups. The groups that we formed represent our respective “companies” for the semester and we are required to work with them at all times.

We were required to come up with a strategic plan for our company, financial reports for the first five years, marketing analysis, legal structure, and overall plans for the company. Our professor then looks them over, and the rest of the class decides how much money they will then “invest” in your company. The rest of the semester is filled with “obstacles” that the company faces, and our group must respond and react to them accordingly. The entire purpose of the course is to teach students how to properly run a business – not just how to manage one, and not just how to make the proper financial allocations for a start up business, but how to successfully manage, run, promote and elevate a business that may start out small.

I have learned so many things just sitting in class and listening to my professor. My professor, Dr. Stephen Szygenda has an outstanding resume. Here are just a few of his accomplishments:

Graduated more than 150 Master of Science and 50 Ph.D. students; Acquired extensive government and private research funding; Received numerous professional awards; Board service on behalf of many companies; Consulted with more than 45 international corporations; Published more than 150 technical papers on various topics; Fellow, IEEE, SDPS, and IC2; Founded numerous companies over the past decades; Staff member of Bell Laboratories during 1960s

-Found on the Lyle School of Engineering Website

Dr. Szygenda always tells stories of his time teaching Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers, and always provides insight into his many business deals – selling businesses over dinner, having breakfast in France and dinner in Hong Kong. I have been amazed by this man’s accomplishments and I can only hope to gain HALF of the amount of experience that he has.

These are the types of professors that teach at SMU. Students receive the BEST possible education from professors that have actually been in the field that they teach and benefit from resources that their professors have. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on my project!

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