Published: Oct. 10, 2021

The latest Creative Distillation research podcast delivers a spirited discussion with the author of a study on effectiveness of entrepreneurial programs at colleges and universities.

Does participation in entrepreneurial programs at colleges and universities affect entrepreneurship activities? That is the question at the heart of the latest episode of the Creative Distillation Research Podcast.

Season 3 features groundbreaking research addressing the efficacy of university entrepreneurship programs and dialogue with the paper’s co-author. Hosts Brad Werner and Jeff York are joined by Dr. Charles (Chuck) Easley. Dr. Easley is an Associate Professor at the Stanford University School of Engineering and co-author of the study ”Do university entrepreneurship programs promote entrepreneurship?

Keeping with tradition, Episode 21 begins with a sampling of distilled spirits. The hosts and guests imbibe in Negroni cocktails composed around Ada Lovelace gin - namesake of the person widely considered to be the first computer programmer from the mid-19th century. And after sharing a few personal anecdotes the hosts begin to dissect the findings and process with the study’s co-author.

A Deep-Dive and Break in Tradition

Dr. Easley’s research has been highly lauded by business schools, entrepreneurial programs, centers and educators since its publishing in the Strategic Management Journal. That is especially true here at the Leeds School where Dean Sharon Matusik shares her own personal message about the excitement surrounding this research and the importance it has on shaping our future leaders.

The same level of anticipation is evident by York and Werner. And that eagerness may have initiated a break in tradition, and a first for Creative Distillation, where Werner approved of the paper’s title. Longtime followers will be familiar with Werner’s history of impatience and disdain for overly academic titles for research papers.

After applauding the clarity of the title, Werner and York take a closer and deeply authentic look at the study and entrepreneurship programs in higher education. This is part of what makes the Creative Distillation Research Podcast unique. Listeners are invited into a thought-provoking discussion between the paper’s author, a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record and another leading researcher and educator.

This format creates authentic conversations around the process of entrepreneurship education, the effect on entrepreneurs and business ventures and the reality around the challenges new business ventures face. But it is not all doom and gloom. The reality is these programs are preparing the individuals with measurable success in decreasing start-up failures and increasing firm revenue.

And while university entrepreneurship programs may not increase entrepreneurship rates, they do help students better identify their potential as entrepreneurs and improve the quality of entrepreneurship.

Takeaways for Entrepreneurs and Organizations

Episode 21 offers actionable insights for entrepreneurs and researchers. For researchers, the study establishes a reliable framework for future studies. According to Easley, this model is applicable to settings in rural settings that might not immediate identify as being entrepreneurial and major cities with an implied level of entrepreneurship.

For the entrepreneurs, Warner, York and Easley all agree that everyone should have an entrepreneurial mindset. However, not all entrepreneurs should start a business and programs that share this approach are creating positive outcomes for students and organizations.

Creative Distillation Background

Creative Distillation is a research podcast co-hosted by Associate Professor Jeff York, Research Director, and Instructor Brad Werner, Teaching Director for the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. Each episode distills academic research on entrepreneurship into actionable insights. This season, Jeff and Brad connect with researchers from around the globe to discuss sustainability, yoga, cannabis, Food Trucks, university entrepreneurship programs and accelerators.

Comments/criticism/suggestions/feedback? We'd love to hear it. Drop us a note at CDpodcast@colorado.edu.

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