ENTREPRENEURSHIP

AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE BROWN EXPERIENCE

With centuries of innovative research, teaching, and learning, Brown has always been fertile ground for entrepreneurial thinking. Whether in the classroom through the open curriculum, or through a wide range of co-curricular activities, Brown students have long pursued ambitious solutions to challenging problems. The spirit that infuses all of this activity is one of collaboration, critical problem solving, and a commitment to interdisciplinary and creative thinking. In short, this is entrepreneurship that is distinctly Brown.

METHODOLOGY

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS PROBLEM SOLVING

While we love the optimism and can-do spirit that is the hallmark of most entrepreneurs, what we teach is something altogether different: entrepreneurship as a structured process. Best of all it is a process that can be learned and applied in a wide range of contexts. This entrepreneurial process comprises three fundamental activities:

FIND & VALIDATE AN UNMET NEED

The first fundamental step in building a venture is to identify a strong and enduring problem that needs to be solved.

DEVELOP A VALUE PROPOSITION

Next comes the process of developing a solution to that problem that addresses the fundamental questions of Who, What and especially Why.

CREATE A SUSTAINABILITY MODEL

Next, great ventures do more than provide one-off interventions – they create value in a way that is repeatable and scalable answering another fundamental question of How.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT THE INTERSECTION OF…

We collaborate with every part of the Brown ecosystem (and beyond). Why? Because entrepreneurship is not solely about business – it is about solving many different kinds of problems. And many of the best solutions result from “collisions” of ideas and people who might not normally interact with one another. This kind of interdisciplinary collaboration is a hallmark of Brown’s ethos in general.

A DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH

To help our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and the community at large navigate the rich set of entrepreneurship resources available through our center, we have lightly framed them into a coherent developmental roadmap. Nothing at Brown works top-down, heavy handed, or as a requirement, so we intend this as a helpful theme to answer the basic questions of Where do I start? How do I continue? Where can I find resources to accelerate my trajectory, beyond my campus experience?

ENGAGE

Teaching the fundamentals of entrepreneurship to every corner of the Brown community and beyond.

INSPIRE

Inspiring entrepreneurs to pursue a wide range of solutions to the problems they identify.

EMPOWER

Empowering entrepreneurs with critical resources to put their solutions into action.

CURRICULAR

Across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, we work with world-class researchers to further scholarly inquiry in the realm of entrepreneurship. We express this curricular part of our strategy through formal courses in the classroom, through sponsoring independent studies beyond the classroom, and through supporting students and faculty interested in entrepreneurship research via colloquia and conferences (see the most recent conference Entrepreneurship at the Intersection of Diversity and Inequality as an example).

CO-CURRICULAR

We offer a wealth and wide range of co-curricular activities that include student organizations, workshops, speakers, and programs that support Brown’s entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. Whether you are a novice entrepreneur or a seasoned founder, we offer a host of resources that can help you to connect with others and to improve your own entrepreneurial skills. We are frequent collaborators with a host of other groups, and you can learn about some recent co-curricular programming on our Welcome page.

VENTURE SUPPORT

In addition to our scholarly and educational mission, we support venture creation and acceleration across a range of industries and in various venture forms. This support includes mentorship, grantmaking, and B-Lab, Brown’s premiere venture program, all designed to help entrepreneurs to advance their ventures further. We also help ventures to connect with additional resources outside of our center to assist their transition beyond campus.