Our Holly Ragan has authored a new piece for Dallas Innovates, titled “Three Ways Education Design Can Further Establish Dallas as Hub for Innovation.” The article builds on a recent report from the Dallas Regional Chamber that analyzes the city’s innovation economy and offers recommendations for actions to accelerate its growth. Holly’s piece calls for design leadership in the city to have a voice at the table in this effort and offers that “higher education is a hotbed for breakthrough design solutions that help fuel local and regional economies.”
The full piece can be read online. Here’s a key excerpt:
Design Can Help Fuel Entrepreneurship
Students interested in founding their own company often see higher education and entrepreneurship as two separate worlds. Should they go to school or should they focus on their startup? However, exciting new entrepreneurship programs —like the University of Texas at Dallas’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship—and the curriculum they empower are changing that reality. Now, equipped with incubators, access to venture capital, key mentorship and more – higher education is transforming itself into an accelerator for students interested in joining the startup economy.
Higher education institutions that reshape the learning experience for student entrepreneurs will also need to rethink the design of campus spaces. Successful entrepreneurs rely on collaboration, teamwork, and prototyping and they need spaces that inherently allow for this. In 2016, the University of Utah opened Lassonde Studios — a visionary building that combines 400 student residences with a 24/7 startup hangar where students live, learn and launch companies — and in just two years has quadrupled the number of student startups on campus. The building invites students of all disciplines and academic level (freshman to Ph.D.) to live and work together. As the university continues to credit the building as a key driver of this startup growth, other universities around the country are taking notice and beginning to create their own new spaces for the future of entrepreneurial education.
The future of Dallas’s innovation economy would benefit from similar breakthrough education buildings that are luring the best student entrepreneurs, helping increase the number of startups on local campuses, and building an innovation pipeline for the future.