In recent decades, engineering has been the foundation of innovation. Engineers have invented the future by developing breakthrough technologies. Advances in communications, health, defence, infrastructure, and manufacturing and the emergence of new technologies offer engineers an excellent opportunity to be entrepreneurs and create businesses that solve national problems and enhance the quality of life.
For engineers to be entrepreneurial, they have to understand the context of market and business pressures. Engineers need to learn to collaborate with their peers and as leaders. Besides technical and analytical expertise, they have to learn to be flexible, inventive, empathetic and have the ability to recognise and seize opportunities. Engineering educators can play a significant role in instilling these qualities in students to enable them to be more innovative and entrepreneurial.
Technology entrepreneurs have become heroes with their start-ups, and the entrepreneurial process has been embraced as a key element of India's future success. The Government has emphasised on entrepreneurship as a means of driving the Indian economy.
Learning to be an entrepreneur requires a complex set of knowledge, skills, and abilities and it can be learned. The integration of entrepreneurship and innovation in engineering education is possible only with introducing new approaches to engineering education with the curricular and non-curricular program to deliver the experiences and knowledge that lead to innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. The incorporation of engineering problem-solving in the context of a business opportunity can be particularly useful.
For helping bring ideas to fruition entrepreneurs in the real world, entrepreneurial competitions or funding challenges that allow them to pitch their ideas to angel investors, advice from experts on how to operate in the world take the young entrepreneurs a step forward.
Another high-impact approach involves creating intensive entrepreneurship programs and experiences, creating physical and virtual spaces dedicated to entrepreneurial activities (incubators or business accelerators), building a movement to create more innovation, inviting members of the business community from a broad range of expertise to advise the students in developing their new enterprises. Thus, an engaged group of experts who help students plan it and make it grow supports each new venture.
The future is looking bright for budding entrepreneurs. Although it would seem to take great ambition and bravery to build a start-up, the new generation is excited about the opportunity to make an impact.