Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Robert and Carolyn Turner
President Joanne Glasser and the Board of Trustees recently announced the creation of the Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Bradley University is among the first universities in the nation to have a school of entrepreneurship and the first established as a freestanding academic unit. This indicates the highest level of commitment to provide Bradley students with the finest entrepreneurship education available.
Our entrepreneurship program has been ranked in the top 25 nationally for the past two consecutive years by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The school is endowed and named for Robert and Carolyn Turner, due to their support and generosity in making this a reality. Mr. Turner is an outstanding entrepreneur in the financial services industry.
The mission of the school is to nurture students' entrepreneurial actions, innovation, creativity, and cross disciplinary learning. Our graduates will take their place in society as innovators, providing solutions to complex, global, and fast changing challenges. Students will be prepared to seek out and recognize untapped opportunities in their fields. Networking is a critical part of this process. We help link our students to key contacts in the entrepreneurial community locally, throughout the midwest and nationally.
Increasing the Probabilities of Entrepreneurial Success
Students will actively engage in learning new skills and by graduation will have practiced them as well. These skills include, but are not limited to:
- recognizing and evaluating opportunities
- conducting market feasibility reviews
- starting a business
- seeking financing
- creative marketing
- valuation and selling/acquiring enterprises
- entrepreneurial social enterprises
- assessing risks
- entrepreneurship in large firms
- technology/product development
- action oriented business planning
Entrepreneurship is a process—a journey—and Bradley University offers a cutting-edge program. We bring numerous, successful entrepreneurs into the classroom and to speak to our student Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) club. In fact, we are the national headquarters of CEO, which has chapters at more than 240 universities. Bradley is a national leader, always modifying our programming to use the most useful, practical knowledge for our students. Our faculty is recognized around the world and is supplemented by excellent entrepreneurs teaching in our classrooms.
Students from all disciplines will benefit from the Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Learning outcomes include encouraging students to:
- think creatively
- develop innovations in a larger firm context
- hone oral presentation skills directed at investors, lenders, and stakeholders
The new skills developed will enable students to be better prepared to seek out untapped opportunities in their fields, to recognize how new technologies and other innovations can be effectively commercialized, and to speak the language of entrepreneurship and innovation, making it easier for them to communicate with organizational leaders and decision makers.
Experiential learning is one of the cornerstones of the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Students have the opportunity to earn the “Entrepreneurship Scholar” designation by combining coursework with participation in various entrepreneurship-oriented activities. Students will integrate their discipline-specific knowledge and skills with entrepreneurship education that guides their ideas from thought into practice, from business plan to successful business.
Entrepreneurship activities and programs abound at Bradley. Among the activities available for student participation are:
- Brave Pitch Elevator Pitch Competition: Three minute pitches of new business ideas, innovations, or social ventures.
- Mentors on Call: Subject matter or industry experts, typically entrepreneurs, mentor student entrepreneurs.
- Entrepreneurial Internships: Students work in entrepreneurial companies to experience entrepreneurship in a real-world setting.
- Distinguished Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Successful entrepreneurs are invited to serve students by sharing their experiences.
- The Hatchery: University provided incubator space and support for student-owned business startups.
- “Wild Idea” Creativity Sessions: After a presentation on an emerging technology, students brainstorm ideas for new products or services that could utilize the technology.
- Innovation Lab: Workspace & coaching for science, engineering or innovation oriented student ventures.
- E-Dorm: A living and learning community in a residence hall designed to house like-minded students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Business Solutions Clinic: Consulting services provided by students from all disciplines.
- Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program: Successful entrepreneurs visit the Bradley campus and work with students in a 1-3 day program.
- Project Springboard Business Plan Competition: Brings students real-life business planning experience and the opportunity to win cash and services valued at over $100,000 to help them successfully launch their new business venture.