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Libraries Participates in Panel on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

October 3, 2016

On September 26, the Libraries helped sponsor a panel discussion on innovation and entrepreneurship attended by 65 Drexel graduate students at the Graduate Student Lounge. Libraries help people make connections - both to ideas (through access services) and to people (by fostering engagements with experts and peers in all disciplines) - and this event offered a space for those connections to be made. This informal learning event featured a panel of faculty, librarians and staff, who shared their expertise on turning a creative idea into an action that benefits others. Participants also had time to network with each other over pizza and salad.

Dean of Libraries Danuta A. Nitecki welcomed the group and stated the expected learning outcomes, identifying what students would be able to do after engaging with the promised dynamic session:

  • Envision a new business venture and identify key actions to implement it
  • Model behaviors that successful entrepreneurs have demonstrated
  • Build relationships with local experts who are willing to mentor them for further success
  • Implement a strong strategy for winning national competitions where information and data are key to bridging their technical knowledge with business orientation

Lest anyone wondered why librarians and a publisher were central to launching this informal learning experience, Dean Nitecki also highlighted their roles in guiding peoples' success as entrepreneurs; Jay Bhatt, Doug McGee and Ruth Wolfish offered more details in their presentations later. Others shared insights on taking risks, learning from unsuccessful initiatives, building mentor relationships, the work of protecting ideas through patents and the personal satisfaction gained from the creative process of approaching problem-solving in an entrepreneurial manner. Panelists presented with the help of PowerPoint slides, an automated talker and questions directed to them, including many great questions asked by students.

Bahnu Onaral (senior advisor to the president on Global Partnership) monitored the panel members, who included: Jay Bhatt (Drexel Libraries), Michael Glaser (Westphal College of Media, Arts and Design), Robert McGrath (Technology Commercialization), Doug McGee (University of Pennsylvania Libraries), Dhairya Pujara (Center for Global Experiential Education and Drexel alum), Charles Sacco (Close School of Entrepreneurship) and Ruth Wolfish (IEEE). The Drexel Libraries was among the sponsors of this engaging discussion; other sponsors included IEEE, Drexel IEEE Graduate Forum, the Graduate Student Association and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Organizers were Jay Bhatt, Daniel Christe (Drexel Engineering & Center for Functional Fabrics), Douglas McGee and Ruth Wolfish.

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