During SXSW Interactive 2014, 3 Day Startup hosted a panel to discuss a much debated topic among student entrepreneurs: “Should you drop out of school to start a company?” Some of the points discussed included, entrepreneurial timing, the university as a startup platform, and the culture of risk taking.
The diverse panel of individuals included, Mike Gibson, VP for Grants at the Thiel Foundation, Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Director of the University of Washington’s Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and Andy O’Hara, Founder and CEO of Chiron Health. Cam Houser, CEO of 3 Day Startup, moderated the discussion.
Last semester, we asked students, alumni, and faculty to recognize entrepreneurship professors at their universities. We received an overwhelming number of nominations that we vetted and compiled into a list of Top 25 Entrepreneurship Professors of 2013. In an effort to recognize other individuals instrumental in entrepreneurship education at the university level, we opened a ballot to recognize Entrepreneurs in Residence. Surprisingly, we did not receive as many nominations as we hoped for.
To understand why this was the case, we asked various students if they were familiar with the role of entrepreneur in residence at their respective universities. Some students had a firm grasp of what their EIR did and had direct relationships with them through related classes and programs. Many students were somewhat familiar with the concept of an EIR and others had no clue.
This begs the question: What exactly does an entrepreneur in residence at a university do?