Our teens are innovative. This gift often seems diverted from new creations to maximizing social interactions! Teens have BIG dreams. With an air of invincibility, they believe in themselves. They also have the freedom to pursue ideas without adult responsibilities to hinder them. This combination creates a huge potential resource for entrepreneurship. If high schools could creatively address how to channel this, they could begin to foster entrepreneurial development. What could this look like in an ideal academic setting?
Today’s college prep academic emphasis leaves traditional high schools with little time for business classes or entrepreneurialism. Universities, conversely, are moving ahead and adding this creativity factor to the business model. Let’s look at what NYU is doing.
New York University’s web site states, “Entrepreneurship means seizing new opportunities. It means nurturing ideas that can address pressing global problems.” NYU is committed to developing startups from a broad range of their students’ and faculty members’ ideas. The university has been awarded over 700 patents, AND this achievement has not been at the expense of academics. NYU also claims:
- Four Nobel and Crafoord Prize winners (for astronomy and mathematics, biosciences, geosciences or polyarthritis research, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences),
- Three Abel Prize winners (for one or more outstanding mathematicians, an international prize presented by the King of Norway), and
- Twenty-one members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Obviously, NYU believes encouraging entrepreneurship is an integral part of a rigorous academic program. What if U.S. high schools could also invest resources in developing entrepreneurs? Britain does. Mega-entrepreneur Peter Jones’ Enterprise Academies use a powerful model that collaborates with universities, businesses, and the government. Entrepreneurship is possible to foster at the high school level.
Innovation enforcing academics? And vice versa? The results could be NYU-magnificent!