By Molly Underwood / January 08, 2021

Entrepreneur: STEM skills + innovation

An idea. 💡

Started from scratch. 📝

From a brilliant mind. 🧠

That’s exactly where entrepreneurship begins.

I’m guessing we all know or can think of someone who is defined as an entrepreneur such as Elon Musk, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, or maybe someone you know personally. For me, it’s my brother.

My brother and his now business partner had a recurring problem and knew there had to be a better way to solve it. So, what was their solution? Create a business that will ultimately fix their problem and hopefully benefit others who might have the same issue. While I am mentioning him, he would be disappointed if I didn’t put in a quick plug for his company, Bungii.

Another example from within the greater Pitsco family: the sons of Pitsco’s founder and CEO Harvey Dean, Barry and Jered, along with their teams and industry partners, have created an incredible and much-needed smart technology for power wheelchairs. LUCI Mobility adds stability, security, and connectivity to existing power wheelchairs to prevent collisions and falls. This revolutionary product is filling a void in the marketplace and can make an undeniable difference in the lives of many.

We are proud to see LUCI come to market and to individuals and families. This invention is the power of problem-solving at work. This is one great example of teamwork and purpose-driven work. And, ultimately, this is STEM and coding for good.

So, whomever you might be thinking of, you know that they had a drive to put their creative, unique idea into action. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.

The road to becoming an entrepreneur is daunting and difficult but can also be one of the most rewarding opportunities. Whether you’re obsessed with watching Shark Tank, like me, or have an idea that you have always thought would make an awesome product or service – let’s venture into entrepreneurship.

STEM Skills that Make an Entrepreneur

Students who pursue a STEM degree have a wide variety of future career choices, but when you add entrepreneurship into the mix, this opens the door to even more opportunities. Entrepreneurial skills and STEM skills go hand in hand. To succeed in a STEM career, you need to be able to problem solve, be creative, have a growth mindset, and be adaptable – just as with becoming a successful entrepreneur, these are equally suited skills. 

STEM education provides a broad range of skills that reach beyond careers in science or engineering. It teaches students how to think, not what to think. While STEM gives students the tools and skills they need to work a problem out on their own, it’s the desire at the heart of students – and entrepreneurs – that pushes them to solve that problem and learn why It’s really good to fail.” 

As students face this changing workforce, these transferable skills are essential:

  • Flexibility: We can all attest that things rarely go right the first time! Keeping an open mind and being able to switch gears when something doesn’t go as expected is fundamental to success in both STEM and entrepreneurship.
  • Creativity: Being able to imagine a solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist yet – now that’s creative! Creativity and forward thinking are skills that drastically overlap in both STEM and entrepreneurship.
  • Teamwork: A company’s success depends on its teams’ collaboration, not just working with others but working together. Engineers work in teams, software coders work in teams, and yes, even entrepreneurs work in teams! 
  • Knowledge: And, of course, practical skills – knowing how to actually perform the task set before you – are important for anyone in any career.

Emerging Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship can happen at any age and at any time! Check out these 10 successful young entrepreneurs to get you inspired.

There are lots of ways students can get involved with entrepreneurship at a young age. Explore some of these programs to help nurture that inner innovator in all of them:

  • DECA – This organization provides high school and college students with opportunities to network, compete, and experience real-life scenarios to be college and career ready. 
  • Acton Children’s Business Fair – Create a business fair in your community! This program enables students to create their own businesses and sell the products they create. 
  • LaunchX – This program brings together high school entrepreneurs to support them in bringing their start-ups to life. 
  • Lemonade Day! – Students will learn how to start, own, and operate their own business: a lemonade stand.   
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) – Through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs, high school students can prepare for careers in business. 
  • The Pitsco Idea Shop – For those who live near Pittsburg, Kansas, this shop is along the lines of a makerspace, equipping innovators with everything they need to think, make, and innovate.

Start-up Activities for Your Students

Innovation is about creating solutions for challenging problems. It’s a different way of thinking – you break past the barriers of what currently exists and create a new normal. Start creating a new generation of inventors with these activities:   

We’d love to know how you are creating entrepreneurs in your class! Comment below activities you do to get students inspired and thinking outside the box. 

Or, tell us what inventions you’d love to bring to life! You never know, maybe your hobbies could turn into something more!  

Sources:
STEM Education and Entrepreneurship: 5 Big Skills that Overlap

Entreprenuer-STEM-600-0121

 

TOPICS: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Teacher Resources, Culture, Technology, STEM, Trends, Resources, Engineering, Careers, Professional Development, Activities, Career Expeditions, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning, STEAM, innovate, Workforce Development, Inquiry-based Learning

Molly Underwood

Written by Molly Underwood

Hey all! I’m new to the Pitsco family. After interning a while, I started as a full-time Marketing Specialist. Days are busy assisting with digital marketing projects and anything else needed around the department. I knew marketing would be a great fit for me, as I love to share my passions with anyone who will listen. I recently graduated from Kansas State University (GO CATS!) and moved to a farm that has given me a lot of new experiences. Now my downtime is spent renovating me and and my husband’s new home, road-tripping, and being a foodie.