We often talk about the importance of universities to growth in the Creative Economy. Usually we measure scientists, patents, and other similar variables. But we also need to pay attention to the entrepreneurial culture of a college or university.
How welcoming and supportive is the campus of ‘campus entrepreneurs’ (whether they are undergrads or profs)? Saxenian really highlights this topic at a regional level in her work Regional Advantage, but it is just as important at the campus/university level.
An interesting post by Simona Covel at the WSJ’s Independent Street Blog looks at what Yale is trying to do to stop the exodus of startups that leave Yale’s campus and head for Silicon Valley.
So far, says YEI director James Boyle, it’s working — at least a little bit. Two of last summer’s crop of six start-ups remain in New Haven. Just as important, Mr. Boyle says, is that the program leaves students and potential students with the impression that Yale is an incubator for student-run businesses, just like Stanford or MIT.
“It has been pivotal in demonstrating to the student body that you can start high-tech companies at Yale — a space where Yale usually isn’t known,” he says.
Does your campus put out the welcome mat for entrepreneurs? Does the administration and faculty support entrepreneurs? Have local and regional policy makers gotten involved?