Entrepreneurship and STEAM a logical connection: Focus on Technology

Youth entrepreneurship programs integrate the educational concept of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Let’s focus on the connection between entrepreneurship and technology.

Kids on computers
Photo by MSU Extension

Did you know there is a strong connection between entrepreneurial thinking and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics)? Both concepts result in individuals who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration and work through the creative process. Every aspects of STEAM has a connection with entrepreneurship. This article focuses on the connection between entrepreneurship and technology. To read about the connection between entrepreneurship and science, see “Entrepreneurship and STEAM a logical connection: Focus on science” from Michigan State University Extension.

Technological innovations result when new ideas find practical use by entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial thinking nurtures new ideas. New ideas develop into inventions. Inventions become innovations when they are put into use. Innovations quickly become new technologies.

Apple’s trademark slogan, “There’s an app for that” brings to mind the menu of potential software designed to run on mobile devices. There is an abundance of new ideas for lifestyle, social media, utility, games, productivity and informational end-user programs bouncing around in young people’s minds, waiting to become the next viral trend.

According to Statista, the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. This potential market will be craving the new technologies created by the ideas of today’s youth. Programs that support the development of technology-based skills can be essential for today’s young innovators.

Michigan State University’s Spartan Coding Camp is a great example of how today’s youth can prepare for a technology-based entrepreneurial endeavor or career. This one-week residential summer boot camp followed by 60 hours of self-paced online instruction is designed to assist youth in developing coding skills.

Another cornerstone of entrepreneurship is networking. Developing a well-connected network improves an individual’s knowledge base and provides opportunities to meet potential partners, collaborators, investors and customers. Technology itself plays an essential role connecting today’s innovators. Web-based forums specifically designed for networking in science and business allows technology trendsetters to connect. Browse any of the numerous innovation sites like Ideaswatch or Venturewell and you will see a plethora of technology based ideas on the verge of development.

For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce preparation, financial education or entrepreneurship, contact 4-HCareerPrep@anr.msu.edu.

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