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In the fall 2014, a cohort innovation program was developed for undergraduate students to increase business skills and entrepreneurial capacity. The program focused on three primary areas: soft skills, critical thinking skills, and work experience. Students were pre-screened and selected based on an interview process related to potential, not GPA. The program utilized several unique teaching environments including the use of industry mentors, flipped classrooms, internships, video blogs, and student led program development. Students participated in innovation pitch sessions throughout the program to help develop entrepreneurial skills. Post participation surveys revealed that the program improved soft skills and the ability to work effectively in unfamiliar environments. Major improvements were seen in teamwork skills, project management leadership, and business and communication skills. Participants stated that the program motivated and empowered them to become industry ready innovators.


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