Greg Pogue and Bruce Kellison taught the course entitled: “Storyboarding Entrepreneurship: Lights, Camera, Action!” this summer to 21 students in Beijing, China. The course was offered by the Peking University College of Engineering through its Globex program, which brings students from around the world to Peking University for three weeks of intensive study.
The “Storyboarding” course originated from research funded by the IC² Institute with Dr. Clay Spinuzzi in the UT Austin College of Liberal Arts. The research investigated how entrepreneurs successfully frame their value proposition arguments to acquire market partnerships outside of their “home” countries (see for example these papers). The research produced a course “Entrepreneurial Writing” taught by IC² and Dr. Spinuzzi and offered regularly through the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at UT.
The UT course was adapted for the Globex format and emphasized the rhetoric of entrepreneurship: persuasion, argumentation, logic, and communication, all presented using a storyboard format. The students brought innovations to the course, identified market problems and described their own creative solutions in the form of a concrete value proposition. Further, the value propositions were infused with knowledge and fit into the economic ecosystems surrounding the potential products and then roadmapped through a “go to market” strategy with defined milestones, partnerships and funding.
Much of the students’ work took place outside the classroom in deep engagement with market stakeholders throughout China. The course concluded with an exciting pitch competition hosted by Peking University Science Park’s incubator, as part of its global Youth Tech Entrepreneurship Competition. The winning team received a funding award.
The course was an excellent opportunity to infuse entrepreneurship and persuasion into the culture and education of engineers. It is hoped that this collaboration with Peking University will continue and grow.