This fall, the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center (STVP) launched a new learning paths program geared towards undergraduates in an effort to make the plethora of available entrepreneurial resources more approachable for students, center staff said.
The new program’s website features three components: personas which feature three students’ journeys through entrepreneurial courses and programs, a reorganized list of entrepreneurial courses and a detailed frequently asked questions section.
Mo Fong, the executive director of STVP, said the learning paths “are a way to demystify ways to learn about entrepreneurship and accelerate [students’] learning by looking at what students who come to Stanford have done before them.”
STVP’s Principled Entrepreneurship: Action & Knowledge (PEAK) fellow co-lead Shreya Mantha ‘23 said that “the learning paths was a way for students to understand three different students’ paths but also use it as a way to share more about what STVP stands for, what STVP is there to do and then the courses that they offer.”
By showcasing three profiles of students from diverse backgrounds, one of whom is Mantha’s, the learning paths program hopes to inspire current students and illustrate the varied ways students can approach entrepreneurship, according to Fong.
The website also includes a courses section reorganized by two guiding metrics: experience level in entrepreneurship and key topics. Meng Guo M.A. ‘20 M.S. ‘23, student associate at STVP and part of the creator team behind the learning paths program, said that the reorganization of courses was guided both by course content and Carta reviews.
“It’s based on [real student reviews], so I think that’s what [kind of] makes it helpful, in a way, because it is students’ voice[s],” Guo said.
The frequently asked question section includes information on available courses, programs and student groups, said Fong, who added that these questions, which were synthesized from responses of student focus groups, serve as a starting point for students looking for entrepreneurship experience and opportunities.
The idea of reorganizing information on entrepreneurial opportunities to increase the accessibility of the entrepreneurship experience is not new, with similar past efforts being found at the Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network.
The new learning paths program comes at the same time as a rebranding effort from STVP, shifting from the previous Stanford Technology Ventures Program to the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center based in the School of Engineering.
Nevertheless, Fong and Tom Byers, management science and engineering professor and faculty director of STVP, encouraged students from all backgrounds and majors to take advantage of the initiative and what STVP has to offer.
Byers said the newly launched program, like all past STVP programming, is guided by STVP’s core value to “empower aspiring entrepreneurs, to become global citizens who create and scale responsible innovations.” Further, Fong and Meng said the underlying belief of the STVP is that “entrepreneurship is for everyone.”
Additionally, Fong and Meng said the current version of Learning Paths is a starting point with a future version, Learning Paths 2.0, seeking to include even more student personas and entrepreneurial opportunities organized by different industries.
The most approachable way to learn more about and take advantage of the new learning path program is on the “Learning Paths” subpage on the STVP website, said Fong and Meng. Fong encouraged students to learn more about the learning path program: “Don’t be shy, dive right in, figure out what it is you’re looking for and ask questions.”