Syracuse University

Spotlight: Kauffman Enitiative
COMTEK Test Kitchen

The Kauffman Campuses Initiative seeks to transform the way colleges and universities make entrepreneurship education available across their campuses, so that any student, regardless of field of study, is able to access entrepreneurial training.

In 2006, Syracuse University was one of only six institutions across the nation to be chosen  as a Kauffman Campus by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This prestigious and extremely competitive award builds on SU’s outstanding entrepreneurship program in the Whitman School of Management, and is closely aligned with the university’s mission of Scholarship in Action.

The five-year, $3 million grant is in support of the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative—or Enitiative.

Enitiative is unique among Kauffman Campuses. This five-year pilot program is being implemented with six other diverse academic institutions to create a model that can be adapted to community colleges, small private colleges, and large public institutions.

Focusing on technology, neighborhoods, and the arts, Enitiative is infusing entrepreneurship throughout all disciplines across Syracuse University. Over 100 technology, neighborhood and arts entrepreneurship projects have been funded in the program's first two years. Here are just a few examples of these innovative projects:

  • Technology as Public Good—This course will provide technology professionals-in-training with conceptual frameworks and practical social skills derived from an ethical and socially-responsible perspective on technology, enabling them to effectively intervene in public technology initiatives as public-spirited citizens.
  • LEEDing Edge—LEEDing Edge will offer students, contractors, business owners, and other professionals opportunities to obtain accreditation as green building professionals. Funds will offset training and exam costs for the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) accreditation program.
  • Composers in Public Schools—Graduate-student composers from SU's Setnor School of Music will compose new works for performance by local high school ensembles. The student composers will develop and practice crucial skills, including the ability to work in cooperation with others and the flexibility to adapt their music to the needs of a commission. At the same time, high school students will be introduced to music that's very different from what they are used to performing.
  • See My Story—A joint project between Syracuse's South Side Newspaper Project and the Onondaga Nation, the See My Story workshop will empower and equip local youth with the video technology and interviewing skills to share storytelling from a community perspective. Attendees will gain skills that demonstrate the importance of news in the voices of the newsmakers, and will bring voice and video to youth who often feel silenced through media exclusion.
  • COMTEK Test Kitchen—This commercial-product development kitchen, located in one of Syracuse’s economically challenged neighborhoods, will create marketable products out of local citizens’ recipes. A collaboration between SU and Morrisville State College, COMTEK helps aspiring food entrepreneurs to develop recipes, process shelf-stable products, and design packaging to make the products marketable to consumers.
  • Public Relations for Local Organizations—A public relations design center will combine the efforts of six course sections each year, providing students with real-world exposure to clients seeking public relations services. By working with clients who are entrepreneurs, students will be exposed to the challenges start-up companies and nonprofits face when they have the most need for marketing, yet few financial resources. 

For more information, including the latest news, visit the Enitiative web site.

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