Entrepreneurship Initiative

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Entrepreneurship Initiative aims at positioning MSFEA as a powerhouse of innovation, and at developing in MSFEA students the entrepreneurial mindset that enables them to establish their own innovative startup businesses. The Initiative builds on MSFEA’s strengths in creative human capital; adequate and modernized facilities; mentors and alumni network; and access to seed funding.

The Entrepreneurship Initiative comprises a comprehensive program that covers the entire journey of university life from prospective students to MSFEA undergraduate and graduate students (Master’s and PhD), and beyond to involve faculty, staff, alumni, and the public.​

Entrepreneurship Track Activities

The Track is embedded in the existing undergraduate curricula and consists of the following series of activities:

  • Hackathon by MSFEA: An annual fast-paced experience to engage students from all majors and levels in creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for three days
  • Entrepreneurship and design courses: Students enroll in MSFEA or business courses focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and product design
  • A summer internship (Approved Experience) at a startup: The MSFEA Career Center assists students in identifying internship opportunities at startups, specifically those at the Beirut Digital District, as part of the MSFEA-BDD MoU
  • FYP Accelerator program: During the fourth year, students join the FYP Accelerator to augment their Final Year Project core R&D with business development
  • Incubation: Upon graduation, student startups may continue to be incubated/accelerated at the AUB iPark, AUB CRInn, or BDD

FYP Accelerator Program

The Final Year Project (FYP) Accelerator is the Entrepreneurship Track's flagship program that allows graduating MSFEA students to take their Final Year Project beyond the MSFEA and university setting and think of it as a potential viable business. Interested students can join this program through an application-based selection process which checks the business potential of the proposed project and the commitment of the team to go the extra mile. The participating students enroll in FEAA 501 (0 cr.) during the Fall term and FEAA 502 (3 cr.) during the Spring term where they are exposed to hands-on workshops, coaching from seasoned mentors, talks from guest entrepreneurs, and intensive business sessions, in order to seriously deal with their FYP as an entrepreneurial endeavor. At the end of the Spring term, the teams pitch their projects in a demo-day event during the Annual MSFEA IDEAS conference and winners are awarded significant cash prizes to seed-fund their startups.

Objectives of FYP Accelerator

  • Assist students in transforming their technical innovative project into a viable business
  • Teach lean, agile, and design thinking methodologies
  • Provide access to seasoned mentors and regular feedback to guide the team in testing, iterating, and launching its product
  • Enhance pitching skills
  • Guide team on legal aspects of business, including intellectual property rights
  • Integrate team in the wider startup ecosystem
  • Teach team members on how and when to raise capital
  • Hand-over graduating startups to other support entities when necessary

Events and Announcements

2019​

After 7 months of acceleration, 8 FYP teams pitched their innovative ideas in front of a large audience and esteemed jury members from the ecosystem. Thanks to the Maroun Semaan Endowment, the sums of awards for startups at MSFEA are increasing by the year and more support is being given to our future engineer entrepreneurs than ever. 

​As part of Cogs & Caffeine​ student-led magazine, five out of the 8 teams wrote about their startup ideas and their experience in the program.



----

2018