CENTRAL — In a world that has no shortage of challenges, there are a number of solutions that can be applied to solve the problems and meet the needs of an ever-demanding society.
A significant number of innovators possess a heartfelt desire to create a better product, provide a needed service, and/or offer a new and improved approach to a product or service design. One of the challenges for creators/innovators is “taking the first step” in making their vision a reality.
How many times have you had an idea concerning a product that could help people to live a more enriched life or alleviate some of the stress that they are experiencing, only to find that someone else had the same idea and acted upon it?
Whether it’s a product or a service that provides a technological solution to a problem or need, or helps to alleviate a societal problem such as homelessness, the creator/innovator often needs guidance, a framework to develop a business strategy and someone to fan the flame of desire.
The good news is that innovation and incubator centers have been established throughout the country. Within the city of Pickens, the Pickens Innovation Center has been instrumental in providing inspirational services to entrepreneurs focused in the area of technology innovation.
There are many schools offering classes in entrepreneurship in a way that helps innovators to embrace their desire to offer the world a product or service that satisfies needs and solves problems in creative and significant ways.
Southern Wesleyan University recently offered an entrepreneurship class that focused on “social entrepreneurship.” The class began with an identification of societal problems that were written on balloons.
As part of the learning process, the students chose the problem most closely associated with their individual desire and passion to address. The end result was the creation of a product or service that addressed the societal need in a creative way.
“I’m not sure how the fear of failure replaced the American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, but at Southern Wesleyan University and the Innovation Center, fear is not welcome,” Dr. Todd Voss, president of SWU. “Edison once said ‘I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.’ In that spirit, we welcome ideas, celebrate tenacity, and offer an environment where innovation can once again lead.”
The true excitement in either the innovation center, or the university classroom, is “fanning the flame of desire” that exists within the entrepreneurs as they move toward the place where their passion and their purpose in this life come together in meaningful and significant ways.
Dr. Deb Eischen is an associate professor in the School of Business at Southern Wesleyan University and is an advisory board member for the Pickens Innovation Center in Pickens.