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Entrepreneurial Mindset: KEEN @ UNC

Students in our engineering classes develop an entrepreneurial mindset through real-world problem solving and authentic learning experiences. Engineers equipped with the entrepreneurial mindset are better prepared for their careers because they understand the bigger picture, recognize opportunities, evaluate markets, and learn from mistakes to create value for themselves and others.

UNC Chapel Hill is a partner in KEEN, a network of more than 50 institutions who have committed to promoting an entrepreneurial mindset in their engineering students. The KEEN framework fosters this mindset through curiosity, connections, and creating value. In 2019, UNC and the department of applied physical sciences received a $600,000 award from the Kern Family Foundation to develop initiatives supporting entrepreneurial minded learning. UNC is one of four institutions in North Carolina to be part of the KEEN network including Duke University, Wake Forest University, and Campbell University.

Our partnership with KEEN enhances our ability to:

  • Support faculty incorporating entrepreneurial minded learning with programs like the faculty learning community.
  • Create opportunities for students to develop a broader perspective when tackling challenges.
  • Foster relationships with other engineering institutions with similar philosophies of teaching.
  • Create a culture of innovation, opportunity, and value.


KEEN initiatives at UNC

Click on the links below for more information on how you can participate.

In KEEN Faculty Learning Community (FLC), UNC faculty work with their peers and the FLC facilitators to enhance their courses with activities that promote an entrepreneurial mindset in their students. Learn more about this FLC and how you can apply to join.

UNC hosts the Entrepreneurially Minded Engineering Resource Group for Educators (EMERGE) for faculty and staff at universities/colleges that are creating or have recently created new engineering programs. This cohort faces unique opportunities and challenges, and EMERGE is a forum to discuss these issues. Learn more about EMERGE and how you can join this cohort.

To support faculty, we are creating a physical EML Micromoment Card Deck of activities that incorporate the 3C’s, adapt to any course, and are completed in 2-30 minutes of class time. We are looking for participants for Micromoment Activity research that will help to increase students’ exposure to EML and provide an easily accessible tool for faculty. Learn more about these activities and how to participate!