New Entrepreneurship Program Focuses on Technology and Design

Dec. 21, 2015

How do ideas go from concept to product to market? These and other questions that entrepreneurs and product designers might ask will be integral to Illinois Wesleyan’s new Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (DTE) major. The DTE major, along with minors in Entrepreneurship and Product Design, will be offered for the first time in fall 2016.

“There really isn’t another program that comes close to this. The program at Stanford University’s School of Design is the most similar,” noted Illinois Wesleyan Provost Jonathan Green. “However, unlike the Stanford program or industrial design programs, ours is an interdisciplinary one that embraces the sciences, the arts and our strong business program, which we feel will expand its appeal and the opportunities it provides our students.”

Faculty and resources for the program will come from physics and other disciplines within the natural sciences, the College of Fine Arts, business administration, marketing, and accounting. Leading the interdisciplinary program will be the chairs of the departments of physics and business administration, Bruno deHarak and David Marvin.

“The Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship program will give science-oriented students experience dealing with creative issues and problem solving, while the student with an artistic-bent will gain a working knowledge of science and technology. DTE will be very much a hands-on program in which students will make product prototypes, create business plans, and develop electronic portfolios of their finished products,” said deHarak.

3D printerStudents majoring in Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship will gain familiarity with basic scientific concepts useful for product design, the creative ideation process, gain experience rendering their product concepts using technical drawing skills and computer aided design (CAD) software, learn how to fabricate prototypes using the University’s 3D printers and CNC machines, and become knowledgeable in business processes, accounting for entrepreneurs, and, importantly, how to write grants and raise funds for new ventures.

The DTE major will encompass a minimum of 10 courses in three core areas: design, technology, and entrepreneurship. Students will select from one of the three following areas of concentration:

  • Product Design focuses on the aesthetics and interactions humans have with products.
  • Engineering Design gives students experience with the technical – mechanical, electrical, and/or programming – aspects of products.
  • Entrepreneurship provides understanding of how ideas are brought to market and society through business and other organizational means.

To learn more about Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship go to or contact Bob Geraty, interim dean of admissions, 1-800-332-2498.