Technopreneurship: Marrying engineering and business management

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E.T. Yuchengco School of Business and Management dean Marthinson Villanueva discusses how Mapúa’s degree programs interconnect with one another—from engineering to business.

Mapúa is a known technological and engineering school in the country. But did you know that the Institute founded a Business and Management School 10 years ago? The E.T. Yuchengco School of Business and Management (ETYSBM) offers four programs, namely Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, and Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

This year, the school will be integrating its programs in one effort to do collaborative innovation.

According to Prof. Marthinson Villanueva, OIC-Dean of the ETYSBM, the school is gearing towards discovering the interconnectedness of its courses.

“For example,” he said, “the Business Administration course program, Accountancy, and Entrepreneurship have big roles when it comes to feasibility studies. The Business Administration conceptualizes the business model, Accountancy checks its financial feasibility, and Entrepreneurship implements it. Mapúa is the first among Philippine colleges to implement this particular model (collaborative innovation).”

Some of the school’s products are the jello shots, already available in other countries, but first of its kind in the Philippines; coffee corn, a coffee product made out of corn; lanzones juice; and gata paste. Aside from food products, students have innovated pencils made out of coconut shells and roofs out of pet bottles.

Thesis not for libraries

Business, according to Villanueva, does not only belong to Business and Management students. He said that students should be able to transform their theses and feasibility studies to real businesses and look for investors to fund their projects instead of having them shelved in a library.

Last June 2014, Mapúa Institute of Technology entered a tripartite agreement with Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) and Case Western Reserve University to develop its students’ entrepreneurial mindset.

“The MOU is basically about having a visiting US professor mentoring us on the integration of innovation and entrepreneurship in the engineering and science curricula of Mapúa. It also lays the groundwork for exchange of ‘entrepreneurship in engineering’ material, publications, and information and for joint lecture, research, or other activities that are within the range of interest of both universities,” said Dr. Vea.

In line with the MOU, Mapúa will add another student outcome to its current engineering and science curricula to incorporate appreciation of innovation and “technopreneurship.”

“We like as much as possible to help our students transform what they studied into not only something useful, but also come up with a good ROI (return of investment),” Villanueva said.

High employability of graduates

The ETYSBM OIC-Dean said that their graduates are either hired in big companies or run their own businesses. He often told his students that they go to school not to be employees, but to be employers themselves. This insight is further made clearer by the perspectives the ETYSBM faculty are sharing with their students.

The faculty members of ETYSBM are corporate practitioners – either CEOs, managers, proprietors, and this is a great plus.

“It’s really a big help (being a corporate practitioner while teaching). You are able to give your students a first-hand view of the field. You walk the talk. You do what you preach, you preach what you do,” Villanueva opined.

Into the future

Villanueva firmly believes that it is business that runs the world today. He says that Mapúa graduates have an edge in the field of business.

“Whether you are a graduate of HRM, BA, or Accountancy, or Entrepreneurship, when you graduate from Mapúa, you are given the edge to come up with your own business and compete in the economy. What runs the Philippines now? It is the economy. The Philippines has a good economic standing; we have a good image in the world. And where does this start? It starts with people,” he said.

“Create your own business,” Villanueva reiterated, “and in that way, each and every Mapúan will be able to contribute to the national economy.”

The E.T. Yuchengco School of Business and Management commits itself to mold students with skills and knowledge to become catalysts of change in the business community and society in general.