Formerly serving as the chief executive officer of 1871, a Chicago startup incubator, Howard Tullman joined the Illinois Tech community in 2018 as the first executive director of the Kaplan Institute, the newest building on the Mies Campus in over 40 years. In the announcement of his joining in April 2018, Tullman remarked that “I look forward to building an institute that will be the first of its kind: an innovation hub that channels the technical training and the creativity of thousands of Illinois Tech students into the development of new products, services, and businesses that can change the world.”
Now, in a tangible step towards bringing his entrepreneurial spirit to Illinois Tech, Tullman has announced that he will be teaching an Interprofessional Project (IPRO) course in the spring 2019 semester. IPRO 397-001: Principles of Entrepreneurship: Inspiration & Application is a three-hour credit course listed as being Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., and it represents the first step in Tullman’s vision of having courses in the new Kaplan Institute building specifically focused on the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, and design.
In an interview with TechNews, Tullman went into greater detail about the overall structure of the course and his planned approach for teaching it. The course will be split into two sections, an hour and 15 minutes long each. The first half will be “a lecture open to anybody,” as Tullman described, where he will likely be bringing in various Chicagoland entrepreneurs and other guest speakers to discuss their experiences and areas. Depending on the guest speakers brought in, this first half will likely be held in a larger auditorium (currently planned for Hermann hall) and be open to any interested members of the Illinois Tech community.
The course’s second half will be relegated to the students enrolled in it and will be held within a classroom space in the Kaplan Institute's Steelcase Commons. With a textbook and assigned readings provided by Tullman, much of the expected coursework will be in case materials, studying and analyzing various examples of entrepreneurship in real life. Tullman doesn’t envision this course as being one that intrinsically instills a desire to be an entrepreneur (such commitment has to come from the individual) but instead as one where students can gain the skills and work ethic related to entrepreneurship that will be helpful regardless of the nature of future endeavors.
Tullman explained this concept with his views on the future workplace. “Employers don’t want someone to come in with all the answers. We want someone to be generating new questions, new concerns, new issues that will move us in new directions.” Tullman believes this course will be the first step in hopefully positioning Kaplan Institute as a prime instiller of these sorts of values.
Photo by Ethan Castro (He/him)