Harr Bailey receives WiSys Innovation Champion Award, discusses new entrepreneurship programming

Dr. Marcia J. Harr Bailey and students

Dr. Marcia J. Harr Bailey, associate professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Business, received the WiSys Innovation Champion Award. The WiSys award recognizes UW System leaders, faculty, staff, students or community partners who have played an integral role in building a culture of innovation at a UW System regional institution. 

“I’m grateful for this recognition,” said Harr Bailey. “I know people from our campus and other campuses who have received this same award. I have seen what they do and how transformative they have been for other people; it feels great to be recognized.”

UW-Platteville offers an entrepreneurship and innovation minor, and according to Harr Bailey, students from across the colleges are embarking on that program. She said the School of Business will be offering more entrepreneurship opportunities throughout the school year.

“I see a lot of students who are interested in product design and development on the engineering side,” said Harr Bailey. “We also have students interested in app development and new digital tools that are being created. Students are excited when they find our programming.”

One of the new programs being offered this fall is Innovation Living Learning Community (LLC). New freshmen that have chosen this LLC will live in the same residence hall and participate in a new course together, The Startup Open, and participate in co-curricular and leisure activities. Harr Bailey said students of all disciplines are welcome to participate in the Startup Open course this fall, where they will live the early days of a startup founder.

“The students will be working in teams to come up with a solution to a problem they have encountered. We will do an intensive weekend activity with that,” explained Harr Bailey. “We are also going to have the Innovation On-Ramp with our partners with WiSys Technology Foundation. [Innovation On-Ramp] will prepare students for the Prototype Hackathon. At the end of the semester, we’ll have the Entrepreneur Showcase. It will show all the different entrepreneurship activity that took place during the fall semester.”

As the new academic school year gets underway, Harr Bailey said she enjoys watching her students grow and gain confidence through her entrepreneurship courses. She is also looking forward to seeing all the creativity stemming from the Huff Family Innovation Center and Idea Hub Accelerator

“All of these various efforts are coming together into a purposeful pipeline to help new ideas become reality,” she said.  “We want our campus to be seen as a destination for innovation.”

With new innovative ideas being developed around campus, Harr Bailey notes she’s going through the same process as her students. She is a new startup founder herself, establishing Prototype Your Life.

“It’s based on teaching the entrepreneurship mindset to students,” said Harr Bailey. “I found that what I was teaching was working so well with students – building their confidence – giving them the different skills sets they need, it’s useful for anybody, but really paramount when you are an entrepreneur. I’m excited to go through the process, talk with my students about it and tell them what I’m learning.”

For more information on the Innovation Living Learning Community, e-mail Dr. Marcia J. Harr Bailey at harrbaileym@uwplatt.edu.