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Is it possible to be a entrepreneur and a engineer at the same time.


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Pratap’s Answer

Great question -- Ability to "Think like an Entrepreneur and "Act like an Innovator" are critical to succeed in a career.

Today, many corporations encourages this approach and enables their engineering teams to learn and build their entrepreneurial mindset (a paradigm shift from an employee mindset!) while working on innovative projects.

Being an engineer, not only you can explore new technologies/products but also will have an excellent opportunity to be able to take risks with the support of your organization. Also, you can build your expertise and capabilities while leveraging strength of your cohorts . This entrepreneurial approach will enable you to create and add value to the organization and its customers. Otherwise, we can simply refer this as Intrapreneurship and a best way to begin with.

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Mitchell’s Answer

Hi Gvonta!
Yes, in fact many of the start ups I worked with in the past have all been started by software engineers.
If you are passionate about an idea, an engineering background can help you create it. Mixing your idea with an entrepreneurial spirit can help you monetize your idea; leading to having your own business / company / app.

Best of luck!

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Rola’s Answer

Sure. There are many companies in the world that encourage the idea of being entrepreneur. Some companies are encouraging their employees to be creative and bring new ideas and there are some companies that are offering incubating programs that can fund their employees' projects and provide financial/legal/consultative supports. But the most important thing is to be transparent and clear about owning a start-up as you don't want to hide this info and be subject to doubts.

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Nick’s Answer

A short answer to this question is that you should know that many companies provide entrepreneurial roles for people who have the talent and drive for it. There are many different levels of responsibility, power and autonomy that can be given for a project or product line for example. It may be tailored by the person's abilities or the overall company structure. Companies are interested in developing talented people. Engineering is a very good start for an entrepreneurial role because there's so much technology in many kinds of businesses.

An entrepreneurial engineer must have an open mind an interest across all business functions such as Sales, Marketing and Finance. They must have an intense interest in the customer. They must be ready to deal with schedules and human resource matters. They need to understand where their material resources come from and how they are transformed into a product and used by the customer.

Some engineers prefer to excel within their technical field but many have followed an entrepreneurial track with great success if they have that interest.

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Drew’s Answer

Gvonta,

I am a licensed Professional Engineer in private practice and have always been an entrepreneur. Engineering education teaches how to solve problems. In any organization you will see problems that no one else notices and with you problem solving training you will be able to find creative solutions. While working for US EPA and with the US Navy several times I was able to identify and solve problems before my supervisors and managers realized there something was amiss. On at least three occasions I reached far outside the organization to tap resources that were no cost to my employer and without their knowledge until the solution was in place. That was fun.

After 12 years I felt I had learned about 80% of what I could learn at EPA and went into solo private practice in 1988. It has been important to continually improve and expand what I can do for clients. Over the years I have become Board Certified in Environmental Engineering, Industrial Hygiene, Safety Engineering and Forensic Engineering. I started with a Master of Engineering, earned a MBA while at EPA, and at 72 I am completing a MS in Mechanical Engineering. Most or my work now is forensic engineering applying all of the skills I have learned over the years.

The skill to correctly identify problems and solutions is what engineers do for their employers and clients.

Drew recommends the following next steps:

Get an engineering education, preferably through the Master's Degree
Become licensed as soon as possible
Keep learning
Have fun in this exciting career as an entrepreneural engineer,

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Jac’s Answer

Absolutely! Engineers on the founder team is huge. Engineers bring a different perspective and credibility, especially from an investor perspective and from your staff. While you can tackle being a solo entrepreneur, consider getting a partner who has opposite skills from you so there's a good balance and you can focus on being extra good at what you're already good at.

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