This grant, which builds on a previous NCIIA grant funding student technology projects in Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, seeks to round out the program by adding two major components: 1) the inclusion of design students and mentors on E-Teams and funds for creating industry-grade prototypes, and 2) giving student teams access to incremental seed funding.
Northeastern will work in collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Students from the Mass Art Product Development Lab will be integrated into Northeastern’s I-Cubator teams. Based on student team investment pitches, teams will be given the opportunity to raise funds of up to $3,000, with a strategic focus on design as a key project component. At the end of the one-year program, projects may then be commercialized, returned to the I-Cubator for a second year, or terminated.
Assistive Technologies (ATs) can be the single most important factor in determining whether people with disabilities can participate fully in society. However, the abandonment rate for new ATs is disconcertingly high, with inappropriate design for the user being one of the most common reasons for failure.
The University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL), which marries efforts on research- and user-driven innovations with the expertise of outside business collaborators, has had success commercializing ATs in the past, with five spin-offs to its name. This proposal seeks funding to augment a current NSF-funded HERL program, called Research Experience for Undergraduates, to support projects and educational activities related specifically to AT product development done by undergraduates. NCIIA funding will be used to support multidisciplinary teams of undergraduates working on innovation-focused projects, workshops focused on design innovation and commercialization, and tours of local companies that support early-stage product design in the AT industry.
The ultimate goal of the expanded program is the development of highly promising AT products that can be launched after completion of the NCIIA-funded project, improving the quality and increasing the quantity of highly impactful ATs.
Our fall newsletter is out. Clean energy in homes, new opportunities for faculty and students, 2010 Annual Conference and grantees from the May 2009 E-Team and Course and Program grants round. Read the newsletter here.
Ohio State University is one of the nation's leading research and development institutions, but it lags behind other state institutions in terms of technology commercialization. The number of new ventures created at the university is relatively low, and there is little or no formal venture capital invested in the region. OSU's Center for Entrepreneurship works to stimulate economic growth and development in Ohio and the greater Midwest through technology commercialization, new company formation, and improving the competitive performance of entrepreneurial firms, and is also responsible for designing and administering the university's entrepreneurship education program. The Center is currently working to create an interdisciplinary, graduate-level education and outreach program in technology entrepreneurship and commercialization (TEC). The TEC works to access new and emerging technologies through strategic partnerships with leading research centers/programs at Ohio State, top research institutions throughout the region, and select businesses dependent upon the industry base and technology platforms in the region; create market opportunities and development strategies through an interdisciplinary, graduate-level curriculum that provides advanced training in sourcing unique technologies and developing commercialization strategies for the greatest market potential; and drive technologies to market through a dynamic, web-enabled business support network that identifies key players and provides access to the critical resources needed in real time.
The graduate-level curriculum is comprised of four required courses, including Foundations of Technology Venturing, the Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Practicum 1 (Technology Commercializtion) and 2 (Technology Entrepreneurship), and one advanced elective. NCIIA funds support the development of the lab- or experience-based tech commercialization practicum, a two-course sequence that provides graduate students of all disciplines the opportunity to conduct professional, cross-disciplinary assessments of the commercial applications and market opportunities of live, cutting-edge technologies.
University of Massachusetts - Lowell, 2005 - $16,500
Faculty at UMass Lowell has developed the UMass Commercialization Lab program (UMCL) to close a gap between the university's inventions and its ability to attract enough resources for commercialization. The Lowell campus created the Commercial Venture Development program in 1998 to serve the needs of early stage companies. The university operates the business incubator with the condition that the companies hire students. More than a dozen companies have come through the CVD program, with a resulting $80 million in venture capital and institutional investments. While the program has been successful, the university is looking for a substantial increase in the rate of business creation and economic development.
The mission of the UMCL is to convert intellectual property into sustainable businesses through educational programs, research and community outreach.
Under the UMCL program, two new graduate courses have been developed as the core of the Certificate in New Venture Creation program. The certificate program is aimed at graduate students in all disciplines with an interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. One of the two courses focuses on adding value to a technology innovation through development of product platforms, project management, and exploration of sustainable production. The second is a hands-on "practicum" that allows student teams to take an idea and move it to a viable business.
Oregon State University's Austin Entrepreneurship Program, launched in 2004, includes an entrepreneurship minor for non-business majors and a residential program at Weatherford Hall. OSU faculty are now developing an E-Team a workshop and seed fund to introduce students to the concepts of innovation and problem-solving and encourage them to convert their ideas into viable business concepts. Beginning in fall 2005, OSU will offer eight free evening workshops, facilitated by an OSU business professor and open to any enrolled student. Students in the workshops will learn how to work as a team to develop a startup idea in several business areas. They will be taught and mentored by industry professionals, who, together with OSU faculty, will guide the students through the process of creating a business plan and applying for seed funding. Through a competitive process successful E-Teams will be awarded seed funds averaging $2,000 each, and will use the funds to advance their early-stage business ideas through market research, prototype development, and patent filing.