December 2000

Life Science Entrepreneurship Curriculum Expansion to Certificate Program

Whitman College

With help from a NCIIA Course and Program grant, UCSF has created two new classes, and expanded two others, to form a four-course, university-accredited Certificate Program in BioEntrepreneurship. Run by the Center for BioEntrepreneurship at UCSF, each course focuses on forming E-Teams to bring biomedical innovations to market. The new and expanded courses are part of a CBE-developed suite of programs directed at campus entrepreneurial audiences at all levels of experience. These include seminars, mentoring of E-Teams, student-run programs and community outreach programs.

Integrating Engineering Educaton with Entrepreneurship to Enhance Technology Transfer

Purdue University-Main Campus

NCIIA funding supported the creation of a new class in the Master of Engineering Management (MEMP) program at Duke University, entitled Engineering Entrepreneurship. Duke professors understand that, in today’s competitive environment, it is critical for engineering students to understand business issues, and the new course addresses this need. The course is designed to combine classroom entrepreneurship training with a team-based project whose goal is to develop a business plan to commercialize Duke University intellectual property. Teams of 4-6 students assess the technical and commercial viability of 3-5 inventive concepts developed by Duke researchers. The teams develop business plans and present them to a panel of judges consisting of business experts and potential small business investors. If the plans/products show commercial promise, the teams apply for NCIIA E-Team grants as well as receive funding from Entrepreneurial Fellowships from Duke University and the Duke Start-Up Challenge.

Global Design Solutions

The Global Design Solutions Project (GDSP) was conceived in 2001 with a goal of creating partnerships between international corporations and multi-national institutions of higher education. In March of 2003, the NCIIA funded a small planning grant for Phase I of the GDSP; now the NCIIA is funding Phase II, in which Finlandia University collaborates directly with Columbia College to form independent and multi-institutional E-Teams. Other Phase II partner schools include Kuopio Academy and Lahti Design Institute (Finland), Columbus (Ohio) School of Art & Design, and schools in Germany and the United Kingdom. In the fall of 2004, the partner institutions will form the first interscholastic E-Team, consisting of three students from each school. Issues such as communications, logistics, and assessment will be studied to further program development in anticipation of subsequent phases involving multiple, international academic institutions. In the spring of 2005, four joint E-Teams of ten students each will be formed to solve design problems presented by the corporate partners. Each team will include one business student, furthering the cross-disciplinary goals of the GDSP. Future E-Teams are expected to be truly international in scope, bringing together students and faculty from schools in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

E-teams in D-lab: Promoting Invention and Innovation for International Development

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-lab is a four-part series of courses and field trips that focus on international development, appropriate technologies, and sustainable solutions for communities in developing countries. In the fall, students focus on issues of international development and appropriate technology and partner with community organizations in developing countries to apply what they have learned. During the winter Independent Activities Period (IAP), students travel to their partner organizations to implement their projects and identify other possibilities for collaboration. In the spring, students learn about the design process and apply it to create solutions to the problems identified on their field trip. Over the summer, students return to their field sites to implement their designs, conduct field tests, and get user feedback.

NCIIA funding helps to expand the design portion of the class to include E-Teams. 10-15 E-Teams work through the design process and construct prototypes using design methodologies and rapid-prototyping tools presented throughout the term. Guest speakers talk about their successes and failures, providing insight into project implementation strategies.

Entrepreneurial Enterprise Using E-Teams, at Michigan Technological University

California Institute of Technology

For this project, NCIIA funding supports the development of an ongoing Entrepreneurial Enterprise program at Michigan Technological University. EE builds on the success of the school’s Enterprise program, in which teams of 30-40 students with diverse skill sets are handed a project by an industrial sponsor. The team acts as a “company,” the students as “employees,” performing testing and analyses, manufacturing parts, staying within budgets and schedules, etc. The Enterprise lasts several years, and students leave and enter the Enterprise fluidly, imitating a real company.

The proposed EE program is very similar to the Enterprise program, but differs in one key way: in EE, students will not be handed a project but will instead find creative applications or modifications of technologies already "on-the-shelf” at MTU, with the intention of developing and commercializing products.

Entrepreneurial Financial Computing

University of Nevada-Reno

This project supports a new finance-based, interdisciplinary course at Pace University, titled Entrepreneurial Financial Computing. The course is designed for undergraduates in finance, management, computer science and information technology. Students form heterogeneous, interdisciplinary E-Teams whose goal is the creative solution of a financial problem for a determined market by developing commercially viable software applications. Once completed, these applications are available on a university website and released in CD-ROM formats.

Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Design

University of Miami

With the help of NCIIA funding the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology accelerated the development and implementation of a new three-course design sequence that prepares engineers and scientists for entrepreneurial careers. The sequence replaced the formerly offered single-discipline-focused senior design classes.

The first course in the sequence focuses on laying the foundations of business and technical topics; the second and third focus on team project work and the formation of E-Teams. Content includes lectures, discussions, hands-on activities, and case studies.

An appropriate faculty member or project engineer from Rose-Hulman Ventures mentors each E-Team. External advisors also support the teams.

Balance Sport Wheelchair

University of Portland

Wheelchair basketball is among the five highest risk sports for the disabled. Injuries resulting from collisions are frequent during wheelchair basketball because the athletes must not only control the ball and the game, but also themselves and their chairs.

The Balance Sport Wheelchair E-Team has designed a less cumbersome, more responsive, and safer wheelchair that employs a simple leaning/braking system to help the athlete control herself. The seat of the wheelchair sits atop a centralized column that passes through a universal join mechanism; the column extends down where it's attached to a braking system on the chair’s two large wheels. When the player leans left, the chair turns left; when they players leans right, the chair turns right; when the player leans back, the chair stops.

The E-Team consists of four students: three undergraduates majoring in industrial design, and one member of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team