September 2009

Enhancing Entrepreneurship Education and Training via the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Lab

Rutgers University, 2009 - $10,000

This grant will help to meet the demand at Rutgers for more entrepreneurship-focused education by creating educational and training materials for the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Lab (REL). The REL will become part of the Business, Engineering, Science, and Technology Institute (BEST) at RU, a new interdisciplinary institute created by the Business school. The benefits of BEST include windows for hands-on, real-life study through project and case studies; internship and employment opportunity; and the generation of actual business plans based on real IP. Activities of the Rutgers Startup Fund, a donation-funded program that identifies, funds, and advises promising Rutgers IP, will be integrated with this new educational program. The Rutgers Entrepreneurship Society, a student-run organization, and the Next-Phase Workshops, a continuing education program that focuses on business intelligence for startups and small companies, will also serve as outreach and extension activities for REL. In accordance with the supply-chain of innovation commercialization, the proposed REL will be divided into “innovation stations,” stations that concentrate on a different element of the innovation/entrepreneurship process. Students will be able to progress in an organized and efficient manner in order to meet their goals. Stations include a brainstorming area, a technical area, and a mentoring area.

Information, Innovation and International Development (I3D)

University of California - Berkeley, 2009 - $36,500

This grant will create I3D, a new three-course sequence at UC–Berkeley. I3D will focus on addressing information-related problems within global development using affordable design and social entrepreneurship. Courses will be taught by faculty from the School of Information and the School of Business. The first course in the sequence will focus on background and design methods, immersing students in the fundamentals of affordable design for developing countries. Multidisciplinary E-Teams will be matched with potential projects and partners. The second course will concentrate on taking E-Teams and faculty to do fieldwork at an international site to investigate the problem they seek to address and/or observe existing pilots. The third course will allow students to receive feedback from experts and entrepreneurs who have launched successful ventures in the developing world. Students will create a business plan, including a long-term funding and revenue model and appropriate next steps.

Companies launched by NCIIA grantees

Take a look at the companies that have launched in part due to NCIIA funding. Going back eleven years, it's a great rundown of the impact our E-Teams have had and continue to have in diverse markets across the globe. We're excited to see what the next eleven years will produce!


Stanford University, 1998 - $8,100

Recipient of two NCIIA grants, the Xtracycle E-Team developed a cargo bicycle conversion kit that transforms a standard bike into a "sport utility bicycle," or SUB. The kit stretches out the rear wheel behind the seat, creates a big, stable platform on top of the rear wheel for a load or a passenger, and places expandable saddlebags on either side. The bike is still lightweight and fast because the load is centered between the wheels, helping fill the void between large, cumbersome utility tricycles and small, ineffective racks and bags. Its versatility and performance make it ideal for hauling loads that were previously considered too long, too heavy, or too fragile to be transported by bicycle, from surfboards to passengers to groceries.

The team evolved from a group of students at Stanford into Xtracycle LLC (, a manufacturer, educator, and vehicle for social change. The company promotes their proprietary designs as boundary-pushing bicycles and soul-satisfying alternatives to automobile dependence. Profits from Xtracycle support Worldbike (, a non-profit organization that seeks to make their technology available to people in developing countries.

Both companies are targeting sustainable transportation as their ultimate goal.


Xtracycle is going strong! Employing eight people and with sales over $1million/year.

2009 Olympus Innovation Award winners

2009 Olympus Innovation Awards Winners Announced!

Recognizing faculty excellence and innovation in higher education

From left: Mike Camp, Andy Hargadon, Phil Weilerstein (NCIIA), Gifford Pinchot III, Jill Bamburg, and Dave Willard (Olympus).

This year's Olympus Innovation Award winners were announced at a ceremony at the NCIIA's 13th annual conference, held in Washington DC, on March 20. The awardees are:

Olympus Innovation Award

  • Michael Camp, academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business

Listen to Mike's acceptance speech 

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Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award

  • Gifford Pinchot III, president emeritus, and Jill Bamburg, dean emeritus, Bainbridge Graduate Institute

Listen to Gifford's acceptance speech

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Listen to Jill's acceptance speech:

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 Read about Jill's work in Enterprising Women (Note that you will be asked to provide brief contacts details before proceeding. The byline can be found on page 26).


Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award

  • Andrew Hargadon, associate professor, Graduate School of Management, University of California–Davis

Listen to Andy's acceptance speech:

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Read more about Andy's work:

•    The Olympus Innovation Award ($10,000) recognizes the work of an outstanding faculty member in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

•    The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award ($2,500) recognizes the sustained contributions of an outstanding faculty member who has devoted his or her career to innovative education.

•    The Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award ($1,000) recognizes the work of a faculty member who, early in his or her career, shows outstanding leadership promise in the field of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

Listen to David Willard, Director of Employee Communications & Community Services at Olympus, talk about the Awards


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Design, Development, and Implementation of a Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship Course Series at PSU

Pittsburg State University, 2006 - $26,721

This grant supports the creation of a three-course sequence designed to promote entrepreneurship, teamwork, and innovative thinking among undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of plastics, composites, and nanotechnology. The first course, Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship, is an introduction to entrepreneurship and the study of science, engineering and technology enterprise. The second course, Advanced Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship, emphasizes new product development, while the third course, Strategic Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship, examines strategic planning for new ventures in plastics and nanocomposites. Each course is designed for ten to fifteen students working individually or in teams. It is hoped that two or three key projects will be initiated, developed and implemented by students in the second and third course each semester. Courses will move beyond lecture formats to include the use of practicums, field trips to local companies and industries, and case studies.

An Integrated Project-Based Course in Mathematics and Engineering

Savannah State University, 2006 - $7,500

This grant supports a new mathematics course at SSU that seeks to increase retention rates of minority students, introduce engineering problem-solving methodologies in mathematics courses, and promote teamwork among students. The course is meant to target, initially, ten first year students as well as E-Teams of two to four sophomore students in engineering and technology programs.

The project-based course will use an application-oriented, hands-on approach, addressing only the salient math topics actually used in a variety of core engineering and technology courses. Course material will emphasize physical experiments and projects in collaboration with industrial partners. Introducing E-Teams into the course will allow the university to partner with local companies to simulate collaboration between public and private sectors. A team of Electronics Engineering Technology faculty, students and industry mentors will design and develop animatronics and emotional face display robots. Students will be challenged to develop models with the purpose of creating interest in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The long-term goal is to have students create product prototypes that can be commercialized by an external company.

Creating Business/Engineering Multidisciplinary E-Teams

Texas A&M University, 2006 - $47,400

This grant supports the creation of a two-course sequence in which student teams spend their senior year working with industry and/or regional entrepreneurs to develop a product idea and bring it to the prototype stage. E-Teams are comprised of engineering and business students who participate in the capstone course as well as a seminar series on ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. All of the E-Teams focus on the needs of the first-responder community as well as medical applications, thus allowing students to gain both an appreciation for entrepreneurship and a respect for the contributions made by law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS personnel.

Pedagogical Transformation of Intercollegiate Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at San Antonio

University of Texas - San Antonio, 2006 - $40,800

This grant supports the expansion of a current undergraduate course by combining undergraduate engineering senior design projects with graduate Management of Technology students focused on forming new technology ventures. The curriculum stems from a newly created Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, a joint center between the College of Business and College of Engineering and builds on an experimental course from fall 2006 that paired engineering teams with graduate students in business.

NCIIA funding is helping to transfer senior design projects by creating an entrepreneurial focus for the design projects. Successful interdisciplinary teams will become E-Teams geared towards launching a new technology venture. The university will provide IP protection and link teams with advisors, incubator space, and potential venture funding.


2011: Since receiving NCIIA funding, more than 300 students have participated in the program. Four new companies formed (Limelight Technologies, PREE, Invictus and Aidpro) and four licensing agreements were executed.