February 2010

Vote for your favorite MMM2010 team!

Cast your vote for the best March Madness for the Mind 2010 video now!We've partnered with Inventors Digest to showcase some of the top student invention teams during the March Madness for the Mind public exhibition at the Exploratorium in San Francisco on March 27. Participating teams have created very cool short videos that tell the story of their innovation. Watch the videos and vote for your favorite team! The winning team will be announced at the Exploratorium, and will be awarded $800. Cast your vote by March 19! 

Joseph Steig

Joseph Steig leads the Venture Well program for the NCIIA. He has twenty years' experience as an advisor and CFO to entrepreneurial companies and non-profits. He also advises Long River Ventures, a regional venture capital firm, in the role of consulting CFO. He grew up in Vancouver, Canada and graduated with a BA from Hampshire College.

Humera Fasihuddin

Humera Fasihuddin oversees the NCIIA's acclaimed national workshop series and manages BMEidea, a national student competition in biomedical engineering. Since she joined the NCIIA staff in 2005, there have been over 75 Invention to Venture workshops throughout the country, reaching thousands of participants. In 2006, she launched the Advanced Invention to Venture workshop series, a 3-5 day intensive, hands-on workshop for student and faculty teams committed to commercializing their innovative products. The AI2V series continues to grow, and many participants have called it the single most important turning point for their startups. Humera is the co-founder of Edical May, a manufacturing and business development company enabling scale-up of new medical devices. She spearheaded the Western Massachusetts Regional Technology Corporation. Humera began her career at materials manufacturer Intelicoat. She worked her way up from operations to technical support, and finally to managing a $40 million business unit in the CAD arena and cultivating a new digital proofing business unit. Humera earned her MBA from UMass-Amherst in 2000 and her B.S. in Mathematics (minor in Economics) from Smith College in 1992.

DJ Kleinbaum

D.J. Kleinbaum is a graduate student at Stanford University. His specialties include synthetic organic, bioconjugate, and bio-compatible chemistry; solid-phase synthesis and purification of oligonucleotides; fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy; and Java and Perl programming.

Mark Mendel

Mark Mendel is an invention development manager at Intellectual Ventures. Prior to joining Intellectual Ventures, he served as a consultant and helped to nurture multiple biotech and medical device companies through their seed stage, including Proteon Therapeutics and ValveXchange, where he served as start-up CEO. Previously, Mark served as managing director of RiverVest Venture Partners, which he co-founded. While at RiverVest, he served as founding CEO and later Chairman of the Board of Auxeris Therapeutics. He also led investments in and served as a member of the board of CyDex, and as a board observer at Conforma Therapeutics (acquired by Biogen-Idec), CGI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Xcyte Therapeutics (acquired by Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals). Before RiverVest, Mark was a vice president with ARCH Venture Partners. Mark worked in medical research at the Scheie Eye Institute and at Massachusetts General Hospital, in product development at ALYX Medical, and in manufacturing at Polaroid. Mark earned his BS in mechanical engineering at Cornell University and received his MSE and PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kannan Narayan

Kannan Narayan has over one-and-a-half decades’ experience in funding, investing, incubating and starting small industry. Kannan’s last assignment was with Polaris Software Lab., Ltd as a Vice President, handling M&As, divestitures, incubations and internal process monitoring. He also incubated a technology company as an interim CEO. Kannan advises startups on scale-up and venture capitalists in value investing.

Reihem Roy

Reihem Roy supports Villgro’s fund development and management. Prior to joining Villgro, Reihem worked with the United Nations’ West and Central Africa Agriculture Investment Portfolio with IFAD. Reihem is an energy economist.

Kurt Paterson

Kurt Paterson currently serves as Director of Michigan Tech’s D80 Center (www.d80.mtu.edu), a consortium of twenty research, education, and service programs dedicated to creating appropriate solutions with the poorest 80% of humanity. His research, teaching and service interests focus on appropriate technology for public health, international project-based service learning, and engineering education reform. Paterson teaches courses on creativity, engineering artistry, and community-inspired entrepreneurship. He has served the American Society for Engineering Education in numerous capacities, as a member of the International Strategic Planning Task Force, the International Advisory Committee, and Global Task Force, and as Chair of the International Division. He actively serves Engineers Without Borders-USA, as a chapter co-advisor, education committee chair, and lead on EWB’s efforts to examine its educational impacts. He is currently PI on several NSF-funded projects involving the design and assessment of project-based service learning. He is co-author of two books released in late 2009: "Engineering in Developing Communities: Water, Sanitation, and Indoor Air," and "Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, and Design."


Kurt Paterson has applied for and been awarded 1 grant

  • Eco-Innovating a Better World

    Began May, 2008 and ended May, 2011

    At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, world leaders established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs represent commitments to reduce poverty and hunger, and to tackle ill health, gender and educational inequality, lack of access to clean water, and environmental degradation. Michigan Tech has created an international education strategy over the past decade with six distinct programs. These programs have recently formed the D80 Center, dedicated to alleviating suffering and inequity through development for the world’s poorest 80%. To date, more than 350 students have participated in one or more of these programs, working on more than 400 projects in 25 developing countries. As the radius of influence of these programs expands, the potential for innovation across disciplines and across cultures grows. This proposal seeks to increase multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation by: • Strengthening the newly created International Sustainable Development Engineering Certificate through an infusion of entrepreneurship theory and practice. This will be accomplished by hosting speakers and workshops to promote integration of appropriate design, community-inspired innovation, and social entrepreneurship; • Creating the D80 Studio for conceptualization, prototyping, and testing of appropriate design and technologies, thereby creating a unique concept-to-marketplace experience for students. • Scaling-up our successes by: developing advising materials for integrating Certificate programs into campus-wide curricula; developing Master’s International Peace Corps Graduate Programs and Certificates in International Sustainable Development in Business and Mechanical Engineering; and forming partnerships among industry, developing communities, non-governmental organizations, faculty and students to address the MDGs in novel ways.

    With the team:

    • Ms. Lynn Artman Administrator of Foundation Relations, Research and Sponsored Programs, Michigan Technological University
    • Kurt Paterson
    • Dr. Timothy Schulz Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan Technological University
    • Dr. Neil Hutzler Chair, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Chris Swan

Chris Swan is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and adjunct associate professor of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He also serves as managing partner of E^3 Innovative Materials, LLC; a company focused on the research and development of viable reuse strategies for waste materials. Dr. Swan has also served as chair of Tufts CEE department (2002-07) and as an officer in the Environmental Engineering division of ASEE (2001-05). Dr. Swan’s current interests lie in the areas of waste reuse and service-based teaching in the engineering curriculum--often in synergistic ways. Such synergies naturally progressed to research on engineering education and training utilizing project-based learning and service-learning pedagogies--specifically their potential impacts on student learning and how these impacts may be evaluated and assessed.

David Barbe

David Barbe is Executive Director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech). He received B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University in 1962 and 1964, respectively. In 1969, he received the Ph.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University in Electrical Engineering.


David Barbe has applied for and been awarded 3 grants

  • Alertus Technologies

    Began March, 2003 and ended April, 2004

    The Alertus Technologies E-Team ("Alertus"), in a unique partnership with the University of Maryland, College Park, through the Hinman CEOs (Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities) Program, is develiping a proprietary wireless communications solution for the dissemination of emergency warning and emergency notification information. The system will utilize an innovative wireless digital communications technology to achieve a state-of-the-art dissemination mechanism. The Alertus E-Team is seeking funding for pre-launch and initial launch costs that will be incurred to offer this system to closed communities (university campuses, industrial campuses, government buildings, skyscrapers, etc.) including prototype development, testing, and patenting expenses. Existing warning systems on the market are technologically obsolete and generally only contain centrally located sirens and limited public announcement capabilities, which do not fully cover the empowering information to the right people at the right time. For the cost of traditional systems, Alertus will provide a secure and localized digital text-based emergency alert system. The Alertus system will contain four pieces of proprietary technology: (1) a front-end software interface into which emergency alerts can be inputted; (2) conversion software transforming data entered through computers into wireless communique (3) protocols for security and encryption; and (4) mobile-capable information receivers, equipped with small screens, strobe lights, and sirens, that can be triggered remotely by an information-sender.

    With the team:

    • Evan Crierie Office of Research Administration & Advancement, University of Maryland
    • David Barbe
  • Know Wear Kinetic Performance Optimization

    Began August, 2003 and ended July, 2004

    The Know Wear Team proposes to create an innovative, portable device for athletes wishing to optimize their kinetic performance by enhancing the information available to them with a system for incorporating GPS and accelerometer technology. The prototype will consist of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Garmin GPS receiver, antenna, a Parallax Basic or Java Stamp microcontroller, external Smart Card memory for data logging, backlit display, and a tri-axial accelerometer system. The prototype will be designed to complement bio-feedback systems such as heart rate monitors, ultimately giving the user detailed statistics corresponding to an inteval of motion. The data will be transferable to a computer on which specific software applications would analyze the readings according to various sports.

    With the team:

    • Evan Crierie Office Administrator, Office of Research Administration and Advancement, University of Maryland
    • David Barbe
  • David F. Barbe, University of Maryland

    Began December, 1969 and ended December, 1969

    Provost Nariman Farvardin, in his letter of nomination, states that Dr. Barbe’s contributions at the University of Maryland (UM) have been transformational, and the basis for this statement should be evident from the documents that support this nomination. Starting in 1999 when there was essentially no technology entrepreneurship culture at UM, Dr. Barbe developed, over several years, a comprehensive set of programs, curricula and activities that have established an exciting and effective tech entrepreneurship culture on the UM campus. This culture has impacted over a thousand students and faculty at UM as well as entrepreneurs across the region and the nation. His vision, personal commitment and hard work have moved UM forward into the top tier in terms of tech entrepreneurship. His contributions go well beyond the UM campus. His Hinman CEOs program and Technology Startup Boot Camp have become national models that are replicated across the US. Also, the award-winning Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Program which he conceived in the 1980’s has received national acclaim for its innovation and effectiveness. In summary, Dr. Barbe has a proven record of sustained and effective leadership in creating one of the leading innovative technology entrepreneurship cultures at a US university through multiple successful programs. In conclusion, it is believed that the innovations and positive transformational change that Dr. Barbe has achieved for the University of Maryland and the translation of these results to other universities are truly worthy of the Olympus Innovation Award.

    With the team:

    • David Barbe