August 2010

David Mims - Rice University


November 2010

  • Idenitifed numerous student teams from Rice for NCIIA grants, and guided these teams through the process.
  • Driving collaboration between research labs, engineering schools and graduate business school.
  • Working on Entrepreneurship@Rice, a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs on camnpus to gain access to ideas, networks, resources and funding.
  • Planning an Invention to Venture for January 2011.



David received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1995) from Rice University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree (2011) at the Jones Graduate School of Business, also at Rice University. In addition to his academic pursuits, David is the President of the Jones Student Association, Vice-President of the Entrepreneurship Club, a frequent contributor to the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and has received scholarships from the Jones Graduate School of Business, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the Greater Houston Business Ethics Roundtable.

Prior to returning to graduate school, David spent almost fifteen years in operations management and business development roles in financial publishing, IT, telecommunications, and legal services organizations. In 2002, David founded FullView Partners, an Electronic Discovery management and consulting firm that maintained clients in five states and employed up to 45 attorneys, legal, technical, and software development professionals. The firm’s business focused on a number of high-profile, federal criminal cases, and introduced significant innovation to the industry.

After completing his MBA, David plans to continue in leadership roles in start-up organizations that develop innovative business solutions and create sustainable employment opportunities, while serving the Rice University and Houston, Texas communities.
David's vision
Throughout my career in entre- and intra-preneurial roles, I have developed a passion for developing and delivering innovative solutions to businesses that create sustainable employment opportunities for the communities that I serve.  Rice University is a premier research institution, with vibrant science and business graduate and undergraduate communities, who have the enthusiasm to bring ideas to the marketplace.  My goal is to leverage the structure of the NCIIA program and existing services of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship to create a nexus of entrepreneurial activity at Rice that will accelerate the development of business opportunities for our broader constituencies.

Adam Smith - Portland State University


November 2010

  • Organized a record breaking Invention to Venture workshop on Feb 12, 2011. 207 people attended!
  • Attended Oregon Entrepreneurship Network events and Portland State Business Accelerator events.
  • Planning an NCIIA IdeaLab for August 2011.



Adam Smith is an MBA student at Portland State University concentrating on Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, despite countless jokes from professors that Economics seems a more appropriate calling.  Originally from Montana, Adam moved to Portland in 2001 to pursue his undergraduate degree, also at Portland State, in Sociology and Spanish.  In college, he recognized that in addition to the importance of coursework, the experiences and resources available through student leadership activities were a major source of inspiration for developing his passions.

Adam is also the Director of Membership for the PSU Alumni Association.  He was hired to create and manage the association’s new membership program.  The experience of building a complex program from the ground up led him to question what it means to be an entrepreneur.  He’s held two professional positions since he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, both of which have been newly created jobs within an organization.  He’s never filled anyone else’s shoes, so to speak, and has realized that he’s happiest when building a new program, service, or product.
Adam recently invented his first consumer product, a kitchen tool which he licensed with a major housewares manufacturer.  “One of the most encouraging things I’ve learned is that there are multiple forms of entrepreneurship”, he said, “and for me, it’s liberating to think in those terms.  No matter what your job or career goals may be, you should incorporate your own stamp on it, and you’ll become better at what you do as a result.  That’s one definition of entrepreneurship for me”. 


Adam's vision

As an ambassador for NCIIA, I hope to encourage other students and faculty to take formal steps to turn their ideas into real, innovative new ventures. 

NCIIA Student Ambassadors program

What is an NCIIA Student Ambassador?

  • NCIIA Student Ambassadors work to create networks and events that inspire university entrepreneurs; encourage them to become involved in NCIIA programs and activities; and support them to create inventions and innovations that have a social benefit. We believe that to be most effective at catalyzing innovation and entrepreneurship among students on university campuses, we need to work with the people on the ground.


What's new for 2011-12?

  • We learned a lot from our first cohort and have made some improvements to the program, which we hope will make navigating your university system easier.  Students chosen for the 2011-12 cohort will also have the benefit of learning from the experiences and challenges of the 2010-11 Student Ambassadors.

What's in it for me?

  • Valuable experience in marketing, program planning, networking and managing projects. Plus, you'll be recognized as an expert in entrepreneurship on your campus, and you'll be part of a renowned, national program.
  • Money for you: $2,000 for 12-months work, plus the opportunity to win trips to relevant conferences or workshops, like SXSW Interactive, Always On Conference, CEO Conference and/or the NCIIA Annual Conference.

What does the Student Ambassador do? 

Check out the 2011-12 job description:

The NCIIA is looking for energetic, organized and inspiring student leaders to catalyze and promote NCIIA programs and offerings on campuses and within the surrounding communities. 

The ideal candidate will have a passion for organizing and supporting university entrepreneurs (students and faculty interested in bringing their idea or innovation to market) and an active interest and/or experience in entrepreneurship.  This person will also be a master networker and organizer and skilled at working with various groups and constituents including students, faculty, administrators, alumni and local entrepreneurs.  Expertise in utilizing social networking tools and a background in leading student organizations is highly desired.  Undergraduate or graduate students associated with STEM, business, marketing or entrepreneurship programs are encouraged to apply.

You will:

  • Plan, organize, promote and conduct an Invention to Venture, TedX or comparable workshop during the fall semester;
  • Utilize and manage social networking tools and marketing resources to promote NCIIA events, programs, and resources;
  • Work with (or organize) student groups to encourage students to attend and participate in events and programs for university entrepreneurs;
  • Meet with key stakeholders on campus and in the area to learn about and promote resources for university entrepreneurs;
  • Conduct a landscape analysis of the campus and report results to NCIIA and key campus stakeholders;
  • Provide NCIIA Outreach Team a calendar of campus programs, competitions and events related to innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Serve as a liaison between campus administrators and faculty and NCIIA.

Sounds like me! How do I apply?

The application is now open for the 2011-12 cohort.  Deadline is May 31, phone interviews will be conducted in early June and the cohort will be notified at the end of June.  If you are chosen you will be required to attend a mandatory training session at NCIIA headquarters August 3-6.

  Apply today!


2011 conference schedule and registration now live

The schedule and registration for Open 2011, NCIIA's 15th Annual Conference, are now live. Log in and register now!

NCIIA's Open, the premier conference for faculty and students involved in technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education, will take place March 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

2010 Olympus Innovation Award Winners

The 2010 Olympus Innovation Award winners were announced at a ceremony at the NCIIA Annual Conference on March 26 in San Francisco.

Visit our Youtube channel to see the winners talk about their awards.

Olympus and NCIIA congratulate:

Paul Hudnut, an Entrepreneurship instructor at Colorado State University’s College of Business, won the 2010 Olympus Innovation Award for his creation and development of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program (GSSE), a speciaized three-semester graduate business program that trains students to become global social entrepreneurs. In teaching, Hudnut uses his start-up experience to help inform and inspire budding entrepreneurs about starting new ventures, and their power to change the world. One such venture is Envirofit, which sells products in India and the Philippines that increase incomes and reduce pollution. Hudnut’s leadership in starting the GSSE program at CSU, as well as sharing his ideas about innovation and entrepreneurship at other universities, has been widely recognized and appreciated by faculty and students. The Olympus Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who fosters an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods, projects and case studies. 




Jerry Engel, adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, was granted the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award for his leadership in establishing The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, of which he is the faculty director and founder. One of the first entrepreneurship programs at any U.S. business school, the Lester Center has taught and inspired hundreds of Haas student entrepreneurs over nearly 20 years. Through emphasizing technology entrepreneurship and experiential learning, Engel’s creation and development of the Global Entrepreneurship Education Initiative, which has trained more than 800 international engineering, science and business faculty through more than 45 seminars in 22 countries, has had an impact on students and faculty all over the world. Additionally, Engel utilized his experience abroad to help launch and improve entrepreneurship programs at numerous universities around the world. The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own universities and throughout academia.



Dr. Jeffrey Blander, course co-director HST939, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard Medical School and MIT, captured the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award.  This award recognizes an individual who has greatly inspired innovative thinking in students and whom the judges believe has significant potential to make important future contributions to the field. Dr. Blander is recognized for his course, Designing Technology Innovation for Global Health Practice. The course works closely with field-based partners in developing countries and the U.S., nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and industry sponsors which enable teams of students to work on projects that prioritize grassroots solutions to address "real world" problems. The first two years of enrollment included more than 80 students from across MIT and Harvard, with 20 projects in eight developing country settings. Dr. Blander’s professional passion extends far beyond the classroom in his role as director of the Bienmoyo foundation. In this role Dr. Blander has expanded training and cultural exchange programs for students and professionals to implement solutions that improve the quality of life of patients and create new sustainable business models in health care in Tanzania.



We will begin accepting nominations for the 2011 Olympus Innovation Awards on September 7, 2010. Stay tuned!



Former E-Team gets VentureWell Investment

Former E-Team Therapeutic Systems is the second student venture to receive investment funds from NCIIA's venture development company, VentureWell.

Therapeutic Systems, which formed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,  has developed a new therapy system - a wearable vest - for people with autism. The vest system provides a therapy known as Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS) that treats people by applying firm pressure to the chest, much like the feeling of a hug. The vest offers users much more control over the sensation they seek: the inflatable system can be inserted into any off-the-shelf vest and can safely apply a range of pressure. Autism is an increasingly diagnosed condition in the US: one in every 110 children will have the condition.

Therapeutic Systems was considered for VentureWell investment after progressing through NCIIA's venture development program. As a student team, Therapeutic Systems particpated in the 2005 BMEIdea competition, the Invention to Venture and Advanced I2V workshops, received an E-Team grant in 2007 and presented at the 2009 March Madness for the Mind showcase of student innovation.

Earlier in the year, VentureWell made its first investment in former E-Team Whole Tree.


open 2010 something

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