March 2011

Juan Carlo Pascua

Juan Carlo Pascua is a NCIIA Student Ambassador from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. His primary interest is renewable energy.

Eden Full

Eden Full is a NCIIA Student Ambassador and a sophomore at Princeton University studying Mechanical Engineering with certificates in African Studies and Materials Science & Engineering. As an Ashoka-Lemelson Youth Fellow and the 2009 recipient of the Weston Youth Innovation Award, Eden founded Roseicollis Technologies, an embryonic social enterprise to take her solar panel tracking invention, among other appropriate technologies, to developing communities through local innovation, awareness and engagement.

Entrepreneurship as a career path - and Open Minds 2011

Just in time for next week's Open Minds showcase, The Street talks to NCIIA's student mentoring coordinator Humera Fasihuddin about entrepreneurship as a career path for university students. Read it!

Open Minds 2011 - a showcase of the NCIIA's best student teams and startups - will be held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on Saturday, March 26. Here's a preview of the teams!




ABC News' Maternal Health Challenge seeks entries! Deadline April 29

Around the world, 350,000 women continue to die each year of complications due to childbirth. In the vast majority of cases, women are dying of preventable causes: severe bleeding, infection, obstructed labor and a host of other problems that can be averted with skilled care and improved technology.

A number of NCIIA's grantees have developed truly innovative technologies to address complications like jaundice, preeclampsia, and SIDS. Here's a chance to advance your lifesaving ideas!

ABC News' Be the Change: Save a Life, the Duke Global Health Institute, and The Lemelson Foundation have announced the Maternal Health Challenge for university students. The challenge encourages students from around the world to submit a five-minute video explaining their big idea for improving maternal health. The winner receives $10,000.

Learn more and apply at through April 29.


Gordon's Sandbox


These are YouTube videos. Click on one to view in a Shadowbox pop-up.


Open 2011 is happening now

Watch this box for live updates during the conference!

Thursday March 24 8 am: Open 2011 is in session!

Friday March 25: Now it is Friday, March 25.


Former E-Team grantee wins Lemelson-MIT Illinois prize

A former E-Team student grantee has won the 2011 $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Illinois prize.

In 2010, NCIIA awarded Scott Daigle a $20,000 E-Team grant to develop a system that utilizes automatic gear shifting to reduce the efforts exerted by wheelchair operators. Scott’s company, IntelliWheels, Inc., has an entire suite of products to improve the everyday actions of wheelchair users.

NCIIA launches online mentoring program to accelerate student startups!

What's the one thing ongoing startups attribute to their success?

Good, sound, timely advice.

VentureLab Online is NCIIA's new web-enabled venture mentoring software for colleges and universities, designed to connect student venture teams with experienced mentors. Now mentoring programs within higher-ed can provide inventors and innovators with a tool to find and maintain mentoring relationships with those who have more business expertise, start-up experience and/or specialized technical know-how. 

VentureLab Online is already being used by Arizona State University, Investors Circle and Pioneer Valley Ventures. For more information about how you can get involved, visit!

VentureLab Online: Advice that makes all the difference

What's the one thing ongoing startups attribute to their success?

Good, sound, timely advice.

It's time for you to get yours.

VentureLab Online is NCIIA's new web-enabled venture mentoring software for colleges and universities. Now mentoring programs within higher-ed can provide inventors and innovators with a tool to find and maintain mentoring relationships with those who have more business expertise, start-up experience and/or specialized technical know-how. 

For more information and to get involved, visit

Arizona State University uses VentureLab Online to support clients of Venture Catalyst, its entrepreneurial assistance initiative, as well as student entrepreneurs, who can self-match with mentors who are experienced technology entrepreneurs and executives.

“Venture Catalyst mentors help faculty, students and ASU-linked companies develop their venture ideas and build out their business models. VentureLab Online gives our mentors and students a powerful online platform for connecting and working together, and has allowed Venture Catalyst to administer a large mentor population serving a variety of entrepreneurship programs. We look forward to the opportunity to connect to mentors throughout the NCIIA network of partner universities.”

- Dan O’Neill, director of entrepreneurship and research initiatives at ASU SkySong.


Open 2011 presentations

View the slideshows and other media contributions from our Open 2011 presenters! Click a presentation title to view the presentation abstract and media.


Presenter(s): Anita Leffel, Cory Hallam
The University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) began with the mission of establishing intercollegiate technology entrerpreneurship as a cornerstone of engineering and business undergraduate education. A case study of the process creating this center is presented including the elements that have allowed for the acceleration of the program and the elements that have been barriers to overcome. In three years, the CITE has established an intercollegiate $100K New Technology Venture Competition, provided training to over 300 young technology entrepreneurs, hosted 44 New Technology Venture Pitches, created over a dozen new invention disclosures, and spun off multiple new companies and technology licenses. In addition, the implementation of programs in the center has been coupled with studies of the young technology entrepreneurs themselves to inform a more robust decision-making model for Accelerating Collegiate Entrepreneurship (the ACE model).  Back to top


Presenter(s): Carlos Vignolo, Sergio Celis
Unlike other countries, engineers have increased their relevance and market demand in recent decades in Chilean society. Engineering programs attract and enroll the best students from high schools and engineers rank in the top salary range.This success has its origins in different historical and contextual elements.In 1986, as a result of what ended up being an anticipation of current tendencies, within the industrial engineering program a new improvement process was initiated based on the incorporation of Biology of Cognition and Radical Constructivism proposals. This process, called the Learning to Start Starting by Learning (LSSL) Program, has resulted in the design and implementation of new courses, workshops, and other learning activities, all based on relating entrepreneurship skills development with the enhancement of learning capabilities.This paper is aimed at sharing the main elements and results of this innovative program in engineering education.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Ramachandran Radharamanan, Ha Van Vo, Jeng-Nan Juang
This paper presents the project-based innovation and entrepreneurship education activities of the Mercer Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program (MEEEP), developed and implemented through Kern Family Foundation grants. How the Mercer University School of Engineering (MUSE) promotes an entrepreneurial mindset among engineering students is presented in terms of curriculum development, entrepreneurship club activities, recruiting and involving students and faculty, assessment of entrepreneurship courses, and the challenges encountered in implementing/sustaining the program. The course sequence integrates elements of entrepreneurship with engineering; develops an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students; fosters innovation and creativity in engineering disciplines; and helps students to develop business plans for entrepreneurial design projects. The expansion of this program through the recently established Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will support educational interdisciplinary curricula and co-curricular activities directly benefiting students and provide multi- and cross-disciplinary teaching, learning, and research opportunities on innovation and entrepreneurship to faculty and students.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Steven Doehler, Evelyn Fitzwater, Roberta Lee
At the University of Cincinnati, a unique collaboration in translational research and development has been formed. Students and faculty from the School of Design's Industrial Design Program and College of Nursing have come together to address and solve problems that nurses encounter on a daily basis.This presentation will outline the collaboration's inception and the school's plans to sustain the program. Also included will be examples of innovative product solutions and how the program is working with the university's Intellectual Properties Office to protect these ideas and ultimately see them to market.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Kathleen Sienko, Aileen Huang-Saad, Moses Lee
We are currently piloting a Specialization in Global Health Design (GHD) at the University of Michigan. Building on the new Minor in Multidisciplinary Design infrastructure within the College of Engineering, the GHD Specialization provides interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students with a month-long project scoping experience in Ghana followed by an intense two-semester design course. After the first semester, students return to Ghana to test, re-design, and implement their solutions. Through this process, students learn to: 1) design and prototype products that address a significant global health need; and 2) explore ways to sustainably implement them through social venture creation. As of August 2010, 38 students will have completed the project scoping experience at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Projects have included: a reconfigurable obstetrics bed, a portable gynecological examination table, a mortuary truck, a blood exchange transfusion device, and a threshold-based blood pressure device.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Maria Oden
We will present on an NCIIA-supported course, "Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries," including updated outcomes, recommendations, lessons learned, and next steps.In the course, MBA and undergraduate engineering students work together to develop business plans for appropriate health technologies developed by undergraduates, including: (1) a diagnostic lab-in-a-backpack; (2) a suite of medical backpacks; (3) a dosing syringe for liquid medication; (4) micronutrient supplements; (5) warming crib and phototherapy lights; (6) an IV-drip monitor; (7) a continuous positive airway pressure machine; and (8) an improved dosing syringe, called the Accudose, to dispense liquid medication. Teams will work on new technologies in fall 2010. The interdisciplinary course helps MBA students understand the technical constraints and possibilities of the technologies, while engineering students learn how the commercialization process influences technology design. Students travel to Africa to gather data for their business plans. One team won the social ventures category of the Rice Business Plan competition.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Lonny Grafman
There is often a higher workload for teachers using real projects to bring context to their teaching and traction to the work of their students. I will present about free, open source, web-based tools that teachers (or project supervisors) can use to help manage student projects. The focus will be on two tools in particular: Appropedia and OpenPario. In addition, a brief overview of other open web tools will be provided. This talk will help "advance the field of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education" by providing information, examples and instructions on tools for project management and dissemination of future projects.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Clif Kussmaul
This paper will introduce process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) in entrepreneurship, and model a POGIL activity. POGIL has been developed and validated over the last fifteen years, primarily in chemistry education. In POGIL, teams of learners (typically 3-5) work on scripted inquiry activities and investigations designed to help them construct their own knowledge, often by modeling the original processes of discovery and research. Teams follow processes with specific roles, steps, and reports that encourage individual responsibility and meta-cognition, and should help prepare students for E-Teams. Multiple studies have examined the effectiveness of POGIL, and generally find that it significantly improves student performance, particularly for average and below-average students.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Zachary Bloom
Traditional institutions, such as universities, face the challenge of utilizing modern collaborative media and social networking platforms to instill a greater sense of community within their vast community of entrepreneurial students and professionals. When used effectively, social media can stoke the flames of entrepreneurial interactivity outside of the university's classrooms and meeting centers and make resources available beyond the traditional walls of the institution. The Dexter F. Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University has created iDex to crowd-source support for young entrepreneurs and to engage the greater Lehigh network to provide students with direct feedback and advice on their innovations and venture creation ideas. By taking the effort online, the institute demonstrates its initiative to maintain a standard for entrepreneurial education that reflects modern entrepreneurial thinking and activity.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Robert Beaury
Today, DiamondBack Automotive is a successful truck cover manufacturer in Phillipsburg, PA. In 2003, it was an idea two Penn State engineering students had for an assignment in one of PSU's engineering entrepreneurship classes.Key to the success of this venture was the close working relationship developed between the students and the entrepreneurship minor faculty. This paper chronicles that relationship, with special emphasis on how the program used innovative approaches to help the students "bootstrap" the company into existence and eventual success. The focus will be on problems encountered and solved in the areas of raising funds, development of an IP strategy and acquiring a patent, and the conflict between completing an academic career versus working on the start-up.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Dan O'Neill
ASU is implementing an approach to innovation and entrepreneurship that integrates research, education, and venture acceleration into a modular process for commercializing faculty and student research and venture ideas. In an environment consisting of 60,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff, ASU's particular challenge is to scale this process while identifying the highest potential opportunities. This paper will describe the overall process, with a focus on the importance of mentoring in scaling student involvement in the process.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Jonathan Rosen
Boston University College of Engineering has been actively involved in developing an optional new concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Studies for its undergraduate students. Multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate engineering students are participating in experiential design projects that combine technical engineering elements with strategic, sustaining, and socially relevant problem solving techniques.To more fully support these advanced teams, traditional faculty coaching is being supplemented by a new student mentoring program in cooperation with the KINDLE faculty mentoring program now offered by the BU Office of Technology Development. This program provides the organizational framework that allows alumni, community leaders, and corporate executive volunteers with specific and relevant content expertise to meet regularly with each student team.This paper will describe the elements of the program, give specific examples, and discuss the implications of this approach as a prototype for emerging innovation programs across the undergraduate campus at Boston University and beyond.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Gregory Leman, Cynthia Fry
Gaining confidence in taking new technologies to market requires experience, not just discussing cases. But real ventures don't have the time to involve engineering and business students in their work, even though they need the experience, unless the venture is actually propelled forward in the process. Baylor's Technology Entrepreneurship course, built around Enable Venture's Supercoach® Entrepreneurial Training, delivers that value to sponsors. Firms bring venture/product concepts and leave with compelling, validated stories designed for the specific audiences needed to take them to the next step. Student collaborators finish with demonstrated readiness to repeat the process in multidisciplinary, cross-cultural settings. A sustainable, growing, experiential learning platform flows specifically from this mutual benefit. This paper addresses the design, challenges and insights learned in delivering this practicum course to over 250 students and dozens of partnering ventures over the past four years in the US and China.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Karen Evans
As universities seek to provide entrepreneurial experiences to their students, it is important to examine existing policies governing intellectual property developed on campus. Often, policies that served institutions well during a time when investment in student projects (in terms of materials and heavy equipment) was significant may discourage student innovation in the digital environment. Also, existing policies may only contemplate projects developed by students and faculty, creating potential obstacles to working with industry sponsors. As in any legal scenario, whether a policy is sufficient for the activities of a given institution may not be determined until an issue arises. This paper will review some of the major intellectual property issues faced by universities seeking to commercialize student projects, including managing IP ownership when industry sponsors or government funding are involved. It will conclude with common scenarios that arise in this context and ways to address them.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Peer Sathikh
Innovation has become a "cool" word for business and enterprise in the last decade, with gurus around the world advocating innovation as a catalyst for change. But an idea requires both creative and critical thinking processes in order to become an innovation. Sathikh (2010) established the relationship between creativity and innovation and the need for capabilities beyond creativity. Sustaining innovation requires a concerted effort in human capital built around what Smith II (2009) calls "analytic" and "creative" types, managed very much like in a beehive.In this paper, the author outlines important elements for sustaining innovation such as team composition, skill and knowledge, motivation and inspiration, guide and leader, vision and focus, action and results, mapping them as a visual representation, building on his earlier visual model connecting creativity and innovation.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Khanjan Mehta, Rachel Dzombak, Carey Bell, Tara Sulewski
The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship initiative at Penn State is engaged in several entrepreneurial ventures that integrate teaching, research and outreach to educate entrepreneurial global citizens and create sustainable value for developing communities. Engaging students in publishing the observations and results of these initiatives in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings is an explicit objective of the program. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for overseeing all research efforts that involve human subjects. IRB approval and subsequent compliance is essential for appropriate conduct of research activities. This paper discusses the challenges faced and lessons learned while seeking approval and ensuring compliance from the IRB on five distinct projects undertaken concurrently in Kenya in the summer of 2010. Unexpected situations that arose while gathering data and how they were resolved is also discussed. This paper aims to share insights into planning and executing research components of international entrepreneurial ventures with similar programs.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Toby Cumberbatch
Working with, designing for, and selling to communities whose average individual daily income is less than 25 cents a day presents a set of unique challenges. SociaLite is the story of a solar-powered community lighting system that started in a first-year, first-semester engineering design class and continues today in remote rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a story about design and entrepreneurship by undergraduate students within the context of anthropology, extreme engineering and limited resources--all outcomes constrained by adherence to a minimalist framework. It is a story about providing light to the extreme poor through an independent, self-sustaining venture set close to the point of end use. In conjunction with the Ministry of Energy, students and faculty at Wa Polytechnic in the Upper West Region of Ghana, engineering and training centers are being established for the sale, assembly, installation and maintenance of these lighting systems.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Pritpal Singh, Sarvesh Kulkarni, Ruth McDermott-Levy, Elizabeth Keech, James Klingler
Trying to develop sustainable enterprises aimed at bottom of the pyramid consumers is a significant challenge, since assumptions made in the developed world do not always carry over in developing countries. This session will be focused on challenges faced, lessons learned, iterations on business model concepts, and more as students and faculty work toward the creation of sustainable enterprises in developing countries.  Back to top


Presenter(s): William Conner
For several years the author has been teaching courses that combine biomimetics and entrepreneurship to first year college students, juniors, seniors, and graduate students at a liberal arts university. The courses, taken by students from a variety of majors, form interdisciplinary E-Teams to explore innovation and new business development. Ideation is inspired by nature's solutions to problems, and many involve green technologies. The courses are beginning to bear fruit in the form of novel inventions and patents. The author believes that this approach could be useful for teaching science-based entrepreneurship in academic environments without strong engineering programs.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Lavanya Jawaharlal
This paper focuses on the study of a fascinating organism called the limpet, a dome-style, shelled organism that lives in intertidal zones. Limpets can withstand the varying amounts of pressure from crashing waves during high tide to those at low tide, when limpets must trap water in their shells to avoid being dried out. They're able to hold onto rough, uneven rocks, making it almost impossible to remove them with one's bare hands, and while biologists have studied limpets, no one has discovered exactly how they hold on to rocks with such clamping force. In this paper, the clamping mechanism of limpets will be explored and measured, and potential applications of limpet-inspired, environmentally friendly product designs will be presented. These include the development of temporary attachments on multiple terrains, underwater robotic technology, and caps for underwater oil and gas spills.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Prasad Boradkar
The non-human world provides us with a limitless--and largely untapped--reservoir for inspiration. To help access these valuable lessons from nature, companies are turning to a methodology known as biomimicry. According to estimates from Bharat Bhushan, director of Ohio State University's Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio and Nanotechnology & Biomimetics, between 2005 and 2008 alone, the top 100 biomimetic products netted $1.5 billion in profits. To capitalize on biomimicry's promise, universities must train future practitioners in this valuable new methodology. At Arizona State University, InnovationSpace is integrating biomimicry as the primary methodology for furthering sustainable innovation in new product development. At the same time, we are engaging partners across campus to develop additional curricula in biomimicry as well as to stimulate interest in using biomimicry in fundamental and applied biomimicry-based research.This paper describes our efforts to pioneer biomimicry's groundbreaking approach to sustainability in a major university.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Donald Reimer
This paper demonstrates how the involvement of entrepreneurial alumni can foster an awareness and understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset. Although Lawrence Tech has had a long and rich history of alumni involvement in student learning, the participation of entrepreneurial alumni has been limited. A relatively new organization of entrepreneurial alumni at Lawrence Tech is now engaging the student population with has an interest in learning more about their companies. This paper focuses on the process of planning, launching, operating and growing an alumni entrepreneurial organization. Few universities have effectively engaged entrepreneurial alumni as a key resource in creating an awareness and understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset. Lawrence Tech has recently embarked on this journey by taking a major step in the launching of The Legends of Lawrence Tech. This paper will provide a guide to creating an entrepreneurial alumni organization.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Dean Chang, Bob Proctor, Craig Dye
Established in 1985, Mtech's entrepreneurship programs at the University of Maryland (UMD) have grown into a dozen innovative programs in entrepreneurship education, venture creation, and industry partnerships, earning national awards and feature stories on CNN. These programs form an "innovation ecosystem": a continuum of support for entrepreneurial endeavors that weaves together technology, business, and innovation. This continuum is a system in which people, ideas, concepts and IP are transformed into seasoned entrepreneurs and sustainable companies. These programs have contributed $22 billion to the Maryland economy and helped create billion dollar industries like satellite broadband and infant respiratory medications. Key leaders from UMD's ecosystem will address issues such as vision/mission, talent/resources, measuring success, and politics in university innovation ecosystems and why all universities must nurture these ecosystems in order to help keep this country competitive.  Back to top


Presenter(s): McRae Banks
In the field of technology entrepreneurship education, there is a presumption that students and alumni will launch technology-based ventures. This paper is based on a survey of living alumni of a technological university that delved into their start-up experiences, intellectual property creation, and many other variables. Analysis of the data, which are being collected at present, should result in a test of the presumption (hypothesis), and yield rich insights into the ways that technological entrepreneurship programs can target their activities.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Cheryl Qian, Steve Visser, Victor Chen
The latest generation of innovative technologies (ubiquitous computing, tangible interaction and Internet-based systems) blur the boundaries between objects and services. Purdue University's interaction design program is its latest addition to the industrial design area. The goal is to arm students with knowledge and tools to prepare for the integration of physical and digital interaction. This paper focuses on introducing several educational approaches to integrating user experience research into the context of industrial design. These approaches lead to new interaction design courses. We discuss the experience gained from teaching and the potential for improvement. Different from traditional human-computer interaction courses in computer science, we weave real-world projects into the courses, study related cognitive and social systems to inform knowledge, employ research methodologies to evaluate and improve the design, and adopt innovative technologies to better accommodate human experience.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Andy Loewy
Leonardo da Vinci was a man of numerous exceptional talents. Beyond his individual genius, he had an understanding of the design process that allowed him to become one the world's most influential designers. Leonardo's contributions to design methodology are vast and deserve to be scrutinized and understood by educators. Research-based design, biomimicry, phenomenon-oriented discovery, content-rich drawing and the visual journal, and specialist versus generalist as designer are all fascinating areas for design educators to comprehend more fully and incorporate into design pedagogy. This paper articulates the lessons we can learn from Leonardo's process and how they can be translated into the university design studio to become powerful teaching tools. The hope is that these tools will expose our students to design concepts they can take with them for the rest of their careers.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Margot Sigur, Sirena Hargrove-Leak
Design Squad, PBS' ground-breaking engineering reality show, teaches kids about teamwork, the design process, and creativity--skills that all future innovators need. Originally designed for middle school students, Design Squad has made its way to the college engineering classroom. Meet with your colleagues and learn how they are using Design Squad to help undergraduate engineering students work better in collaborative group project settings, and to increase retention. Purdue University professor Senay Purzer will discuss her use of Design Squad episodes to build students' team problem-solving and design skills, and Elon University professor Sirena Hargrove-Leak will explain how students; outreach to local elementary school students using Design Squad's hands-on engineering activities has addressed issues relating to retention in her freshman engineering course and increased the elementary students' awareness of engineering.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Chanakya Mehta, Khanjan Mehta, Tom Colledge
Ventures in developing communities often fail because of the disconnect between the designer, the implementer and the end-user. Finding the optimum distribution of time, money and sweat equity to be shared by the communities and partnering organizations is essential to achieving sustainability. This paper discusses the "E-spot" model, which seeks to identify the right players within the venture, define their individual roles, and define what form of equity they might offer towards fulfilling the overarching objectives of the venture, while meeting their own objectives. This exploratory research effort is an attempt to develop the model, and a design space exploration tool based on the model, that enables stakeholders to allocate resources, split equities among them, successfully place technologies on the ground, and optimize opportunities to sustain their projects socially, economically and environmentally. This paper will discuss the model and simulation results for application of the model to infrastructure-based social ventures.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Patrick Walsh
What's the difference between a "conventional" business and a "social" business, in terms of mission and in terms of practice? As public and not-for-profit sector individuals have gained interest over the past decade in starting companies to accomplish their goals, dissonance has mounted over what exactly differentiates a "social" venture from any other. But fewer hard distinctions exist than we might expect. In this new all-hands-on-deck approach to problem solving, hard rules are less important than general recognition of the relationship between social utility and profit, and where it comes from.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Carl Lundgren, Jon Schull, Stephen Jacobs
In the summer of 2010, Rochester Institute of Technology initiated a campus-wide undergraduate summer research program coordinated by the new Center for Student Innovation. Students worked with faculty mentors on projects that covered the sciences, social sciences, information sciences, engineering and more. The diverse pool of students included those from the National Technical Institute of the Deaf and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). At the conclusion of the program, all teams presented results at the RIT Undergraduate Research and Innovation Symposium along with peers from LSAMP programs at Syracuse, Cornell, Clarkson and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In our presentation, student representatives from three of the projects (a novel ergonomic wheelchair, educational game development tools for One Laptop Per Child computers, and a social network system that lets alternative energy consumers share their energy and carbon reductions with the public) will share their results and impressions of this program.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Mary Raber, Valorie Troesch, Susan Amato-Henderson
Under NSF's IEECI program (EEC-0835986), we are investigating the impact that the teaching, advising, and mentoring efforts of faculty who advise project-based student teams has on the success of students, in areas such as retention in engineering majors, graduation rates, and entrepreneurial and career intentions. Although routine instructor evaluation takes place each semester for faculty advisors, no assessment project has attempted to measure the impact of our faculty's involvement on student retention and learning and career outcomes. The impacts of teaching, advising, and mentoring in programs such as MTU's Enterprise Program are not typically susceptible to the kinds of metrics used to measure research accomplishments. Therefore, a model that can directly measure quality in hands-on, discovery-based learning environments and its impact on student outcomes would be potentially transformative.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Nathalie Duval-Couetil, Shiva Haghighi, Teri Reed-Rhoads
Changes in the economy and workforce needs have led many engineering schools to consider offering entrepreneurship education to their students. This study explored engineering student levels of interest in entrepreneurship, their perceptions of its impact on self-efficacy, and characteristics of students who participate. Survey data were collected from 343 senior-level students at three institutions with entrepreneurship programs. Less than one third of those surveyed felt that entrepreneurship was being addressed within their engineering programs and most were interested in learning more about it. Students who took one or more entrepreneurship courses had significantly higher entrepreneurial self-efficacy on a number of measures. Students with international backgrounds, parent entrepreneurs, or who were within certain engineering majors, participated at higher rates. The results of this study provide valuable baseline data that can be useful for program development and evaluation.   Back to top


Presenter(s): Jon Down, Peter Rachor, Robin Anderson
This paper reports on a scorecard that can be used to assess the vibrancy of entrepreneurship ecosystems in US cities. It is based on a six-month study of entrepreneurship in Portland, Oregon with in-depth benchmarks against six comparable cites and quantitative comparison to the complete list of 51 metro areas of one million or more in population. The study identifies key indicators of a healthy environment for innovation and entrepreneurship and provides policy recommendations for improving each indicator.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Norris Krueger
The "lean start-up" model has inspired considerable passion in technology entrepreneurship, especially software entrepreneurs. Recent writings and presentations by Steve Blank, Eric Ries and others make a powerful case for an implicit theory of entrepreneurship whose key principles are applicable for any entrepreneur. The lean model posits that a start-up is simply the vehicle for figuring out a sustainable, repeatable, scalable business model: test each critical assumption in your business model; "pivot" (learn and adapt) quickly; iterate. However, the lean? model and its potential often remains misunderstood. (For example, "lean" is often interpreted as cheap, when it is really about being nimble.) We will show how the key principles of the lean start-up model can be used effectively in accelerating not just the scalability of a new venture but also its sustainability.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Todd Watkins
This presentation will discuss issues in, barriers to, and examples of developing a comprehensive multi-level pipeline of support for student entrepreneurs through all phases of business development. The programs at Lehigh University demonstrate how student startups can benefit from close collaboration among academic entrepreneurial innovation programs and early phase private and public funding sources, as well as with community, regional, state and federal business assistance and economic development organizations. The presentation will also outline how Lehigh has substantially leveraged the resources of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and its nationwide collaborative support network.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Philippe Sommer
Effectuation, the concept that entrepreneurs are people who "do," not "plan to do," is essential to the study and teaching of entrepreneurship at UVA's Darden School of Business. Built around scholarship of Darden's Batten Institute, which studies how to apply effectuation in the real world, Darden examines case studies of business formation success in its course work and encourages actual business formation through its Incubator program. That thinking and scholarship is embodied in Darden's "No-Business Plan" approach to a business launch, teaching the importance of first testing a business concept against potential customers and markets to refine the viability of a product or service, demonstrate the potential for revenue-generating demand and bringing the key stakeholders "under the tent." In this "No-Business Plan" method, writing a business plan comes last, as a tool to assist in raising capital--not determining the viability of a business.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Andrea Kanneh, Denise Thompson, Michael Smith
While world cocoa prices doubled between 2004 and 2008, thousands of rural, low-income Caribbean farmers and workers engaged in the industry have not benefitted. ICT technologies leveraged in agriculture can improve and enhance rural development, helping farmers achieve increased quality, yields and added, sustainable economic value from their crops. This paper describes an innovative, pan-Caribbean pilot project implementing a web-based, mobile telephony application incorporating GPS/GIS tracking and video streaming to support plant disease trend analysis, remote farmer training, price tracking and information sharing between farmers, the Central Cocoa Boards, extension officers and other players in the field. Initial findings of the requirements analysis for the system suggest significant potential to contribute to the revitalization of the entire value chain of the Caribbean Fine Cocoa industry in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada and Belize.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Rob Prins, Wayne Teel
Students in a capstone design course designed, built, tested, and deployed a biochar reactor. Biochar is the material remaining after biomass is heated in a controlled environment without oxygen; a process known as pyrolysis. Biochar can be used as a soil amendment with the added benefit of carbon sequestration. Furthermore, excess process heat generated in the pyrolysis process can be harvested for other uses. The biochar reactor designed and built by the students in this project was deployed at a local hydroponic greenhouse. The reactor consists of a chamber within a chamber; the outer chamber holds the fuel to drive the pyrolysis process while the inner chamber holds the biochar feedstock. Several trials were run to demonstrate that biochar was being produced and to estimate the amount of process heat available to heat hydroponic pond water.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Camille George
Breadfruit is an abundant but underutilized carbohydrate fruit that can be shredded, dried and ground into gluten-free flour. For many island nations, locally produced flour could replace imported cereals. Several organizations have collaborated with customer focus groups in Haiti to develop recipes and to design manual processing equipment. This paper describes the evolution of the shredder and insights gained in the challenging Haitian marketplace. Technological entrepreneurship requires that a need be met at a profit with a technology that works well in the customer's environment. One key element in the development of the process has been an understanding of the scale at which a new type of harvesting technique is practical and profitable. Originally designed for village-level female cooperatives using a holistic participatory framework, the manual shredder design evolved to serve a larger organizational structure.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Khanjan Mehta, Audrey Maretzki, Aaron Fleishman, Ladi Semali
Indigenous knowledge revolves around ways of knowing, seeing, and thinking that are passed down orally from generation to generation, and which reflect thousands of years of experimentation and innovation in all aspects of life. Indigenous knowledge has value for the culture in which it develops and also for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking solutions to community problems. Considering indigenous knowledge is essential when conceptualizing, validating, and implementing entrepreneurial ventures in developing communities. Penn State is producing a series of ten five-minute video clips capturing compelling stories about the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in developing and implementing strategies to address global challenges and foster development. The video stories discuss how indigenous knowledge helped solve a significant problem as well as the processes used to uncover indigenous knowledge, validate it, and apply/integrate it into community development projects in various parts of the world.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Wayne Chung
At institutions of higher-education, our responsibility is to provide methods to achieve innovative and appropriately designed man-made solutions. It is paramount to the young designers and engineers of the future that we impart the methods and experiences in a setting that allows grand, but realistic, ideas to evolve. Specific environments, elements, actors, and ingredients all play a part in forecasting the next paradigm shift in new product solutions. The following case study uses three different collaborative industry projects and product categories: a material supplier, an automotive company, and a toy company. A blend of mega trends research, traditional literature reviews, behavioral research methods, and qualitative action research methods provide a basis for informed design decisions to attain appropriate innovative results in an academic setting. This paper will provide a tested methodology for forecasting and delivering conceptual design solutions to a range of problem sets.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Tucker Marion, John Friar
In 2008, Northeastern's School of Technological Entrepreneurship received a grant to design and develop a multidisciplinary new product development course for technology entrepreneurship. In this session, we will review how the class was created, implemented, and received by students, faculty, administration, and industry. The transformational class expanded on traditional content by 1) developing baseline content of general product development practices that are common to all development projects, 2) developing tailored course content for specific technologies (such as biotechnology and software), and 3) initiating a funded multidisciplinary experiential project during the course, resulting in industry-quality prototypes.The course was developed and run in conjunction with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The combination of engineering, industrial design, and entrepreneurship has been extremely successful from a pedagogical and student project perspective. From our session, it our hope that this model can be recreated nationwide.  Back to top


Presenter(s): Burton Lee
This paper examines linkages between product design and entrepreneurship in start-up and university environments. Current models of university-based entrepreneurship focus almost exclusively on ventures generated from research performed in the laboratory. The experience of product design programs at US engineering schools, however, suggests that product design teaching programs can also be successful in generating new start-up companies on a consistent basis, and in improving their chances of survival in the marketplace. The paper will sketch the broader product design teaching and research landscape internationally, and suggest a rationale and opportunities for strengthening product design initiatives in national innovation policies and plans. Key contributions of this paper will be to firmly anchor product design as a separate and specific form of entrepreneurship-generating activity that deserves greater attention, and argue that product design teaching programs in engineering schools deserve a more prominent place alongside research-oriented approaches in national innovation strategies.  Back to top

NSF – Workshop on Systematic Innovation Tools
Presenter(s): Jonathan Weaver, Nassif Rayess, Sridhar Condoor
Much of entrepreneurship education focuses on the execution of an idea, yet many academic experiences equip students with very few, if any, concept generation techniques beyond classic brainstorming. Much of the corporate focus on innovation and intrapreneurship relates to business processes and metrics placed on corporate performance with regard to new products. The presenters believe that more intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs would succeed if they followed a structured ideation process. Thus, the presenters have been incorporating a number of systematic innovation techniques into the courses they teach in product development, innovation and creativity, and capstone design. These tools include anthropological research, painstorming, bisociation, the Kano model, axiomatic design, the trimming technique, parameter analysis, nonlinear design, DeBono's Six Hats technique, biomimicry, TRIZ, lateral benchmarking, and the Blue Ocean Strategy.This workshop will briefly introduce innovation techniques and invite participants to try several of them during the workshop.   Back to top


Presenter(s): Clif Kussmaul, Trish Boyles
NCIIA meetings are a great place to learn about assignments and activities that work for other people and could be adapted to other situations. However, many such nifty assignments (NAs) aren't presented at conferences or in formal publications. Thus, this panel session is an opportunity to share NAs with each other. A great NA is easy to adopt and adapt, relevant in many settings, thought-provoking, and fun for students and teachers.For each NA, there will be a brief (~5 min) presentation and a few minutes for questions. Each NA will be summarized in a simple template and the collected templates will be available as handouts or downloads. If time permits, we will welcome spur-of-the-moment NAs from anyone attending the session and general discussion.  Back to top

Toward a New Model of University-wide Entrepreneurship
Presenters: Michael Morris, Steve Wood, Nola Miyasaki
Based on experiences in the building of prominent entrepreneurship programs at a number of universities, this session will focus on the implementation of a novel model of campus-wide entrepreneurship program development that combines both centralized and decentralized elements, and provides a platform for dynamic innovation. Attention will be devoted to describing a unique architecture and approach to infrastructure development. Further, the session will explore the the design of both graduate and undergraduate curricula that reflects the distinct needs and requirements of faculty and students in all colleges and schools on the campus. The integration of an effective model for interdisciplinary technology commericialization will be introducted. In addition, high impact methods of entrepreneurial community engagement that reflect a university-wide focus will be examined. Time will also be allocated to examining methods for supporting interdisciplinary research on entrepreneurship.  Back to top

Exploiting Information Visualization to Reveal the Dynamism of Entrepreneurial Processes
Presenters: Erik Noyes, Leonidas Deligiannidis
This interactive workshop examines information visualization as an innovative pedagogical tool in entrepreneurship education. The workshop demonstrates how data-rich visualizations of entrepreneurship phenomena can enable student understanding of foundational entrepreneurship content, including processes of creative destruction, innovation-based competition and industry evolution. The growing field of information visualization, an offshoot of scientific visualization, examines how data-rich representations of complex phenomena can drive new insights and hypotheses. In the words of Ben Schneiderman, "Information visualization gives you answers to questions you didn't know you had." In a highly visual presentation, workshop participants will be engaged to discuss, explore and critique a visual approach to teaching entrepreneurship. The workshop advances the field of entrepreneurship education by considering the needs of visual learners and the untapped potential of new media in entrepreneurship education.  Back to top

Chindogu: The Japanese art of invention
Presenter: Francisco Ruiz
In the Japanese art of "chindogu," people create something new, not obvious, and purposely not useful. But what is not useful to a majority of people can seem eminently useful to some. Exploring the art of chindogu provides a new pathway to come up with creative solutions in product development. Participants will use chindogu to create potentially patentable ideas (useful, in this case, but equally new and not obvious) in a relaxed, fun environment. After all, humor has been revealed as the most prized quality among successful inventors.  Back to top

PneumoniaCheck E-Team launches startup

Former NCIIA E-Team PneumoniaCheck, from Georgia Institute of Technology, has launched a startup, MD Innovate, Inc., to commercialize their pneumonia diagnostic device.

In 2008, NCIIA awarded an E-Team grant to the team to help develop PneumoniaCheck, a new sampling device that could prevent thousands of people worldwide from dying of pneumonia each year. The team exhibited the device at NCIIA's March Madness for the Mind showcase in 2009.

See the Science Daily article.

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology / Photos by Jennifer Tyner.