May 2011

Antenatal Screening Kit E-Team a Pop Sci invention of the year!

The plaudits keep rolling in for the new Antenatal Screening Kit E-Team from Johns Hopkins University.

Following its public debut at NCIIA's Open Minds 2011 showcase of student innovation, the team has been selected as a Popular Science 'Invention of the Year'. Read the story!

You can see more coverage at

NCIIA has awarded a $16,000 E-Team grant to the team to further develop its innovative prototype screening kit that can be used to detect maternal health diseses in remote villages.


NCIIA awards over half a million dollars to build ventures at US universities


NCIIA has awarded $582,950 to support 27 projects from 22 universities across the US. Thirteen E-Team grants were awarded, and fourteen Course and Program grants.

NCIIA awards $2 million annually to support university-led technology entrepreneurship, funding that has resulted in the launch of more than 100 ventures.

Among the new E-Team grants awarded:

  • A team from Georgia Tech developing a cell encapsulation system for treating diabetes more effectively.
  • A University of Virginia team developing PuzzleCast, a modular cast that treats broken arms by allowing an increasing range of motion to the damaged limb over the healing period.
  • A team from North Carolina State University developing 'Light Detection and Radiation' (LiDAR), a laser-based system that can be used by remotely operated vehicles to map underwater terrain in real-time.

Among the new Course and Program grants awarded:

  • A new program at UC San Diego, mystartupXX, (named for the female chromosome) aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs by targeting female students for invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.
  • A new interdisciplinary entrepreneurial “green building” program at Norwich University that will engage E-Teams comprising seniors in business, architecture, engineering, and construction management.


Student Ambassador Eden Full wins $100,000 Thiel fellowship

Eden Full, one of NCIIA's first student ambassadors, has been awarded a $100,000 Thiel fellowship to pursue her business idea, the Sun Saluter. Eden, a sophomore at Princeton, has developed a solar tracking system that rotates solar panels to improve their efficiency. Read more at BusinessWeek.

For NCIIA's perspective on university students creating innovations and launching ventures, take a look at this article.

And, if being a student ambassador and inspiring entreprenership among students on campus sounds like you, apply for our 2011-12 cohort now!




NCIIA grantee Ecovative Design gets an infusion of cash

Ecovative Design, a 2007 E-Team that is manufacturing packaging out of mushrooms, has announced equity investments from 3M, RPI and the DOEN Foundation. Read more...


NCIIA startups take on MassChallenge Finals!

Five former NCIIA E-Teams have been selected for this year's $1 million MassChallenge competition. 125 startups were selected for the final round.

The NCIIA teams are:

Sanergy: permanently reduces sanitation-related diseases in Africa's slums by making hygienic sanitation affordable, accessible, and sustainable. 

SmarterShade: using this light-control technology, products like windows, skylights and rearview mirrors can be instantly adjusted to go from clear to dark, with adjustable tint in-between.

STG International: for developing markets, a miniaturized solar thermal power plant that can provide affordable clean electricity and hot water.

Therapeutic Systems: a wearable medical device that provides Autism patients with a sensory intervention called deep pressure.

Precision Slip:  a superhydrophobic drag-reducing surface with the potential to save commercial shipping companies and the US Navy millions of dollars on fuel costs.


Solar Ivy launches tensile solar panels - versatile and attractive!

2006 E-Team grantee Solar Ivy is taking solar panel design and application into a new paradigm of versatility. Solar Ivy has teamed with architect Benjamin Wheeler Howes to create a new solar system: the tensile solar structure.

GOOD Magazine has the story here!





16th Annual Conference call for presentations now open!

Join us for Open 2012, our 16th Annual Conference, exploring the science, business and practice of catalyzing innovation in higher education.

Abstracts due June 13, 2011. Login, view guidelines and submit your 150-word abstract online at

Save the date! March 22-24, 2012   
Location: Hilton Financial District, San Francisco, CA



Open 2012: NCIIA's 16th Annual Conference

 I love the NCIIA conference. I always return with many ideas to pursue.

- Hal Fried, Professor of Economics, Union College     

Save the date! March 22-24, 2012

NCIIA's 16th Annual Conference, exploring the science, business and practice of catalyzing innovation in higher education.  

Topics will include:

  • Best practices for programs and teaching entrepreneurship
  • Commercialization of student ventures
  • Women in entrepreneurship
  • Intellectual property  
  • Topics related to primarily undergraduate institutions
  • Projects that failed and lessons learned
  • Affordable design
  • Sustainability and social impact
  • Student perspectives on innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Workshops focused on high impact, actionable items faculty can use in their teaching

Registration rates:

  • Students, $350
  • Presenters, $600
  • NCIIA members before 2/20/12, $695
  • NCIIA members after 2/20/12, $750
  • Non-NCIIA members before 2/20/12, $850
  • Non-NCIIA members after 2/20/12, $900
  • One day, $295
  • Open Minds exhibition only, $75

Questions? Call us at 413-587-2172 or email

New to the conference?

Take a look at last year's activities and our Open 2011 conference photos.

Each year we showcase NCIIA's best student innovation teams at Open Minds. Here are the 2011 Open Minds teams:


Major support from


The day of the innovators has arrived...


In her latest column in Xconomy, 'The Day of the Innovator has Arrived,' Judy Giordan, NCIIA's senior advisor and chair of VentureWell, sets out VentureWell's vision for transforming scientific outcomes into innovations that can solve the world's most pressing problems.

To find out more about how to start the process of transforming the much touted 'Valley of Death' into a 'Time of Brilliance', read the article!

Just 7 days until 2011-12 Student Ambassador application deadline!

There's still time to apply to be a 2011-12 Student Ambassador. Faculty, are you looking for someone to help you carry out your entrepreneurship and NCIIA-related activities? Nominate a go-getter student to apply for our 2011-12 cohort. Student Ambassadors will gain valuable experience in marketing, program planning, networking, managing projects and be recognized as an expert in entrepreneurship on their campus. And they'll be paid for their hard work! Learn more...