Each year, NCIIA welcomes a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam to participate in Open Minds along with the other collegiate E-Teams. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative is a national grants program designed to excite the next generation of inventors and problem solvers through hands-on learning, while encouraging an inventive culture in high schools and communities. Teams showcase their prototypes at EurekaFest, an annual celebration of the inventive spirit presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Learn more about the Lemselson-MIT program and InvenTeams at: http://web.mit.edu/invent/index.html.
This year's InvenTeam is from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. The team is developing a high tech bracelet that extracts emotional signatures from speech and displays the person's expressed emotions. Potential beneficiaries include children with autism and other diseases that impair the ability to detect emotion, which hinders their social interactions and the development of meaningful relationships. The algorithm that the bracelet uses will employ machine learning techniques to improve accuracy and efficiency relative to current methods. Initially, the team plans to develop an android-based application as a preliminary benchmark.
2-3:30 pm Unpanel Session: Education program models conversation
Launching a Program: Vision and strategy Facilitators: Ben Linder, Associate Professor of Design and Mechanical Engineering, Olin College Amy Smith, Founder, D-Lab, MIT The discussion will focus on the vision and strategy required in building an affordable design and entrepreneurship program at universities. Amy Smith and Ben Linder will discuss how they started their programs at MIT and Olin respectively, as well as their work together in starting programs internationally through IDDS (International Design and Development Summit). They will also address the complex relationship building within the university and how to get administrative and funder support.
Choosing Program Structure Facilitators: Khanjan Mehta, Director, HESE, Penn State Carl Hammerdorfer, Executive Director, CASE, Colorado State
Khanjan Mehta and Carl Hammerdorfer have a wealth of experience in creating new programs both in the US and East Africa. They will give examples of successful curricular and extracurricular program elements and discuss how experiential learning, usercentered design, and entrepreneurship are built into their programs. They will also addres how you engage students and other resources on campus, how do you build a supportive educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem
Getting to Market: Translating the inventions to products and services Facilitators: Saida Benhayoune, Director, D-Lab Scale-Ups MIT John Gershenson, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University
This is the hard part! Saida Benyahoune and John Gershenson will discuss bridging the gap between projects that start within the university walls and the customers and end-users the innovations are designed for. The will provide several examples of successes, failures and lessons learned.
The Secret to Successful Partnerships Facilitators: Maria Oden, Professor in the Practice of Engineering Education, Rice University Anand Narayan, Co-founder, SELCO Labs
Maria Oden and Anand Narayan will share their experience in setting up and maintaining successful partnerships between universities, for profit businesses, NGOs, clinical and government partners. University-based programs working beyond their campuses need strong local partners in order to be effective. These partnerships ensure access to markets, understanding the cultural context and connections to field testing, manufacturing and local entrepreneurs.
3:30-4:00 pm Break
4:00 pm Investor Panel One of the biggest hurdles to getting innovations out of the university and into the market is bridging the gap between the classroom and field-based projects to implementation and scale. These panelists represent a range of funders who support early to mid-stage individuals and ventures. The discussion will include how their organizations assess a project/venture to invest in, what their funding mechanisms look like, and what they expect from their investments.
Moderator: Sara Farley, COO, Global Knowledge Initiative
Panelists: Jill Boezwinkle, Grants Management Specialist, USAID Development Innovation Ventures Victoria Fram, Director of Operations, Village Capital Paul Breloff, Managing Director, Accion Venture Lab
5:15 pm Wrap up
5:30 pm Welcome Reception
7:00-9:00 pm Dinner at Brasserie Beck with keynote speaker Ashifi Gogo, founder of Sproxil
The EpiCard E-Team, makers of a smaller, more manageable epinephrine injector for people with severe allergies, is officially on the market as Auvi-Q. Read this NY Times story to follow Evan and Eric Edwards as they moved from a small E-Team grant of $13,769 in 2000 to eventually licensing the product to Sanofi for $230m in 2009.