March 20-21, Washington, D.C.


We invite you to submit a proposal for review to Open 2015, the NCIIA 19th Annual Conference, taking place March 20-21, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

NCIIA is dedicated to fostering an emerging generation of young inventors and entrepreneurs driven to improve life for people and the planet. Our Open conferences gather together engaged faculty and university students from across multiple disciplines to share stories, start new collaborations and learn best practices in technology entrepreneurship education.

We welcome your proposals for compelling sessions focused on curriculum, engaging students, design, and generating social and environmental impact through entrepreneurship as well as special topical areas such as learning from failure. See detailed topic list below.

To submit a proposal to Open 2015, please follow this link. Last year’s conference materials, including the schedule, are here.

In this Call for Proposals, you will find:


Submission Deadlines

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Paper submission deadline:
Monday, January 5, 2015

Paper notification:
Friday, January 30, 2015

Submit final draft (optional):
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poster submission deadline:
Monday, February 2, 2015


Important New Guideline

When submitting, you should add a line to the session description explaining the #1 takeaway attendees will gain from your session. Under section 2 of the proposal form (at the top of the Abstract section), please include one sentence on what people will learn from your session. For example: “What you’ll take away from this session: A deeper theoretical and practical understanding of the issues around students engaged in extracurricular activities, as well as insight into how you might provide support for your teams.” This “what you’ll take away” line will be included in the program materials to differentiate and attract participants to your session.


Session Formats

Open Meetups are 75-minute, unstructured, participant-driven conversations centered on a particular theme or purpose. Each Meetup will have a facilitator (or two). To submit your idea for an Open Meetup and/or to be a facilitator, email Tim Binkert at

Open Minis are quick, dynamic, 5-minute PPT presentations gathered into themed clusters. They follow the Ignite style: 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds. The format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and engaging. To submit an Open Mini, email Tim Binkert at

Panels are 75-minute sessions (e.g., debates, discussions, opportunities) designed to allow for discussion amongst presenters as well as provide a forum for interaction with attendees. Panels are expected to have two or more speakers.

Workshops are 75-minute sessions that emphasize interaction and exchange of information with attendees. Workshops should focus on interactivity and immersive, experiential learning.

Posters allow presenters to discuss their projects with interested colleagues for 75 minutes in an informal setting. If you're interested in presenting a poster at the conference, log in, select "Apply for a Grant or Enter a Competition," then click "Select an RFP" and navigate to "NCIIA 19th Annual Conference Call for Posters." Poster presenters will receive the presenter registration rate.

Papers clustered around common themes will be presented for 15 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A per presentation. There will be three presentations per paper session for a total of 75 minutes.

Submitting a formal paper for the conference proceedings is optional for presenting in a paper session. Please indicate whether or not you intend to submit a paper on your session proposal form. If you choose to submit a paper, one, FINAL draft is due January 5, 2015. Here is the full publishing schedule:

  • Deadline for submission of FINAL draft paper: January 5 (2015)
  • Peer review completed and accept/reject notices sent out: January 30 (2015)
  • Completed, final papers due: February 5 (2015)
  • Read the paper guidelines here


Special Consideration

Special consideration will be given to submissions related to the following:

  • Sessions with concrete takeaways, e.g., exercises, modules, content, resources that audience members can take home and use in their classrooms (or their ventures).
  • Research-based sessions that provide assessment of the programs that are being implemented. This is an area with which many individuals struggle; our goal for Open 2015 is to help faculty learn from others within the community.
  • Sessions either led by students or featuring students as co-presenters/panelists. These can be student success stories (launching a startup, etc.) but can also include sessions that speak about their needs, how they moved through a certain program, how their institutions are supporting them, their motivations, day-to-day challenges, and so forth.
  • Sessions that integrate representatives from industry, experienced entrepreneurs, and/or economic development partners.


Program Topics

Program topics are broken down into five general categories. Your proposal can hit multiple topics/categories at once; you aren’t limited to one.

Program models
Research-based program assessment
Best practices
Teaching tools
Online education
Small colleges
Biomedical Engineering
Intellectual Property
Lean startup

Student experiences/perspectives
Practical topics for students: IP; tips and tricks for navigating tech transfer; choosing/being a mentor, etc.

Product and technical failure
Program model/curricular failure
Business model failure
Failure to understand cultural and market contexts
Anticipating failure: avoidable and unavoidable failures

Maker spaces
Learning spaces
Applying design thinking to entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship in low-resource settings
Clean tech
Climate change
Underrepresented populations in entrepreneurship education
Women in entrepreneurship



Proposals will be evaluated and selected by the NCIIA Open 2015 Committee using criteria such as the topic’s timeliness and relevance.  In particular, we encourage incorporation of clear learning objectives and audience engagement. We encourage diverse perspectives, including those of students!

Questions? Contact Tim Binkert at