The Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship Initiative

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, 2011 - $35,400

This grant supports a new collaboration between Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Babson College titled "Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship." In the program, students will work in distributed teams with communities around the world to develop innovations in areas such as energy, water, health, agriculture, transportation and communication. An ideal student path would be to complete an internship with an initiative partner, take the course for two semesters, work for a mission-driven company or NGO as an intern, and be part of launching a new social venture. The plan is for projects to last 2-3 years, with dozens of students “getting on and off the (project) bus,” as the PI acknowledged that one course or one year is not enough time for this the necessary technology and business model development.

This grant will provide funds to cover community site visit expenses while the program becomes self-sustaining. The main objective is to give teams the funds they need to perform early-stage market and prototyping tests to advance their ventures forward.