Residential fires kill and injure thousands of Americans and cause billions of dollars in property damage each year. More than 428,000 home fires occurred in 1996, which resulted in a residential fire every 74 seconds, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). By the mid 1980s, laws that required alarms in all new and existing residences existed in 38 states and thousands of municipalities. Systems wired throughout the house are expensive to install and provide only a general alert, while standard smoke alarms are not interconnected. This E-Team's Location Specific Alarm Relay (LSAR) system is designed to be installed in individual rooms, but has the ability to transmit data and can relate the location of smoke in the event of a fire. For example, the existence of smoke in the basement will be relayed to the second floor bedroom through a combined horn and voice alarm.
The NSH Keg Wrap E-Team developed an electric wrap that keeps kegs cool without ice. The portable product, which wraps around any keg and can be plugged in to any household outlet, employs the Peltier Effect: the ability to cool or heat a material by passing a current through the junction of two different conductors.
The team intends to target beer distributors, who will then rent the Keg Wrap to consumers. They have calculated a potential market of over 2,500 beer wholesalers in the US.
Thirty-two million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and spend $2.5 billion annually on various products to deal with it. Until recently, however, individuals with osteoarthritis had no effective treatments for their affliction; their only recourse was pain-killers, usually NSAIDs, which can have serious side effects. Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that glucosamine, a natural sugar, can stop further deterioration of the arthritic joint and even help rebuild the cartilage. Glucosamine has been marketed successfully in pill form, but only 1% of the glucosamine in the pill reaches the affected joint. Topical glucosamine creams are on the market, but none of them are able to get more than 3-5% across the skin barrier. Using novel technology, the Thruskin Technologies E-Team developed a glucosamine-based anti-osteoarthritis topical cream, Rejuvalin, that delivers 70% of the glucosamine across the skin barrier to the damaged joint.
The E-Team consisted of a pharmaceutical PhD student and three MBA students. The team's advisors were a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and a pharmaceutical industry consultant.
With help from a NCIIA Course and Program grant, UCSF has created two new classes, and expanded two others, to form a four-course, university-accredited Certificate Program in BioEntrepreneurship. Run by the Center for BioEntrepreneurship at UCSF, each course focuses on forming E-Teams to bring biomedical innovations to market. The new and expanded courses are part of a CBE-developed suite of programs directed at campus entrepreneurial audiences at all levels of experience. These include seminars, mentoring of E-Teams, student-run programs and community outreach programs.
NCIIA funding supported the creation of a new class in the Master of Engineering Management (MEMP) program at Duke University, entitled Engineering Entrepreneurship. Duke professors understand that, in today’s competitive environment, it is critical for engineering students to understand business issues, and the new course addresses this need. The course is designed to combine classroom entrepreneurship training with a team-based project whose goal is to develop a business plan to commercialize Duke University intellectual property. Teams of 4-6 students assess the technical and commercial viability of 3-5 inventive concepts developed by Duke researchers. The teams develop business plans and present them to a panel of judges consisting of business experts and potential small business investors. If the plans/products show commercial promise, the teams apply for NCIIA E-Team grants as well as receive funding from Entrepreneurial Fellowships from Duke University and the Duke Start-Up Challenge.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-lab is a four-part series of courses and field trips that focus on international development, appropriate technologies, and sustainable solutions for communities in developing countries. In the fall, students focus on issues of international development and appropriate technology and partner with community organizations in developing countries to apply what they have learned. During the winter Independent Activities Period (IAP), students travel to their partner organizations to implement their projects and identify other possibilities for collaboration. In the spring, students learn about the design process and apply it to create solutions to the problems identified on their field trip. Over the summer, students return to their field sites to implement their designs, conduct field tests, and get user feedback.
NCIIA funding helps to expand the design portion of the class to include E-Teams. 10-15 E-Teams work through the design process and construct prototypes using design methodologies and rapid-prototyping tools presented throughout the term. Guest speakers talk about their successes and failures, providing insight into project implementation strategies.
For this project, NCIIA funding supports the development of an ongoing Entrepreneurial Enterprise program at Michigan Technological University. EE builds on the success of the school’s Enterprise program, in which teams of 30-40 students with diverse skill sets are handed a project by an industrial sponsor. The team acts as a “company,” the students as “employees,” performing testing and analyses, manufacturing parts, staying within budgets and schedules, etc. The Enterprise lasts several years, and students leave and enter the Enterprise fluidly, imitating a real company.
The proposed EE program is very similar to the Enterprise program, but differs in one key way: in EE, students will not be handed a project but will instead find creative applications or modifications of technologies already "on-the-shelf” at MTU, with the intention of developing and commercializing products.
This project supports a new finance-based, interdisciplinary course at Pace University, titled Entrepreneurial Financial Computing. The course is designed for undergraduates in finance, management, computer science and information technology. Students form heterogeneous, interdisciplinary E-Teams whose goal is the creative solution of a financial problem for a determined market by developing commercially viable software applications. Once completed, these applications are available on a university website and released in CD-ROM formats.
With the help of NCIIA funding the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology accelerated the development and implementation of a new three-course design sequence that prepares engineers and scientists for entrepreneurial careers. The sequence replaced the formerly offered single-discipline-focused senior design classes.
The first course in the sequence focuses on laying the foundations of business and technical topics; the second and third focus on team project work and the formation of E-Teams. Content includes lectures, discussions, hands-on activities, and case studies.
An appropriate faculty member or project engineer from Rose-Hulman Ventures mentors each E-Team. External advisors also support the teams.