The University of Idaho is in the process of developing the Vandal Innovation and Enterprise Works (VIEW), a cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship program that brings together UI community members around learning about entrepreneurship, social responsibility, and "creating results that matter". To date, VIEW has developed an organizational structure, marketed the idea to the UI administration, gained funding from all UI deans, and created a part-time director position. Further, VIEW has raised $50,000 to support an annual business plan competition, and held the first competition. Finally, VIEW has launched a new interdisciplinary course in entrepreneurship, Business 414, which resulted in eight E-Teams.
This grant supports the next phase of VIEW development. UI faculty intend to build a diverse community through cross-discipline courses and the business plan competition, and create successes with high profile E-Teams to show what is possible through meaningful collaboration. To achieve these goals, VIEW intends to: 1) build collaboration among the faculty who teach Business 414 and the senior engineering capstone courses; 2) link those courses with the business plan competition; 3) remove UI institutional boundaries to student course involvement; 4) negotiate faculty rewards for participating in VIEW from the UI administration; 5) create a faculty mentoring program for E-Teams; 6) offer faculty development workshops; and 7) apply best practices of business creation and high performance organizations.
In their second round of E-Team funding, the Full Load Design E-Team developed the Position Communication System (PCSys). The PCSys revolutionizes communication between a combine operator and truck driver during the harvest of root crops. The device uses low power radio transmissions to communicate visual signals to the truck driver. Farmers currently use hand signals that often prove ineffective under poor visibility conditions. PCSys would improve the convenience and safety of harvesting tuber crops by replacing hand signals with an electronic communication device.