In 2000, the Kenan-Flagler Business School and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill created Launching the Venture, a hands-on course designed to help UNC students, faculty and staff launch a range of social, commercial, technological and scientific ventures. Its primary objective is to provide a resource to inventors, social innovators, and nascent entrepreneurs to learn business concept evaluation, business planning, marketing, and implementation skills.
This project offers continuing support for Launching the Venture. NCIIA funding will provide E-Team resources and seed funding for project identification, prototyping and business plan development.
Quality control is a key element in the industrial production process. Historically, methods to inspect the geometry of manufactured parts have consisted of either single parameter probes or Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), which require parts to be removed from manufacturing process. The InsituTec E-Team developed a state of the art precision instrument that is ten times faster than traditional methods, yet comes with comparable accuracy, lower cost, and the added advantage of implementation within the manufacturing process. The probing system rapidly measures 0.125" to 1.0" diameter holes, including outer and inner diameter holes. The system's design scales to encompass small and large circular features and is capable of measuring cylindricity, surface finish, and form error in real time.
The team completed its first phase of product development with support from a December 2001 Advanced E-Team grant. With the initial grant, the team furthered product development, established InsituTec Inc. and filed for intellectual property rights. A mix of sales and research grants totaling $560k has made the young company profitable, and they anticipate an 80% to 100% increase in revenue in 2007.