Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Partnerships (REEP)

Savannah State University, 2009 - $24,000

With support from NCIIA, Savannah State is creating the Renewable Energy and Entrepreneurship Partnerships program (REEP), comprised of two courses in renewable energy and engineering entrepreneurship: an introduction course and an advanced course. The advanced course will focus on E-Team competitions with technology prototypes and business plans. In the summer between the intro and advanced course, students will be engaged in internships with local industries. A six-week summer workshop will also be conducted, where SSU faculty will discuss renewable technology and entrepreneurship principles. Lab sessions will also be held in the workshop series for students to design and build green prototypes with accompanying business plans. After the advanced course, a symposium to share the results of the courses will be held.

The KINDLE Student Mentoring Program

Boston University, 2009 - $33,000

As part of a restructuring effort, the technology and commercialization program at Boston University seeks to design and implement a new mentoring program. While students teams are currently mentored by BU faculty, this new program will match teams with technical and business leaders for new venture formation. Project goals include recruiting and training volunteer mentors to link with student E-Teams; providing selected teams with grants for the development of preliminary prototypes, business plans, and funding strategies; and developing metrics to measure the impact of alternative mentoring techniques through case studies.

Creating Social Value and Pattern-Breaking Change Through Design

Art Center College, 2009 - $22,500

This grant builds on the success of DesignMatters, an educational design program at Art Center College with a social impact focus. DesignMatters has an array of work under its belt, including human-centered research and partnerships with NGOs and development agencies. Under the hospices of DesignMatters and the Design Department at Art Center, a series of new courses, Creating Social Value and Pattern-Breaking Change Through Design, will engage students in service learning through pilot applications in rural communities throughout Guatemala. The courses will be taught by faculty within the Design department, as well as those from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Caltech, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business’s Society and Business Lab, and the Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala City. The courses will be offered as two consecutive companion courses. The first course will focus on immersing student and faculty teams in field-research, conceptual development, and early prototyping. The second course will build on the ideas from the first, and allow for further field-testing, business and product development, exploration of commercial viability, and implementation at the pilot stage in Guatemala.

Launching the Venture 2007

University of North Carolina, 2006 - $12,100

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.

Enhancing Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program Activities at Mercer University

Mercer University, 2008 - $6,500

The grant is based on existing programs at Mercer run by the School of Engineering Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program, established in September 2007 with funding from the Kern Family Foundation. This grant will fund two entrepreneurship programs that will bring at least ten students to Vietnam, preparing at least six student teams to present design projects and business plans in the upcoming Industry, Engineering and Management Systems Conference (IEMS), build prototypes of students’ entrepreneurship design projects by the end of May 2009, and establish an entrepreneurship relationship with Vietnamese universities. The IEMS projects are based primarily on prosthetics.

Entrepreneurship Beyond Literacy and Resource Barriers: A Proposal for Cross-Functional Course Development and Delivery

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - $5,000

With this project, NCIIA supports the creation of Developing Products and Markets for Subsistence Marketplaces, a two-course sequence in which teams of engineering and business graduate students identify a general need in the developing world, conduct market research, and develop a prototype, manufacturing plan, marketing strategy and business plan. The course will begin in the fall semester of 2006, with students focusing on setting project objectives, understanding the context they're designing for, and learning about the process of product development. Over Thanksgiving break the teams will travel to India, the first target area of the course, to do first-hand market research, and the remainder of the semester will be spent developing specific product concepts. The spring semester will be spent working the concepts up into prototypes, and developing manufacturing, marketing, and business plans.

Weatherford E-Team Workshop and Seed Fund

Oregon State University, 2005 - $32,000

Oregon State University's Austin Entrepreneurship Program, launched in 2004, includes an entrepreneurship minor for non-business majors and a residential program at Weatherford Hall. OSU faculty are now developing an E-Team a workshop and seed fund to introduce students to the concepts of innovation and problem-solving and encourage them to convert their ideas into viable business concepts. Beginning in fall 2005, OSU will offer eight free evening workshops, facilitated by an OSU business professor and open to any enrolled student. Students in the workshops will learn how to work as a team to develop a startup idea in several business areas. They will be taught and mentored by industry professionals, who, together with OSU faculty, will guide the students through the process of creating a business plan and applying for seed funding. Through a competitive process successful E-Teams will be awarded seed funds averaging $2,000 each, and will use the funds to advance their early-stage business ideas through market research, prototype development, and patent filing.

Enabling Student Innovation in Biomedical Engineering: Development of a Graduate Level Innovative Design Class

Marshall University - $36,500

This grant will help expand a pilot program in a graduate-level biomedical engineering course by offering additional resources to design teams: equipment, materials, supplies, prototyping funds, and expert lecturers and consultants. During this year-long class, students are completely responsible for idea generation, prototype development and commercialization planning. They are exposed to an entrepreneurial environment and gain entrepreneurial skills not traditionally taught or integrated into university coursework.

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