course and program

Clean-Tech Cluster E-Teams

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2012 - $35,000

This grant will support a new summer course designed to serve as a pipeline for the existing clean tech entrepreneurship program on campus. The course will bring students, professors, and professionals together to build and demonstrate value propositions for disruptive clean tech business ideas. The best ideas from this program will be forwarded to CleanTech Entrepreneurship and CleanTech Venture Assessment courses for further development, and participation in the Michigan Clean Energy Challenge.

Entrepreneurial Agriculture: A Jr./Sr. Colloquium & Internship

Rutgers University, 2012 - $40,250

In Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), faculty and students pursue mission-based teaching, research, and outreach that address real-world problems. However, only a few students who major in agriculture, food and related disciplines demonstrate significant enthusiasm for creating their own companies and pursuing entrepreneurship after graduation. SEBS currently offers no undergraduate courses on entrepreneurship specifically targeted at Production Agriculture and Food.

This grant supports the creation of Entrepreneurial Agriculture (EA), a course designed to promote value creation in production agriculture and food processing through E-Teams. In the course, students will learn the basics of entrepreneurship and come up with an innovation in Production Ag and Food. In addition, EA students will be able to participate in a competitive summer internship program focused on the food/ag industry, receiving hands-on experience and learning which new inventions could add value. Students will compete by presenting a product or service idea that they would like to explore through a hands-on summer internship. The internships are not job placement opportunities; rather, students will have the real world experience in their area of interest and be encouraged to come back to school post internship and be supported to develop new products and ventures. Finally, the grant will support Rutgers’ Students E-Team (RUSTET), a club whose mission will be to promote entrepreneurship in production agriculture and food processing.

Changing the Classroom: Building Student-led Learning

Tufts University, 2012 - $34,000

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (ELP) at Tufts educates undergraduate students in arts, sciences and engineering on the principles of entrepreneurship. Since the ELP started in 2002, over 375 students have completed the minor. But while the program is popular, students enrolled in it currently lack the resources and opportunity to build prototypes and the program has had very few engineering students (1 in 10). The students learn about the business side of entrepreneurship, but rarely move their products beyond paper designs in class.

The goal of this grant is to combine the BotLAB, an on-campus workshop developed by mechanical engineering students with a focus on robotics, with the ELP to create the iLab or inventor's lab. Students from different disciplines will work together to invent and fabricate ideas and then attempt to take them to market by teaming with other students with the necessary expertise. Funding will go toward running competitions and developing a scaffold of curricular and advising assistance to help students productize and commercialize their ideas.

USC Social Innovation Design Lab

University of Southern California, 2012 - $43,300

This grant supports the creation of the Social Innovation Design Lab at the University of Southern California, a semester-long course in which interdisciplinary student teams develop solutions to challenges faced by impoverished residents of the San Joaquin Valley (a community located four hours north of campus). The prosperity of USC’s campus stands in stark contrast to the San Joaquin Valley’s high pollution levels, poor access to nutritive foods, and lack of basic infrastructure. The course will use the “design thinking” process, a systematic approach to problem solving that begins with consumer empathy and iterates toward better solutions. Students will engage in community immersion, need finding, business analysis, prototyping, and testing solutions designed to fit community needs. The goal of the course is to move the most promising of students’ social innovations from the idea stage, to prototype, to market.

BioENGINE (BioEngineering, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship) 12-month Master's Program (Planning Grant)

University of California, Irvine, 2012 - $8,000

This planning grant supports the development of BioENGINE (BioEngineering, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship), a new twelve-month Master’s of Science program at the University of California, Irvine that will provide rigorous, practical, hands-on, team-based training in biomedical innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization. In the planned program, students will work with select faculty to translate a pre-commercial project into a startup venture, or will work with an existing company to develop a new medical device. E-Teams will write Advanced E-Team and/or SBIR/STTR grants as their thesis reports, enter business competitions, create portfolios to showcase and disseminate their work, and have access to on-campus incubator space and a network of industry contacts/mentors to pursue opportunities once the program finishes.

The Startup Class--Designing the Technology Venture Startup

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2012 - $41,000

This grant supports development of The Startup Class, a new interdisciplinary course at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The Startup Class will pair Virginia Tech’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with research-based design pedagogy to support students in creating new technology ventures. In the course, students will integrate customer and product development (“lean startup” principles), creating technologies and businesses based around market needs. Teams will be able to pursue commercialization beyond the course by enrolling in VT KnowledgeWorks, a local business accelerator, and working with The Entrepreneurship Center @ Northern Virginia Technology Council. The long term goal is to design an innovation and entrepreneurship certificate program and eventually offer a minor in global engineering.

Startup Accelerator Program of "Technology Entrepreneurship" Course at NYU Poly

Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 2012 - $39,950

The existing entrepreneurship courses offered at NYU Poly require students to complete a real venture development project, moving through the standard stages of opportunity identification and evaluation, team building, marketing, and more. While these courses have succeeded in giving students an understanding of the entrepreneurial process, most E-Teams have found it difficult to advance to the commercial stage after the course ends, mainly due to a lack of resources and support. This grant will be used to (1) support NYU Poly E-Teams by funding prototyping and patenting, and (2) facilitate interactions between NYU Poly researchers, students and experienced entrepreneurs to foster joint ventures.

New Product Commercialization with Interdisciplinary Student Teams (Planning Grant)

University of Bridgeport, 2012 - $8,000

The University of Bridgeport (UB) has the technical foundation to commercialize new technologies, with a variety of majors in business, design, engineering and technology management, but they need to strengthen the curriculum to encourage students from different disciplines to work together. This planning grant will support UB in developing a new course focused on interdisciplinary product commercialization. The course, called New Product Commercialization, will involve students from engineering, business and design in developing products focused on human health and environmental concerns. NCIIA funding will allow the instructor team to develop programming that will enable their teams to build prototypes and investigate intellectual property protection. The course will be developed in collaboration with UB’s incubator, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

InnovationSandbox (Planning Grant)

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2011 - $8,000

This planning grant supports the creation of a new program, the Innovation Sandbox, at Cal Poly. The program will have a number of components, including a basic prototype facility available to students, staff skilled in technology business development, faculty from engineering and business, access to campus engineering labs, connections to campus competitions, and support in writing E-Team grants. The goal of Innovation Sandbox is to nurture new tech ideas and take them beyond the academic setting.

Extending the University of Texas "Hatchery" Curriculum

University of Texas at Austin, 2011 - $30,000

The Hatchery, a course at The University of Texas at Austin, combines academic coursework, business-building support, and industry engagement in order to help PhD, MBA and JD candidates successfully commercialize university technologies. This grant supports modifying the curriculum to include healthcare-focused Computer Science graduate students and promote distribution of this curriculum to a broader spectrum of disciplines at UT. For each technology, teams will develop a commercialization plan and a draft patent application (or intellectual property strategy). The teams will then receive structured incubation support and mentorship.

The Innovation Lab

University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011 - $14,000

This grant funds the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and CU’s Environmental Center in establishing a campus Innovation Lab to support the formation of E-Teams. The lab will be in an accessible, central location with on-site and online resources for E-Team development, including an entrepreneur-in-residence. The goals of this seed project are to: launch the lab; have over 100 students use it in the first year; and have eight E-Teams formed and active. The lab will have a movable kiosk that travels across campus to different colleges to reach out to students and encourage them to explore entrepreneurship opportunities and commercialization of their ideas.

Senior Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Planning Grant)

Drexel University, 2011 - $8,000

This planning grant supports Drexel University in integrating E-Teams into its senior design capstone courses. Currently, the projects are often single-discipline academic exercises, and despite being a co-op university with strong industry relationships and entrepreneurship programs, industry involvement is limited and students rarely pursue ventures. This grant will help encourage multidisciplinary E-Teams by making the courses college-wide, involving sponsorships and partnerships with industry, and integrating entrepreneurship through training, process streamlining, and College of Business partnerships.

E-Teams as Vehicles for Training Students to Harvest and Commercialize Universities' Research

Oregon State University, 2011 - $34,340

This grant supports the integration of E-Teams into a course in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. Currently, computer science and business students identify market opportunities and write business plans, but rarely follow through to develop products and create start-ups. This grant brings a focus on commercialization by enabling students to develop collaborations that focus on promising IP from several western universities via a networking- and opportunity-seeking process at a week-long annual conference. E-Teams consist of a computer science undergraduate, a business undergraduate, a graduate student (and originator of the commercializable research) and industry mentors. The students’ senior year is spent preparing to pursue a start-up after graduation. This includes creating a prototype, fleshing out a business plan, and competing for investment funding.

Business Model Design for Social Impact (Planning Grant)

Northeastern University, 2011 - $8,000

This planning grant supports the development of a third-year undergraduate elective course within the Entrepreneurship Concentration at Northeastern University. The goal of the course is to accelerate the rate of deployment of social innovations and to increase the success rate of products actually reaching their intended markets. The plan is to combine the use of design principles with an experiential learning component. In the course, E-Teams will create startup business models for context-driven social technology innovations, as well as growth business models for existing local or international social enterprises.

Creating a New Program in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2011 - $41,250

This grant supports the creation of a certificate in entrepreneurship at UNC Charlotte, including a new course, Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the modification of several existing courses. To earn the certificate, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students take five courses over two years and work with a team on a faculty- or student-generated entrepreneurial project. The goal of the certificate is to provide students with an opportunity to take the lead on the commercialization of a product.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Residential Community (IERC) (Planning Grant)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2011 - $8,000

This grant supports the planning process behind the creation of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Residential Community (IERC), a residence hall at Virginia Tech in which students from diverse disciplines will collaborate to create new businesses, especially those addressing the “grand challenges”: clean drinking water, improved healthcare and education, and clean energy. The residence hall will feature spaces dedicated to supporting discovery as well as programmatic and curricular initiatives, including a three-credit course. The new course, called, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will provide an introduction to the grand challenges, team dynamics, and entrepreneurship.

Innovation Certificate

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011 - $41,000

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a set of courses that encourage engineers to become more innovative and to generate ideas that have the potential to be breakthrough new products. This grant supports the molding of those courses into a coherent whole, called the Illinois Innovation Certificate. The program is a 21-hour certificate with substantial co-curricular engagement in problem finding, problem understanding and inventing potential solutions to the problems. The initial goal is to have fifteen students accepted into the program in fall 2012, with twenty-five per year accepted in each subsequent year. The ultimate goal is to move from a certificate program to an established minor.

Invention 2 Innovation at UAB

University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2011 - $24,000

This grant supports the creation of the Invention 2 Innovation (i2i) program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The i2i program creates E-Teams by pairing students and faculty in the UAB Life Science Entrepreneurship Program with local business mentors engaged by the Birmingham Business Alliance, the leading local business advocacy group. These teams are looking to bring to market UAB Research Foundation technology assets with high commercial potential. The i2i program is acting as a feeder program to the Alabama Launchpad, which provides a five-month program of coaching, support and fundraising opportunities for student startups.

Creation of a Medical Device Innovation Initiative

Harvard University, 2011 - $34,000

This grant supports the scaling up of Medical Device Design, a new course at Harvard focused on the design of medical devices to address needs identified by clinicians from Harvard-affiliated hospitals. The course was piloted in the spring of 2011; two of the four teams that formed during the class filed provisional patents. NCIIA funding is being used to: improve the quality of projects selected for participation in the course; improve the clinical immersion experience for both students and physicians; run a pilot global immersion experience; expand the focus of the class to include biomaterials design; develop instructional open-source kits for medical device development; and create a healthcare innovation ecosystem to support students in translating their projects into products. These six improvements are enabling the generation of a larger number of medical device E-Teams at Harvard.

Designing Sustainable eHealth Enterprises to Improve Quality of Care in Resource-poor Settings

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011 - $32,000

This grant supports the creation of a new course, the Sana eHealth Lab, in which cross-disciplinary teams of students from MIT and cross-registered students from Harvard engage international teams of students in partner universities with the goal of developing new businesses in health information and mobile technology to improve the quality of care in resource-poor settings. Using an open-source platform, students design solutions to problems brought to them by partner organizations in developing countries. The course includes weekly case studies and class discussion with leading experts in the field and practical workshops on how to partner with key stakeholders, how to craft and deliver project pitches, and how to write successful grant applications. Students are encouraged to apply to funding sources at MIT through the Public Service Center, Deshpande Center, Legatum Center, and the MIT $100k and IDEAS competitions.

NCIIA-funded course at JHU generates new biomedical start-ups

A 2010 course and program grant awarded to Center of Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID, itself supported by an NCIIA Course and Program grant) at Johns Hopkins University has swiftly returned on its investment. Two biomedical device start-ups have spun out of the Master's Level Education in Bioengineering Innovation course:

Grant PI Bob Allen reports that so far 15 students have graduated from the program with MS degrees. JHPIEGO, JHU’s global health partner, is further developing two other projects from the grant: an electronic partogram and the antenatal screening kit (a 2010 E-Team grantee and Popular Science invention of the year).


Grants Funded by NCIIA: Course and Program

Below are Course and Program grants funded by NCIIA in recent years. Click any link for more information about the grantees, their project and their institution.
View all grants funded in most recent cycle.

December 2010

Building a Productive Ecosystem
for Tech-based Social Entrepreneurship at MIT
Certificate Program in
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Commercializing Student Designed
Technologies for the Disabled
Developing a Marketing High-Technology
Products and Innovations Course
Development of Social Entrepreneurship
Capstone Project Course at Lehigh University
Energy Innovation for
Campus Carbon Neutrality
Development of a Center for Student Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the
CTech Incubator @ University of Bridgeport (Planning Grant)
Identifying Needs and Exploring
Solutions in Developing Regions
Environmental Entrepreneurship
The InVenture Prize: An Undergraduate
Invention Competition at Georgia Tech
Wake Forest Innovation Fellows Program Wearable Multimodal Wayfinding Techniques
for Blind and Visually Impaired People
mystartupXX: Empowering the Next Generation
of Female Technology Entrepreneurs

May 2010

Accelerating Student E-Team New Venture Creation
through the Application of Industrial Design and Structured Seed Funding
Technology Innovation for
People with Disabilities
Drexel Smart House
Student Seed Fund
Bridge Mentorship Program for
Advanced Student Companies at UMass Amherst
Creative Design for Affordability Cross-disciplinary development teams
to make students' ideas real
Developing a Cross-Disciplinary E-Team to Enhance
Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University (Planning Grant)
Entrepreneurship Initiative for Rural
Southeastern North Carolina (Planning Grant)
Master's Level Education
in Bioengineering Innovation
Sustainable Medical Device Innovation
for Developing Countries
Practicing Entrepreneurship: Creating
value for a technology-based invention or idea
Spark: A University-Level Initiative for Innovation and
Entrepreneurship Florida Atlantic University (Planning Grant)


Bio-architectural Design E-Teams
for Biomedical Challenges
Building a Design and Innovation Professional
Masters Degree Program at the University of Cincinnati
UW Environmental
Innovation Challenge
Creating Social Value and
Pattern-Breaking Change Through Design
Developing a Cross Discipline
E-Team Service Learning Course
Integrating Innovation and Invention
into Computer Science Project Courses
Developing a Professional Certificate Program in Innovation
and Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Development of an Undergraduate Minor
Specialization in Sustainable Global Health Design
E-ship Engineering Entrepreneurship Innovation Development
Directive at the University of Colorado at Boulder
Enhancing Entrepreneurship Education and
Training via the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Lab
Entrepreneurial Ventures
for Journalists
Facilitating Entrepreneurship
in Lighting
Funding a "Dormcubator" at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In Pursuit of Innovation Information, Innovation and
International Development (I3D)
Internationalizing Entrepreneurship
Education Program (IEEP)
Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship
Partnerships (REEP)
Social Entrepreneurship
Course Development
Social Entrepreneurship Program
for Technology Innovation
Technology Commercialization
in Developing Countries
Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative The Global Innovation for Village
Entrepreneurship (GIVE) Capstone
The KINDLE Student Mentoring Program The University of Minnesota Acara
Summer Institute for High Impact Businesses


A Multi-disciplinary, Multi-level
Innovation-team Course
A Proposal to Develop a Curriculum-Based Module Integrating Innovation and
Commercialization Disciplines into a New Robotics Technology Product Design Platform
Biomedical Engineering
E-Teams Without Borders
Bringing Healthcare Home The Four Directions Program Developing Design Thinking
in Multi-Disciplinary Teams
Development of a Multi-Disciplinary
New Product Development Course
Development of a Personal Water
Purification Solution in the Philippines
E-Team Workshop Series and
Phase 0 Seed Fund Program
Enabling Student Innovation in Biomedical Engineering:
Development of a Graduate Level Innovative Design Class
Enhancing Entrepreneurship Engineering
Education Program Activities at Mercer University
Global Healthcare Technologies Program Lion Launch Pad - Center for
Penn State Student Entrepreneurship
Villlage Empowerment Mercer University School of Engineering
Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program
SVSU Social Entrepreneurship Social and
Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Technical Entrepreneurship Program:
Continued Support
Technological and Agricultural Entrepreneurship
for a Globally Sustainable Future
UR-PUCP: Collaborations for
Healthcare in Developing Countries
University of California, Davis Program
for International Energy Technologies (PIET)
Moving Clean Energy Innovations to the Market and Creating Entrepreneurial
Learning Opportunities Through Cross-Disciplinary Student Teams at Montana State University


An Entrepreneurial Approach
to Green Engineering
Beyond Design for the Environment:
Improving Products, Processes, and Actions
Capstone Course in Innovation and
Entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst
Center for Bioengineering
Innovation and Design
Creation of a Product
Development and Innovation Course
Design for Sustainability:
Technology Innovation for Competitive Advantage
Designing and Sustaining Technology
Innovation for Global Health Practice
Development of a Capstone Course
for an Emerging Entrepreneurship Program
Eco-Innovating a Better World Engineering - Liberal Arts
Entrepreneurship Seminar
Engineering Entrepreneurship
Minor with Course Clustering
Entrepreneurship: Where
Art Meets Engineering
Green Coast Labs Development Innovating from Life: Exploring Biomimicry-based
Solutions to Human Healthcare Problem
Interdisciplinary Service
Learning Entrepreneurship
Visualization in Design
and Entrepreneurial Endeavors
Invention & Innovation Via Interdisciplinary
Undergraduate Content Application
Product & Market Development
for Subsistence Marketplaces
Project Innovation Software Innovation and
Social Entrepreneurship
Sustainable Innovations for
Tomorrow's Social Entrepreneurs
Team MEDS Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Students,
Projects for Persons with Disabilities
The Four Directions:
Native American Sustainable Entrepreneurship
UCF Inventing Entrepreneurs Program Wheelchair Design
in Developing Countries
Infusing a Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the
CSUN College of Engineering and Computer Science to Address Community Needs


NCIIA awards over half a million dollars to build ventures at US universities


NCIIA has awarded $582,950 to support 27 projects from 22 universities across the US. Thirteen E-Team grants were awarded, and fourteen Course and Program grants.

NCIIA awards $2 million annually to support university-led technology entrepreneurship, funding that has resulted in the launch of more than 100 ventures.

Among the new E-Team grants awarded:

  • A team from Georgia Tech developing a cell encapsulation system for treating diabetes more effectively.
  • A University of Virginia team developing PuzzleCast, a modular cast that treats broken arms by allowing an increasing range of motion to the damaged limb over the healing period.
  • A team from North Carolina State University developing 'Light Detection and Radiation' (LiDAR), a laser-based system that can be used by remotely operated vehicles to map underwater terrain in real-time.

Among the new Course and Program grants awarded:

  • A new program at UC San Diego, mystartupXX, (named for the female chromosome) aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs by targeting female students for invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.
  • A new interdisciplinary entrepreneurial “green building” program at Norwich University that will engage E-Teams comprising seniors in business, architecture, engineering, and construction management.


Wearable Multimodal Wayfinding Techniques for Blind and Visually Impaired People

City College of New York, 2010 - $8,000

This grant will support planning and development of a cross-department joint undergraduate senior design course in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering at City College of New York. In the course, students will develop multimodal and unobtrusive techniques for helping the blind and visually impaired.

The course will be a two-semester sequence for seniors. In the first semester, students will learn the basics of sensors, actuators, visual navigation algorithms, and assistive technologies, as well as business and social issues. In the second semester, students will form into teams and study the needs of blind users, create designs of new assistive technologies, prototype them, and perform usability studies in collaboration with NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped and the Computer Center for Visually Impaired people at CUNY Baruch College.

Developing a Marketing High-Technology Products and Innovations Course

University of Maryland, 2010 - $44,100

With the Hinman CEOs program and Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), the University of Maryland has a substantial technology entrepreneurship community with a number of resources for early stage ventures and startups. However, there are currently no undergraduate courses at UM that address the marketing of technology products and innovations. At the same time, while Mtech currently serves over 700 students annually through technology entrepreneurship and innovation courses, the overall rate of venture creation is less than desired.

This grant supports development of a new course, “Marketing High-Technology Products and Innovations,” proposed as a part of the required Hinman CEOs curriculum and to be offered to all students throughout campus. This course will merge the academic side of learning marketing concepts with their applications in real life.

Interdisciplinary Environmental Entrepreneurship

Norwich University, 2010 - $26,500

The Norwich University campus, situated in northern New England, comprises a wide variety of structures from LEED-certified to “antique,” and is in many ways indicative of the building stock of its community. In order to create a sustainable campus, faculty and students from the Center for the Integrated Study of the Built Environment will team with the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and an environmental entrepreneur to evaluate campus buildings and develop entrepreneurial solutions to issues identified in the process.

Specifically, this grant will help create and pilot an interdisciplinary, two-semester, entrepreneurial “green building” program involving E-Teams comprising seniors in business, architecture, engineering, and construction management. The teams will employ Building Information Modeling to create a virtual model of structure on campus, perform energy modeling on it, and develop green solutions to problems they encounter and devise commercialization strategies for them.   

Course and Program: December 2010

Congratulations to our most recent Course and Program grantees!

Spark: A University-Level Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Florida Atlantic University (Planning Grant)

Florida Atlantic University, 2010 - $7,500

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) recently established a university-level Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform with the goal of integrating and enhancing entrepreneurial activity at FAU. As part of the initiative, this grant will help lay the groundwork for the development of two new programs: the Spark Incubator and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Spark.

Developing a Cross-Disciplinary E-Team to Enhance Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University (Planning Grant)

Louisiana State University, 2010 - $7,500

This planning grant supports the development of a plan for programs to support student entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University through a new interdisciplinary course in entrepreneurship, a business plan competition, and a mentorship program. The three-pronged program is designed to stimulate the formation of LSU's first E-Teams, involving undergraduates, faculty and counselors from technical, business and humanities disciplines. The overall aim of their efforts is to prepare undergraduates to become contributors to both the local Louisiana economy and the global economy.

Entrepreneurship Initiative for Rural Southeastern North Carolina (Planning Grant)

University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2010 - $8,000

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) serves a diverse regional community of 38% Native Americans, 32% Caucasians, 25% African Americans, and 5% Hispanics and others. UNCP is located among the poorest counties in the nation, with unemployment between 12% and 18% and per capita income 40% below the national average. In order to help the regional economy, efforts are underway to promote entrepreneurship through the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship (TFCE). The TFCE is a UNCP-affiliated organization whose goal is to promote entrepreneurship education at UNCP and provide free entrepreneurial consulting for local area residents.

This grant provides seed money to lay the groundwork for a follow-on proposal to create innovation-driven pathways for university students to lead new business development in this economically underprivileged area.

Drexel Smart House Student Seed Fund

Drexel University, 2010 - $25,000

Drexel Smart House is a student-led, research-driven organization at Drexel University working to develop a sustainable model for urban residential living. The organization engages students in multidisciplinary teams working on a number of green projects, including a lightweight green roof, residential water recovery system, urban crop cultivation, energy recovery systems and more.

This grant will create the Drexel Smart House Student Seed Fund, which will allow students to conduct early research and prototype development. Drexel Smart House has shown that access to early seed funding for preliminary research and prototypes greatly improves prospects for expanded research funding and industry collaboration.

The new eighteen-month program will fund individual, student-proposed projects ranging in cost from $100-$2,500. Student-developed short proposals will be reviewed by a faculty member and a student review board. Project proposals will be from teams working on freshman or senior engineering design projects, multidisciplinary teams, graduate student teams, and undergraduate/graduate teams.

Sustainable Medical Device Innovation for Developing Countries

Johns Hopkins University, 2010 - $41,500

This grant supports a new course, Sustainable Medical Device Innovation for Developing Countries, in Johns Hopkins’ Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID). The course, being developed as a core requirement for a new one-year MS program at CBID, will have the explicit aim of training students in the process of identification, invention and implementation of healthcare technologies that solve clinical problems in developing countries.

Students will learn through immersive clinical experience, partnering with hospitals and community health centers in South Asia and Southern Africa. Over the course of two semesters, they will work in teams to invent and prototype multiple solutions to problems they identify, develop a clinical trial plan, identify manufacturing partners, and develop an appropriate business model. Once the projects reach a certain level of maturity, teams will receive intensive mentoring on how to pursue further funding opportunities to fully implement their ideas (Gates Foundation, USAID, etc.).

Cross-disciplinary development teams to make students' ideas real

Ohio Northern University, 2010 - $19,500

This grant supports the transformation of a year-long engineering capstone course into an E-Team-generating experience that takes the best new product ideas on campus and turns them into real prototypes and potential business ventures. There will be three steps to the program: 1) in a spring “Ideas Competition,” students will pitch their ideas to a review board made up of entrepreneurs/investors; 2) E-Teams will be formed around each of the five winning ideas; 3) the following spring, the E-Teams will compete in a business plan competition, with the winning teams receiving substantial funds to continue development of their projects beyond the capstone timeframe.

The teams will be comprised of students from engineering, business and law.

Bridge Mentorship Program for Advanced Student Companies at UMass Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010 - $29,000

The NCIIA-funded UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative (UMassEI), a one-credit course, has greatly increased student participation in entrepreneurship on University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, having grown from five students in 2007 to over 200 from thirty majors running over 100 active student companies. While UMass faculty are currently formalizing a program that connects the most advanced of these student companies to outside mentors, increasing their chances for success, there remains a large gap between the mature teams and the teams in need of support. Many student companies lack the maturity or level of development to take advantage of the mentorship program after completing the one-credit UMassEI class.

This grant will help bridge the gap and connect more students more effectively to outside programs and mentors. Faculty will develop a “bridge program” for students, with the objective of providing early student companies with the knowledge and support they need to cross the gap between completing the introductory course and reaping maximum benefit from outside advisors. The program will consist of three elements: independent studies with faculty across campus who will mentor student innovation projects; bi-weekly seminars for all student proto-companies in the program to build peer-mentoring networks (a result of feedback from mentors who said students were not “ready” to talk with them yet), share successes, answer questions and make them accountable to the group; and weekly networking sessions with external entrepreneurs.

Creative Design for Affordability

Cornell University, 2010 - $17,226

This grant supports the enhancement and institutionalization of Creative Design for Affordability (CDfA), a new course in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. CDfA, established in collaboration with faculty from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, is an experiential course focused on the role that design and technology development plays in private sector innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Through this grant, Cornell faculty will be able to support approximately five multidisciplinary E-Teams per year working with peers in India on the development and launch of businesses addressing global societal challenges. Specifically, funding will help to strengthen the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary content of the course by supporting the integration of business, design, and technological innovation; ensure that cross-national, US-India E-Teams collaborate in creating viable technologies addressing critical problems; and assure E-Teams gain access to mentorship resources inside and outside the classroom.

Practicing Entrepreneurship: Creating value for a technology-based invention or idea

Michigan State University, 2010 - $29,500

This grant supports a new course in entrepreneurship at Michigan State University (MSU). Currently, the College of Engineering at MSU generates a number of invention disclosures every year from student-faculty teams, but the question of whether a business opportunity exists or not isn’t typically addressed.

The new course will introduce select students and faculty working on IP-generating projects to the entrepreneurial process (opportunity identification, IP strategy, market research, operations, financial analysis, etc.); provide students with a multidisciplinary team experience by including business students on each of the projects; and provide teams with experience in developing formal product feasibility and business plans, submitting them to Michigan’s Great Lakes Entrepreneurship Quest Competition and gaining “real-world” feedback. The program is integrated with university engagement in local economic development programs and has support from those programs for mentoring and support of successful student teams.

Master's Level Education in Bioengineering Innovation

Over the last four years, the Center of Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID, supported by an NCIIA Course and Program grant) within the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has planned and launched a one-year master’s program focusing on the identification, creation and implementation of novel health care technologies.

This grant will fund prototype development costs for graduate student teams developing technologies in the CBID. Feedback from VCs and others emphasized the importance of developing very strong prototypes in order to increase the chances for securing funding and support. Faculty also plan to expand the program from twelve to fifteen students, and require teams to increase the number of and improve the quality of prototypes developed over the span of the program.


Two biomedical device start-ups have spun out of the Master's Level Education in Bioengineering Innovation course:

Grant PI Bob Allen reports that so far 15 students have graduated from the program with MS degrees. JHPIEGO, JHU’s global health partner, is further developing two other projects from the grant: an electronic partogram and the antenatal screening kit (a 2010 E-Team grantee and Popular Science invention of the year).

Accelerating Student E-Team New Venture Creation through the Application of Industrial Design and Structured Seed Funding

Northeastern University, 2010 - $9,000

This grant, which builds on a previous NCIIA grant funding student technology projects in Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, seeks to round out the program by adding two major components: 1) the inclusion of design students and mentors on E-Teams and funds for creating industry-grade prototypes, and 2) giving student teams access to incremental seed funding.

Northeastern will work in collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Students from the Mass Art Product Development Lab will be integrated into Northeastern’s I-Cubator teams. Based on student team investment pitches, teams will be given the opportunity to raise funds of up to $3,000, with a strategic focus on design as a key project component. At the end of the one-year program, projects may then be commercialized, returned to the I-Cubator for a second year, or terminated.

Technology Innovation for People with Disabilities

University of Pittsburgh, 2010 - $25,950

Assistive Technologies (ATs) can be the single most important factor in determining whether people with disabilities can participate fully in society. However, the abandonment rate for new ATs is disconcertingly high, with inappropriate design for the user being one of the most common reasons for failure.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL), which marries efforts on research- and user-driven innovations with the expertise of outside business collaborators, has had success commercializing ATs in the past, with five spin-offs to its name. This proposal seeks funding to augment a current NSF-funded HERL program, called Research Experience for Undergraduates, to support projects and educational activities related specifically to AT product development done by undergraduates. NCIIA funding will be used to support multidisciplinary teams of undergraduates working on innovation-focused projects, workshops focused on design innovation and commercialization, and tours of local companies that support early-stage product design in the AT industry.

The ultimate goal of the expanded program is the development of highly promising AT products that can be launched after completion of the NCIIA-funded project, improving the quality and increasing the quantity of highly impactful ATs.

Clean energy hits home, and more - NCIIA Fall Newsletter

Our fall newsletter is out. Clean energy in homes, new opportunities for faculty and students, 2010 Annual Conference and grantees from the May 2009 E-Team and Course and Program grants round. Read the newsletter here.

Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Program

Ohio State University, 2005 - $12,500

Ohio State University is one of the nation's leading research and development institutions, but it lags behind other state institutions in terms of technology commercialization. The number of new ventures created at the university is relatively low, and there is little or no formal venture capital invested in the region. OSU's Center for Entrepreneurship works to stimulate economic growth and development in Ohio and the greater Midwest through technology commercialization, new company formation, and improving the competitive performance of entrepreneurial firms, and is also responsible for designing and administering the university's entrepreneurship education program. The Center is currently working to create an interdisciplinary, graduate-level education and outreach program in technology entrepreneurship and commercialization (TEC). The TEC works to access new and emerging technologies through strategic partnerships with leading research centers/programs at Ohio State, top research institutions throughout the region, and select businesses dependent upon the industry base and technology platforms in the region; create market opportunities and development strategies through an interdisciplinary, graduate-level curriculum that provides advanced training in sourcing unique technologies and developing commercialization strategies for the greatest market potential; and drive technologies to market through a dynamic, web-enabled business support network that identifies key players and provides access to the critical resources needed in real time.

The graduate-level curriculum is comprised of four required courses, including Foundations of Technology Venturing, the Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Practicum 1 (Technology Commercializtion) and 2 (Technology Entrepreneurship), and one advanced elective. NCIIA funds support the development of the lab- or experience-based tech commercialization practicum, a two-course sequence that provides graduate students of all disciplines the opportunity to conduct professional, cross-disciplinary assessments of the commercial applications and market opportunities of live, cutting-edge technologies.

UMass Commercialization Lab

University of Massachusetts - Lowell, 2005 - $16,500

Faculty at UMass Lowell has developed the UMass Commercialization Lab program (UMCL) to close a gap between the university's inventions and its ability to attract enough resources for commercialization. The Lowell campus created the Commercial Venture Development program in 1998 to serve the needs of early stage companies. The university operates the business incubator with the condition that the companies hire students. More than a dozen companies have come through the CVD program, with a resulting $80 million in venture capital and institutional investments. While the program has been successful, the university is looking for a substantial increase in the rate of business creation and economic development. The mission of the UMCL is to convert intellectual property into sustainable businesses through educational programs, research and community outreach.

Under the UMCL program, two new graduate courses have been developed as the core of the Certificate in New Venture Creation program. The certificate program is aimed at graduate students in all disciplines with an interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. One of the two courses focuses on adding value to a technology innovation through development of product platforms, project management, and exploration of sustainable production. The second is a hands-on "practicum" that allows student teams to take an idea and move it to a viable business.

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.

Design students demonstrate healthcare innovations

More TV coverage of student projects, this time from the University of Rochester.

Senior design team students talk about projects supported through a 2008 NCIIA Course and Program grant.

The students teamed up with local healthcare and medical companies to come up with creative solutions to real problems:

  • "Operation Respiration," a monitor that works to find early warning signs in newborns, such as decreased oxygen.
  • "Tread Mod," a modified treadmill that allows physical therapists to better facilitate ideal pacing for recovering patients.

Watch the clip.

University of California, Davis Program for International Energy Technologies (PIET)

University of California-Davis, 2008 - $47,500.00

For this project, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) and Center for Entrepreneurship are creating the Program for International Energy Technologies (PIET), an interdisciplinary program focusing on getting low-cost, clean energy, and energy efficient solutions into the market in developing countries. The primary goals of the program include: 1) educating and engaging UC Davis students in energy-related issues in developing countries; 2) developing interdisciplinary student E-Teams to create, design, and distribute sustainable energy products and programs; and 3) bridging the gap between the need, existing technologies, and the market by creating dissemination strategies for appropriate energy technologies in developing countries.

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.

A Multi-disciplinary, Multi-level Innovation-team Course

North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 2008 - $9,000.00

This project supports a course focused on micro-manufacturing innovation in the field of medical and dental products. The course could be expanded to become a compilation of offerings with different technological emphases but a similar structure and innovation-centered context. All the resulting courses would: 1) be open to students majoring in any subject relevant to the topic of the innovation, and would also be made available to students attending NDSU's global partner institutions and students within the Tri-college network in the region; 2) create an enabling and sustainable framework for innovation teams to secure resources through partnerships with industrial organizations and private entrepreneurs, as well as through grants from governmental and foundation resources; and 3) potentially serve as departmental electives and have course credit hours fulfill graduation requirements.

Visualization in Design and Entrepreneurial Endeavors

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2008 - $6,500.00

This project builds upon a well established, entrepreneurial-focused engineering program at RPI. Specifically, the grant supports the creation of teaching modules will take students' visualization skills to a professional level, enhancing their ability to communicate complex ideas. These advanced visualization skills are critical to innovation because they (1) increase creativity in problem solving by allowing students to visualize various solutions, and (2) improve communication of design ideas, especially to external sponsors.

While RPI has a solid reputation of harvesting students with strong vision and technical skills, the students' visual skills are generally less sophisticated compared to professionals. The teaching modules will bring students' visualization skills in line with their aptitude for creative thinking, engineering, social analysis, and entrepreneurial planning. With professional-level visualization skills, RPI students will be able to compete with the best, allowing them to communicate their innovations to a wider audience.

Course and Program Guidelines

NCIIA Course and Program Grant Guidelines – Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire guidelines prior to submitting.

Introduction | Who May Apply | Selection Criteria | Institutional Support | Intellectual Property Policies | How to Apply | The Proposal: Required and Optional Components | The NCIIA Review and Notification Process | If Your Proposal is Approved


Course and Program grants are awarded to colleges and universities for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new programs in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Through these grant funds, NCIIA supports creative pedagogical approaches that generate student teams (E-Teams*) working on technology solutions to solve real-world problems.

*What’s an E-Team?
NCIIA defines an E-Team as a multidisciplinary group of students, faculty, and industry mentors working together to bring a technology-based invention (product or service) to market. The "E" stands for entrepreneurship.

Note: If you have a proposal for a course and/or program that focuses on the development and dissemination of technology-based inventions and innovations for the benefit of people living in poverty, you should consider applying for a Sustainable Vision grant instead of a Course and Program grant. Learn more about the Sustainable Vision grants program here.  

Please note that applicants may not submit both a Sustainable Vision proposal and a Course and Program proposal for the same idea during the same grant cycle.

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Who May Apply

NCIIA grant funds are awarded to US-based colleges and universities. Faculty and staff from NCIIA member colleges and universities may apply for a Course and Program grant.

If you have questions about the status of your institution's NCIIA membership, please contact us.

Selection Criteria

The more SPECIFIC, CLEAR and COMPELLING your proposal is, the more competitive your proposal will be. Typically, proposals have a 16-25% chance of getting funded. 

Course and Program grants are awarded to NCIIA member institutions for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs or building new programs in technology-based invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Proposals may request support for a single course, a course sequence, a certificate program, a minor or major, extracurricular programs or a combination of these. Successful Course and Program grant proposals include these elements:
  • The formation of (preferably multidisciplinary) student teams focused on technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship with a positive social/environmental impact.
  • A focus on entrepreneurship and support for promising student teams (connections to people and resources on campus and beyond to support commercialization) who want to continue to develop their technology and business model after participation in the proposed course/program.
  • A plan for continuation (and financial sustainability) of the course or program post NCIIA funding.
  • Experiential learning by doing and creative pedagogical approaches to solving real world problems. 
NCIIA encourages proposals that involve students and advisors from engineering, science, business, design, and liberal arts disciplines, as well as groups traditionally underrepresented in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship, including women and minorities. 

What will NOT be funded?
Here are some examples of projects that are NOT strong candidates for Course and Program grant funding:

  • Pure research projects.
  • Courses or programs that are unlikely to continue beyond the grant period.
  • Existing programs where there is little change or improvement proposed.
  • Courses and/or programs without a focus on technology innovation and/or entrepreneurship.
  • Courses or programs that do not lead to the creation of student E-Teams.
  • Proposals that do not demonstrate that the most promising student teams and technologies will be supported beyond the classroom.

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Institutional Support

NCIIA requires evidence of support from your college or university, which we believe is critical to the success of your course or program. The following institutional representatives must verify their support (online) of your proposal by responding to an automated email request from the online proposal prior to final submission. They need to virtually “sign off” by responding to the email generated within the online proposal process and enter their initials.

Applicants should contact their Office of Sponsored Programs/Research or the equivalent well ahead (2+ weeks) of the grant deadline to inform them they want to submit a proposal. Many colleges and universities require a full proposal for administrative review and approval before it can be submitted to NCIIA.
Principal Investigator (PI)
The Principal Investigator takes primary responsibility for the proposal and will have overall responsibility for the grant and reporting. Ideally, a tenured or tenure-track faculty and/or staff member serves as the Principal Investigator. Co-PIs are allowed but 1 lead PI must be identified. Students may not serve as Principal Investigators.
Administrative Contact (AC)
The NCIIA defines the Administrative Contact as a grants administrator or fiscal officer authorized to commit the institution to the terms of the grant. Often, the AC is someone in your institution's Office of Sponsored Programs/Research or an administrator able to manage grant funding within a department or school. Principal Investigators, other faculty, and students may not serve as the AC.
Note: NCIIA strongly encourages that you contact your Office of Sponsored Programs/Research or the equivalent well ahead (2+ weeks) of the submission deadline to inform them of your intention to submit a proposal. Many colleges and universities require a full proposal for administrative review and approval before it can be submitted.
Department Chair (DC)
The Department Chair (or equivalent) will need to indicate his/her awareness of and support for your proposal as a demonstration of institutional commitment to the proposed program or project.
Dean of Faculty (DF)
The Dean of Faculty (or equivalent) will need to indicate his/her awareness of and support for your proposal as a demonstration of institutional commitment to the proposed program or project.

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Intellectual Property Policies

The NCIIA supports courses and/or programs that lead to the creation of E-Teams as they work toward commercialization of their inventions. Ownership of discoveries or inventions resulting from activities financed by NCIIA grant funds will be governed by grantee institutions’ intellectual property policies. If a school does not have an intellectual property policy, then the institution must develop an E-Team agreement that establishes ownership of ideas resulting from E-Team work. The NCIIA takes no financial or ownership interest in the projects funded by these grants.

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How to Apply

All program applications must be submitted online. Anyone on the team may serve as the applicant. ALL proposal deadlines end at 11:59pm eastern time on the specified due date unless otherwise indicated.

To start, you’ll need to have an NCIIA account. Creating an account is easy, and anyone can do it. To access an existing account or to create a new one, click here. You may start, save, stop, and return to your online proposal at anytime before submitting.
You may preview a PDF of the online application here. This PDF includes screen shots of NCIIA's five-step proposal process. This PDF is for preview purposes only.

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The Proposal: Required and Optional Components

As part of the online application process, you will be prompted to upload the following into your proposal:

Details on each component are provided below.

Required Proposal Components
The following documents are required as part of your proposal and must be included in the following order, combined together into a single PDF:
  1. Proposal narrative
  2. Proposed budget (in the NCIIA template, which should be downloaded here or directly from the online proposal application)
  3. Letter(s) of support (at least 1 required, maximum of 3 accepted)
  4. Team member resumes (4 resumes maximum, each limited to 3 pages per resume)

1) REQUIRED: Proposal Narrative
Your proposal narrative may not exceed 5 pages in length using 12-point Times font and 1-inch margins. Again, the more SPECIFIC, CLEAR, and COMPELLING your narrative is, the more competitive your proposal will be. We recommend that the following information is included in your narrative. 

Proposed course and/or program description
  • What are you proposing? Be specific in the first paragraph; for example, is it a course or a program?  Is it new or an expansion of existing courses/programs? Is it is a certificate program, a major or minor, or an extracurricular opportunity or a combination? It is important to differentiate between program elements that exist and anything new that you are proposing. If you choose, you may use a chart or a map identifying what exists vs. the new elements you are proposing in the appendix.
  • What is the technology invention/innovation area of focus?
  • How will the proposed course or program lead to the creation of student E-Teams? Will resulting teams be multidisciplinary (encouraged but not required)?
  • Explain the process: how will teams be formed, how many (approximately) per year, where will the ideas come from (students/faculty, university research, a combination, etc.), and how will any resulting IP be handled?
  • Is there an experiential learning opportunity for students?
  • Is there potential for educational, social and/or environmental impact?
History and context
  • What gap(s) are you addressing on your campus; what do you feel is missing?
  • Provide a 1-2 paragraph background of how the program or project began and what has been accomplished so far (if anything).
  • What institutional and financial support have you received for your work?
Team and partners
  • Describe the role of each key individual involved with delivering and supporting the proposed course and/or program. Keep each description to 1-2 sentences. 
  • Have you identified partners on campus or beyond who will help promising teams commercialize any resulting technologies? Describe the "entrepreneurial ecosystem" on your campus and in your community that teams can access* (other faculty members, departments, entrepreneurship centers, incubators, accelerators, mentors etc.). 
*Note: Proposals should go beyond listing entrepreneurial support resources and demonstrate that a structured path is available for some teams to further develop a path to market. 
Work plan and outcomes: create a table in the narrative
  • What are the milestones that you hope to achieve during the grant period? 
  • How many E-Teams will be formed/supported each year? How many students?
Beyond the grant 
  • How will you evaluate your course/program beyond student evaluations?
  • Will the course or program continue beyond the end of the grant period? If so, how do you anticipate that it will be funded? Is your program replicable?

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2. REQUIRED: Proposed Budget
Your budget demonstrates to reviewers how you intend to achieve the objectives proposed in your 5-page narrative. NCIIA requires you to use the provided Course and Program budget template which you can download here

Justify your proposed budget
Including specific budget justifications is a critical piece in helping reviewers understand how you intend to spend grant funds. Provide your justifications in the "justifications" section in the budget template or in a separate sheet; the more detail in the justifications the better.
Grant funds may be proposed for expenses related to curricular development and course or program realization. Equipment and other resources purchased with grant funds become the property of the institution.

Note: Course and Program grant funds cannot cover institutional overhead but can provide personnel costs of up to $5,000; the $5,000 maximum includes any applicable cost of fringe benefits.

Eligible expenses examples:

  • Equipment expenses (NCIIA will typically not fund the purchase of equipment that is considered part of college or university infrastructure. Equipment expenses should be less than 1/3 the total proposed budget).
  • Personnel costs up to $5,000 (may be divided or proposed for 1 person, and includes the cost of any applicable fringe benefits).
  • Expenses related to early implementation of program, including materials & supplies, prototyping, technical services, and testing.
  • Travel.
  • Expenses related to students’ performing patent searches or creating marketing analyses, or business plans.

Ineligible expenses examples:

  • Overhead: NCIIA does not cover institutional overhead.
  • Personnel costs over the $5,000 maximum.
  • Equipment expenses totaling more than 1/3 the total proposed budget.
  • Speaker honoraria over $200.
  • Wages for students during the academic year.
  • Legal and other expenses of business formation or operation.
  • Publicity expenses.

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3. REQUIRED: Letter(s) of Support
Letters of support should demonstrate to reviewers that there is ongoing institutional support for your project and/or technical competence and market opportunity in the proposed work. Letters can also serve to verify partnerships discussed in your proposal narrative or verify additional funding to complement the proposed budget. At least 1 letter is required, up to 3 will be accepted. 

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4. REQUIRED: Resumes
Include resumes from the Principal Investigator and any other key collaborators. We do not need resumes for the Administrative Contact or non-key team members/collaborators. Up to 4 resumes are allowed and they should be no more than 3 pages each.

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Optional: Additional Appendices
Up to 5 additional (optional) supporting documents may be combined into 1 PDF file and uploaded as an appendix item. Relevant supporting materials including curricula, photographs, and syllabi are welcome. 

Note: Sheer volume of material is not an asset. Reviewers are directed to use supporting materials only to supplement the 5-page narrative. Therefore, key information should be included in the narrative.
Optional: Weblinks and/or Videos
In addition to supporting documents, applicants may upload up to 4 links to websites, online articles, videos and/or other relevant online data that will inform and provide context for the proposed program.  

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The NCIIA Review and Notification Process

  • Submitted proposals are screened internally and reviewed by external panels of reviewers made up of individuals from academia, industry, nonprofits, and content experts from the US and around the world.
  • NCIIA strives to notify applicants of the status of their proposals via email within 90 days of the submission deadline.  In some cases, NCIIA may ask for additional information and/or clarification after the proposal has been submitted.
  • All applicants and PIs will receive notification via email as to whether or not their proposal has been selected for funding. If your proposal is not accepted, detailed reviewer comments are not shared in writing but applicants may schedule a call with NCIIA to receive a verbal summary of reviewer feedback.
  • Occasionally, reviewers invite a team to resubmit their proposal in a future cycle for re-consideration, after certain concerns or questions are addressed. Applicants invited by reviewers to resubmit should contact NCIIA to discuss the reviewer feedback in detail and make sure they understand the questions and concerns raised. Resubmitted proposals must specify how previous concerns have been addressed. Resubmissions should clearly mark a section of the narrative "Addressing Previous Reviewer Concerns."

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If Your Proposal is Approved

  • Funds are awarded to US-based colleges and universities.
  • The Principal Investigator will receive a notification letter and approved budget via email.
  • NCIIA will send an award letter agreement for signature to the Administrative Contact identified in the proposal. Once this award letter is signed and returned to NCIIA, funds can be disbursed.

Reporting for Grantees
Reporting requirements will be outlined in the award letter. Principal Investigators for NCIIA grants are prompted via email (usually once each year) to complete reports online. Failure to submit reports may jeopardize your institution’s eligibility for future grants and pending payments. If you receive a grant, reporting deadlines will be detailed in your award letter. Click here to preview sample interim and final reports. 

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Congratulations, you read the guidelines! If you are still unsure about whether your idea is a fit, email a 1 paragraph abstract for feedback to or call the grants team at (413) 587-2172.

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NCIIA Course and Program Grants

Course and Program grants strengthen existing curricular programs and/or build new courses and programs in invention, innovation, and technology entrepreneurship. Read about recent grantees.

Upcoming submission deadline: November 7, 2014

Program guidelines

Read the guidelines before you apply!

Program overview
Course and Program grants are awarded to NCIIA member institutions for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs or building new programs in technology-based invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Proposals may request support for a single course, a course sequence, a certificate program, a minor or major, extracurricular programs or a combination of these. Successful proposals include the following elements:

  • The formation of student teams (E-Teams*) focused on technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship with a positive social/environmental impact.
  • A focus on entrepreneurship and support for promising student teams who want to continue to develop their technologies and business models after participation in the proposed course/program.
  • A plan for continuation (and financial sustainability) of the course or program post-NCIIA-funding.
  • An emphasis on experiential learning-by-doing and creative pedagogical approaches to solving real world problems. 

NCIIA encourages proposals that involve students and advisors from engineering, science, business, design, and liberal arts disciplines, as well as groups traditionally underrepresented in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship, including women and minorities. 

Note: If you are proposing a course and/or program which focuses on the development and deployment of technology-based inventions and innovations for the benefit of people living in poverty in the US and/or abroad, you should submit a Sustainable Vision proposal instead of a Course and Program proposal. Learn more about the Sustainable Vision grants program here. Applicants may not submit both a Course and Program proposal and a Sustainable Vision proposal for the same idea during the same grant cycle.

How to apply

Click here to apply. Detailed instructions and information about the application process can be found in the program guidelines.

You may preview a PDF of the online application here.

This PDF includes screen shots of NCIIA's five-step proposal process. The proposal content shown may vary slightly by programl, but the application steps are the same. This PDF is for preview purposes only.


*What's an E-Team?
NCIIA defines an E-Team as a multidisciplinary group of students, faculty, and industry mentors working together to bring a technology-based invention (product or service) to market. The "E" stands for entrepreneurship. 

The Four Directions Program

Carnegie Mellon University

The Four Directions Program is focused on sustainable entrepreneurship and venture development for Native American students and others at Arizona State University. E-Teams develop business plans for tribal-based ventures emphasizing sustainability, and are encouraged to submit their proposals to NCIIA and seek support from other Arizona institutions

E-Team Workshop Series and Phase 0 Seed Fund Program

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

This project will help form E-Teams by creating hands-on project experiences for students from various disciplines. A series of three "E-workshops" will be held, in which professors and guest speakers will introduce and educate students on the process of developing an idea, performing market research, and creating business plans. At the end of the workshop series, E-Teams will compete for $1,000 in seed funding

Creating Business/Engineering Multidisciplinary E-Teams

University of Chicago

This grant supports the creation of a two-course sequence in which student teams spend their senior year working with industry and/or regional entrepreneurs to develop a product idea and bring it to the prototype stage. E-Teams are comprised of engineering and business students who participate in the capstone course as well as a seminar series on ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. All of the E-Teams focus on the needs of the first-responder community as well as medical applications, thus allowing students to gain both an appreciation for entrepreneurship and a respect for the contributions made by law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS personnel

Entrepreneurship through Experiential Learning and Community Service

Florida Institute of Technology

This grant supports the development of a two-quarter undergraduate-level honors course entitled “Entrepreneurship through Innovative Interdisciplinary Projects in Technology and Community Service” to be offered in spring and fall 2007. The course entails student E-Teams partnering with a nonprofit agency to develop solutions to specific issues the agency faces. Once solutions are devised, E-Teams will assess the technical and commercial viability of the solutions themselves. The course will be taught by seven faculty members from four disciplines. During the initial implementation of the course, both students and faculty will attend a private seminar each quarter at Eureka! Ranch, a private think tank with a focus on innovation, marketing and personal leadership

Advanced Design in Biomedical Engineering

Smith College

This grant supports the expansion of an undergraduate course in biomedical design. The course engages undergraduate students in creative design before they reach their senior capstone course, encouraging students to develop and maintain their creativity while motivating further independent course-based learning. In the end, the course hopes to provide students with theoretical and practical design experience, an introduction to entrepreneurship in biomedical engineering, and an introduction to the discipline

Teaching Structural Design, Construction Practices, and Sustainable Technologies for Mitigation of Natural Disaster Damages in Coastal and Fault Areas of Developing Regions

Vanderbilt University

This project supports the development of a two-semester course sequence for seniors focusing on design and construction to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes on residential structures in developing regions. Through lectures, guest speakers, mentorship and on-site visits, students will be introduced to structural dynamics, passive seismic control, low-tech and low-cost alternative construction techniques, value engineering and socioeconomics. The course will be made up of about fifteen engineering and architecture students divided into three or four E-Teams, each assigned an industry mentor.

The E-Teams will research and design solutions, and build and test prototypes in a Structural Control and A-seismic Research (SCARE) lab. They will document their progress in a report, including a business plan for field implementation of the proposed solution, and visit a selected community in a developing region to implement their solution.

Among the educational outcomes, students will be taught the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, and environmental context, with an emphasis on design to save lives in earthquake regions

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

University of California-Santa Barbara

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

Program to Support Computer Applications for Medicine

University of Tulsa

This project seeks to create a new type of senior thesis program at the University of Virginia. Currently, over the course of a nine-month period, engineering students write an individual thesis that identifies, analyzes and offers a solution to a specific technical challenge. With this project, UVA will move away from traditional (individual) research and toward multidisciplinary student collaboration by having E-Teams develop computer applications for use in the medical field. In liaison with the university’s school of medicine, each team will identify a medical need, suggest a solution, devise and test a prototype and follow the development cycle through to commercial viability.

Four E-Teams (each with three members) will be created during the first two years. Thereafter, it is assumed that more seniors from the annual pool of 450 individuals will join E-Teams; they will be selected on a competitive basis

International Social Entrepreneurship through Multidisciplinary Student E-Team Projects

Wake Forest University

Microfinancing is the delivery of financial services to the economically poor on a large scale and in a sustainable manner. While this approach has been highly successful tool for fighting poverty on a global scale, the small loans ($50-$500) require loan processing and labor–intensive activities that result in high transaction costs. With this project, Lehigh will develop E-Teams focusing on the implementation of pilot microfinance technology in developing countries, beginning in Honduras. The projects will include:
  • A rigorous application and selection process
  • An international immersion trip with students and faculty mentors
  • Experiential learning based on tackling real problems with external clients
  • Multidisciplinary student teams developing technologies and technology services

From Discovery to Commercialization: Development of the Greater Phoenix Nanotechnology Innovation Pathway and Pipeline

Dartmouth College

With this project, faculty at Arizona State University are developing an interdisciplinary undergraduate program with a focus on nanotechnology. The program, called Nanotechnology: Perspectives and Entrepreneurial Opportunities, draws together students with backgrounds in science, business, engineering, public policy, communication, pre-law and pre-medicine and forges links with industry and the regional entrepreneurial community.

The course curriculum defines nanotechnology, explores its underlying technologies and tools, and address issues of education and public understanding. Two main points of interest are emphasized: nanotechnology per se and environmental nanotechnology. Example projects include nanobiosensing, drug delivery systems, and recovery of materials in waste prevention. Five or six E-Teams form each year and are exposed to start-up and management concepts, strategic planning, business development, sales/marketing and team building. By completion of the program, students have developed skills in generating hypotheses, problem solving, cooperative learning, teamwork, patent dvelopment, and licensing and product marketing, in addition to having an increased understanding of creativity, innovation and leadership

Strategic Technology Planning and Development Course Development

Johns Hopkins University

The Marquette University College of Engineering is developing Strategic Technology Planning and Development, a new course in the field of engineering entrepreneurship. The course focuses on developing technology that will be appropriate and available for product transfer at the moment it is needed. The course organizes students into E-Teams with the goal of producing a strategic development plan for a new technology-based business opportunity. The opportunity may be original to the team, or may derive from current college R&D programs. To stimulate commercialization of resulting opportunities, E-Teams are entered into the annual Golden Angels Network business plan contest.

Each four to six person E-Team consists of students, faculty members, and industry experts. Students learn through lectures, discussions, projects, and presentations. Once established, the course will fill a core role in the university’s Engineering Management Program

From Discovery to Commercialization: Developing the Greater Phoenix Innovation Pipeline

Loyola Marymount University

Sustainable development reconciles society’s developmental goals with the planet’s environmental limits over the long term. Although the sustainability industry is built upon the discoveries of researchers, the road from discovery to commercialization is not well known by most investigators, students, faculty members, and early-stage entrepreneurs. Additionally, many underserved student groups, such as the Hispanic and Native American populations and women, have had little exposure to sustainability science and innovation-focused careers. To address these issues, faculty from Arizona State University’s International Institute for Sustainability and the ASU Technopolis are implementing a sustainability-focused Technology and Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Course (TLSE), Sustainability Entrepreneurship, to bring together graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members, educational and entrepreneurial communities, and underserved populations and engage them in the innovation pipeline.

Course attendees—students, faculty members, and early-stage entrepreneurs from greater Phoenix—will learn basic start-up and management concepts and be exposed to strategic planning, technology roadmapping, business development, finance, intellectual property, marketing, law, product development, sales, and team building. Class members will form entrepreneurial teams to develop sustainability-focused business plans and financials, culminating with formal team presentations before a panel of industry experts, attorneys, and venture capitalists. ASU will also provide additional support for students to develop their sustainability-related projects following completion of the course

Entrepreneurial Field Studies

Northwestern University

This grant supports the University of Oklahoma’s Entrepreneurial Field Studies course, developed by faculty from the College of Business’s Entrepreneurship Center, which provides students with opportunities to apply concepts mastered in previous business courses while they work to develop intellectual property generated at the university. Student E-Teams work closely with the inventor of a product or service to bring previously shelved ideas to commercialization, with the ultimate goal of increasing wealth in the state of Oklahoma. Self-forming student teams choose intellectual property projects to undertake from several local institutions, including the office of Oklahoma Technology Development (OTD), the Noble Foundation, and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). The IP selection criteria include its ability to address social issues through technologies that solve critical problems and meet basic human needs. The scope of the teams’ due diligence generally involves research into the feasibility of commercializing patented IP, market research surrounding a new IP, or the development of a business plan for new IP.

The class will has an enrollment of twenty-four students, divided into eight E-Teams. Each E-Team is composed of three graduate students and a mentor, integral to the team’s activities. The students learn entrepreneurial evaluation processes in the classroom, partially through guest speakers, then execute due diligence on their chosen product in the field, working with the inventor to determine the market applications of the invention and the opportunity and feasibility of the proposed application. At the end of the semester, student teams complete a business plan and present it to a group of panelists from venture capital and private equity firms in the culminating business plan competition. Students involved in the competition gain access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors, team-building opportunities, business planning skills, and media exposure. At the course’s conclusion, they may form a company or perform as marketing agents on behalf of the university’s Office of Technology Development, receiving twenty percent of gross royalties

An Innovation Curriculum: Introduction to Innovation and Innovation Teams

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Major changes are underway at UCCS, which will culminate in the development of a new series of degrees: a Bachelors of Innovation (BI) and a Masters of Innovation (MI). These degrees encompass traditional disciplines, such as computer science and business, but also provide students with an extensive “innovation core” of courses intended to make them familiar with the process of innovation. NCIIA funds provide support for the development and implementation of two elements of these majors: a freshman-level “Introduction to Innovation” course and the central course of the innovation core, the six-term “Innovation Team” course. The first introduces students to innovation processes, problem-solving, teamwork strategies, etc.; the second involves them in a hands-on project in a multidisciplinary team comprised of eight to twenty students, ranging from sophomores to graduate students.

New Elements for International Idea to Product (I2P) Program

Illinois Institute of Technology

The University of Texas at Austin received NCIIA funds in 2003 to further develop their pre-existing Idea to Product Technology Commercialization Program (I2P™). NCIIA funding provided seed money to E-Teams generated by the I2P Competition process to help improve the quality of their products and prototypes and increase the potential for taking their ideas to market; helped faculty initiate an international intercollegiate component of I2P Program; and helped faculty develop a new, innovative Austin Technology Incubator Affiliate (ATI) initiative.

In 2005 NCIIA funded the I2P Program again, this time with money going toward strengthening and institutionalizing the international competition component of the I2P™ program and thus significantly expanding the potential number of E-Teams generated.

The International I2P™ competition is modeled after both the MOOT CORP® competition and the UT Austin I2P™ regional competition. It's designed to be a pre-launch, pre-business plan competition that assesses the market opportunity, technological feasibility, and intellectual property position of innovations from teams representing the leading research universities around the world. The competition has grown from six teams in its inaugural year to thirteen teams this year and will be expanded next year to at least twenty teams. To date, the UT Austin I2P competition, which also focuses on the creation of entrepreneurial ventures grounded in science and technology, has attracted approximately 200 teams made up of a mix of ethnically and gender diverse undergraduate and graduate students from a broad cross-section of UT’s colleges and departments

Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship Thematic Learning Community (E'ship TLC) - Creating Opportunities for Entrepreneurship Education from Top to Bottom

Babson College

The University of Kansas School of Engineering, in partnership with the Office of Technology Transfer, is implementing a university-wide program in entrepreneurship: the Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship Thematic Learning Community (E’ship TLC), creating a culture of entrepreneurial thinking across the campus. The E’ship TLC will be open to participation from faculty and students (graduate and undergraduates) across all disciplines. A subset of the students will also be enrolled in entrepreneurship courses that integrate business into subject-specific courses. A part-time administrator will manage the courses and be responsible for publicity across the campus community. Students in new upper level multidisciplinary courses areas will form cross-functional entrepreneurship teams to explore faculty inventions. The E-Teams will evaluate the technology from a science, engineering, legal, and business perspective, creating a strong foundation for commercialization. In addition, faculty inventors will be involved in the entrepreneurial process. Underclassmen in the TLC will interact with students in the advanced courses and learn from their volunteer experiences. The program will initially focus on bioengineering-related disciplines.

Service through Design and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program

Rowan University

Pennsylvania State University’s Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a student-led organization, was created in 2001 with the goal of providing undergraduate students with design and research opportunities that directly impact the lives of people in developing communities through active collaboration with university partners and host nations. Faculty in the Department of Engineering Design at Penn State are now creating a Service through Design and Entrepreneurship certificate to be offered through the College of Engineering in conjunction with the Entrepreneurship Minor.

Students receive the certificate after successful completion of a three-course series: Entrepreneurship Business Basics, which teaches intellectual property, finance, and marketing; Entrepreneurship and New Product Development, which examines the concept of new product launch within a mainstream company as student teams design, prototype a new product family, and then present the product concept to venture seed fund representatives from companies like General Electric; and Engineering Cultures, Appropriate Technology and Product Design in Developing Communities, which discusses appropriate technology and initiate collaborative team development between Penn State students and host university students working on preliminary problem recognition and design study.

Each year, two to four interdisciplinary E-Teams of four to six members are formed to address an infrastructure or product design problem in a developing community, specifically focused on addressing the needs of individuals living on less than $2 a day. Faculty, practicing engineers, NGO representatives, and community development practitioners work with teams as mentors.

Design for Sustainability: Courses of Study for Electrical Engineers

Stanford University

Waste produced by the disposal of outdated computer systems presents a serious environmental problem. A team of business, engineering, and liberal arts faculty at Auburn University is developing balanced design curricula for junior and senior electrical engineering students that focus on sustainability design for computer equipment through teaching modules incorporated into existing courses and the development of Recycling the Toxic Computer, an elective senior design course. Auburn will also host a nationwide workshop on sustainable engineering curriculum development to disseminate the results of the program at the end of the three-year grant period.

Through modules inserted into laboratory courses, junior-year students learn the social, economic, and environmental impacts of computer system product design and manufacture. Senior-year students have the ability to incorporate sustainability constraints into the design of a computer system product, and seniors taking the elective design course demonstrate the design of a computer system product that meets sustainability requirements and generate a business plan for the product with the goal of bringing it to market.

Integrating Engineering Educaton with Entrepreneurship to Enhance Technology Transfer

Purdue University-Main Campus

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.

E-teams in D-lab: Promoting Invention and Innovation for International Development

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College

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.

Entrepreneurial Enterprise Using E-Teams, at Michigan Technological University

California Institute of Technology

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.

Entrepreneurial Financial Computing

University of Nevada-Reno

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.

Life Science Entrepreneurship Curriculum Expansion to Certificate Program

Whitman College

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.

Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Design

University of Miami

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.

Entrepreneurship: Concept to Commercialization

Clarkson University

This project supports the implementation of a comprehensive entrepreneurship development colloquium that develops E-Teams and serves students across all academic majors at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). Throughout the colloquium, E-Teams of students, technology and business faculty, successful local entrepreneurs, and other advisors work collaboratively to develop new products and apply existing technologies to new ideas.

While the honors colloquium is nothing new at STCC, the proposed program would act as a vehicle to engage high achieving students from across academic divisions to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations. The primary goal of the colloquium is to develop and implement a set of strategies that will nurture, promote, enhance, and support innovation, invention, and entrepreneurial enterprises among E-Team students through the use of courses, workshops, lectures, field trips, laboratory experiments, professional consultation and group dynamics. When the semester ends, E-Teams are further encouraged to pursue commercialization by advisors and supported by STCC resources

The Integrated Technology Ventures (ITV) Program

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

This project supports the University of Florida in creating the Integrated Technology Ventures (ITV) Program. The ITV Program aims to provide engineering and business students with an educational experience that closely mimics a true entrepreneurial environment. Students form virtual start-up companies led by actual CEOs. In addition to their product development, students complete research assignments, as well as attend supplemental lectures on entrepreneurial approaches and problem solving.

The ITV Program builds upon successful UF industry interaction model programs such as the Integrated Product and Process Design Program, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Office of Technology and Licensing, and two university supported technology start-up incubator facilities.

Building a Curriculum in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at UMass Amherst

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is launching a new program in Technology Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (TIE). NCIIA funding sustains the first of a two-course foundation sequence for a three-year time span. The goal of the first course is to serve as an introduction to systematic innovation and entrepreneurial skill, thinking, and practice, providing a foundation of conceptual skills, technical content, and experiential understanding essential to effective innovation and entrepreneurship. The follow-up practicum course supports the development of E-Teams and provides core skill content such as business plan development, fundraising, and market research.

A key complementary component to the course is the student-run UMass Five College EntreClub, which was the prototype for the NCIIA publication “The EntreClub Handbook.”

Software Engineering & Entrepreneurship

Drexel University

This project supports Muhlenberg College in creating a new Software Engineering and Entrepreneurship (SE&E) course that enables students to learn more about invention, entrepreneurship, and software engineering. SE&E examines the ideas and techniques required to create computer-based systems that address real-world problems, and engage student teams in developing prototypes of such systems. E-Teams include students from the Biomedical Entrepreneurship course, depending on selected projects and student backgrounds. Each team develops a proof-of-concept or prototype, and an initial business plan. The entire class meets regularly for guest lectures, code reviews, presentations, and readings discussions.

Innovations in Architectural Infill

Hampshire College

NCIIA funding helped create one new class and two new workshops focusing on "architectural infill" at Carnegie Mellon. Architectural infill is the fine grain of architecture that students don’t often get the chance to imagine, research, or develop. The new additions are Architectural Infill I: Healing Devices, a semi-independent study course in which students research, develop, and test a narrow range of products previously explored in related classes; Architectural Infill II: Innovations in Architectural Casework, a workshop within an existing course that introduces students to human needs, human factors, perception, cognition, and specialized need design; and Architectural Infill III: American-Japanese Collaboration, a two-week collaboration that may be worked into the Carnegie Mellon Study Abroad Program. It aims to apply installations and designs that improve quality of life for people throughout the world.

University of Maine Entrepreneurship Program

Lehigh University

NCIIA funding spurred the development of an entrepreneurship program at the University of Maine, encouraging students to think innovatively toward new product development leading to commercialization. The program encourages inventive, innovative, and entrepreneurial initiatives by bringing together students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Students from the Colleges of Business, Engineering, and the Sciences merge with existing entrepreneurs, researchers, and experts in business development and technology commercialization to develop new Maine companies.

The entrepreneurship program is initially offered as a special topics course, introducing students to entrepreneurship through weekly business seminars. The second semester offers a more in-depth and detailed seminar series, in which E-Teams form. Students who wish to continue the development of a business beyond the course are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Target Technology Incubator as affiliate members or Tenant companies.

Learning Innovation and Invention through Doing

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

This project supports the incorporation of E-Teams into Franklin W. Olin's "Olin Hatchery," a resource center supporting student-initiated ventures on campus. E-Teams form early on, in the sophomore year, with the idea that the teams will continue their work through their junior and senior years

The Global Design Solutions Project

Finlandia University

Finlandia University, Hancock, Michigan and Columbia College, Chicago, share a design education philosophy that is linked to the real world. Finlandia University partnered with the Kuopio Academy of Design to adopt the business-based Finnish education model which requires a cross-disciplinary design and business curriculum. Columbia College engages students with as many real life design problems as possible, requiring innovation in their problem-solving approach to design problems.

This grant supports a collaborative program between the two institutions--The Institute for Global Design Education--which will marry the strengths of their design programs. Ultimately, the institute will be a consortium of international design schools and corporations that will identify, consider and solve international design problems.

This grant supports phase one of institute development in which both institutions will integrate the E-Team concept into their curriculum on a permanent basis. In phase one, Finlandia University will develop two new classes in design and entrepreneurship, while Columbia College integrates E-Teams into its existing course structure. Finlandia proposes to offer the Art and Design Project Management and Art and Design Project courses as a continuing project learning structure within the Art and Design Program. The courses will allow student teams to pursue project work in their sophomore and junior spring semesters, leading up to their senior final project. Columbia College will integrate E-Teams into their five studio sequence. The first three studios teach materials and techniques, design paradigms and product semantics, while the fourth and fifth studios facilitate team project work. E-Teams at both schools will pursue solutions to real-world problems offered by corporate partners including, ED Designs, the largest design firm in Finland; Wilson Sporting Goods, Chicago; and Kone from Moline, Illinois

Technological Entrepreneurship

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

Northeastern University is creating a School of Technological Entrepreneurship, and has already raised $3 million for the startup. The vision is a professional school that can become a national leader in education and research at the intersection of technology development and business creation--Technological Entrepreneurship. This grant supports an undergraduate concentration in Technological Entrepreneurship consisting of five joint courses, which will allow the engineering students to complete an accredited engineering degree and the business students an accredited business degree. This grant will help fund twelve undergraduate E-Teams consisting of ninety-six students--sixty engineering students and thirty-six business students

Invention and Innovation in New Product Development: Freshman/Sophomore, Junior/Senior, Graduate Course Sequence

Missouri State University

In 1997, the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched its Managing New Product Development course. This graduate course is part of the Management of Technology Program at the University of California, Berkeley. It specifically aims to develop interdisciplinary skills in students, for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. To accomplish a truly multi-disciplinary course experience, the course is cross-listed in three UC Berkeley Colleges including Architecture and Engineering, Business, and Information Management and Systems, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Students from these colleges team to work through all stages of new product development, learning useful tools and techniques to execute each step of the process. The course is extremely popular with students, and tends to over-enroll. However, although the course is successful, it has several limitations. One, the course does not support E-Team projects past the end of the semester; two, it does not provide students with seed money to cover project costs.

Drawing from lessons learned in the Managing New Product Development course, the principal investigators will develop two new courses, and improve the Managing New Product Development course. In all three courses, NCIIA funding will provide seed money for E-Team projects during the semester, and support for especially promising teams at the close of the semester. The first new course is called Designing Technology for Girls and Women. This lower division course will cover gender issues associated with new product development. In it, students will apply state-of-the-art information technology and new tools to tackle and design solutions to crucial societal problems where women are the end users. A major goal of the course is to motivate women students to persevere and thrive in engineering. Designing Technology for Women and Girls will work closely with the Institute of Women and Technology and companies within the San Francisco Bay area. The second new course, Introduction to Product Development, provides students with an operational experience in the development of innovative and realistic engineered problems. The course will introduce design concepts and techniques, and will guide students through the process of developing a design or feasibility study. Students will make both individual and group oral presentations, and participate in conferences

Experimental Haptics

Stanford University, 2002 - $27,000

In 2002, the Computer Science and Surgery Department at Stanford University offered CS277, Experimental Haptics, one of the first courses in haptics taught in the U.S. "Haptics" is the dynamic interaction of proprioception (our sense of space around the body), kinesthesis (our perception of external forces on the body), and tactility (our ability to sense the properties of surfaces on the skin), and of the science of using machines to stimulate these systems. The course provides students with basic knowledge of haptics, including current research and commercial potential. Students in the course gain a basic set of tools for developing hardware and software for haptics interfaces. They then form E-Teams to pursue independent projects in haptics with support of the course administrators and the Stanford Haptic Laboratory. Projects from last year's course included: linking the SensAble Phantom to a Sony Playstation to make the surgical simulation available on a low-cost computer platform; developing "Haptic Battle Pong," a video game that integrates the advanced sensibilities of the Phantom; and developing a haptic interface that uses mechanical brakes to simulate contact with virtual objects. In addition to project work, E-Teams attend a lecture series featuring key pioneers in haptic technology.

This project will improve Experimental Haptics with support from the NCIIA, based on lessons learned from the initial course. Though the first course was successful, it lacked several elements that would allow students to pursue even more complex projects or turn existing projects into commercially viable products. Students lacked access to computer hardware and haptic devices crucial to project development. The proposal requests funds for haptic interface hardware, three computers, additional supplies for hardware projects, and patent/publication/marketing funds.

Entrepreneurial Marketing Course

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Currently, the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (UWW) offers only one course in entrepreneurship: Product Development. This course covers the process of developing a new product in the context of an established business. In an effort to expand its entrepreneurship program, the UWW Innovation Center will develop a new course in entrepreneurial marketing for new ventures, based on those offered at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Syracuse University.

The Entrepreneurial Marketing course focuses on the key marketing strategies relevant for new venture initiation, as well as marketing decisions for small and growing organizations. In the course, students learn to:

  • apply marketing concepts to entrepreneurial company challenges
  • take on the special challenges and opportunities involved with developing marketing strategies
  • identify entrepreneurial opportunities from emerging trends in marketing practice
  • develop inexpensive, valid approaches to identifying customer needs and conducting market research
  • design creative approaches to marketing communications, and
  • explore the varying role of marketing strategies among entrepreneurial firms.
The course environment facilitates student acquisition and application of knowledge of new market venture strategies, recognizing variances in the process of different industries and companies

Smith Engineering Entrepreneurial Initiative

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

The Picker Engineering Program is the first degree-granting engineering program at a women's college in the US. In its first year, the program attracted nineteen students; in 2002, twenty-one students declared Engineering majors. In the fall of 2002, fifty-three students enrolled in the Introduction to Engineering course, more than doubling the target number of enrollees.

The Picker Engineering Program strives to redesign engineering courses to make them more relevant to the challenges facing society today, to women, and to other underrepresented groups. The Engineering Design Clinic (EDC) is the program's senior capstone course. In EDC, student teams solve engineering problems posed by industry sponsors. While this is a valuable exercise, it does not introduce students to entrepreneurship.

With NCIIA funding, EDC E-Teams will have the option to pursue their own project ideas, rather than those posed by an industry sponsor. Teams of two to five students will be invited to submit proposals for a design clinic project based on an entrepreneurial idea in April of their junior year. The EDC Director will select teams to pursue their project ideas. EDC will offer entrepreneurship modules to help the entrepreneurial E-Teams progress through the stages of project development. In addition, E-Teams will work with faculty and advisors from the community, including local business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Picker Program will collaborate with the UMass Five Colleges Entreclub. EDC will offer an E-award to the entrepreneurial team that excels in innovation and entrepreneurship in their project work.

Applications of Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, and Basic Biological Science to Current Problems in Diabetes

Stanford University- 4000.00

The ability to understand human disease at the molecular and cellular levels has blurred the boundaries between the basic biological and chemical sciences, engineering, and clinical investigation. Because of this, students from a variety of disciplines want to understand medical problems so that they can successfully translate their research into useful clinical outcomes. In response to this educational need, a team of faculty in Biosciences, Medicine, Bioinformatics, Engineering and Education at Stanford University created a new course in 2001, Introduction to Medicine for Graduate Students in Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, and Bioinformatics. The central activity of the course is interdisciplinary team project work. E-Teams composed of three PhD candidates (one each from electrical engineering, management science and engineering, and one NASA-Ames continuing education student from the Stanford Center for Professional Development) identify an unsolved problem in diabetes and conceptualize a novel solution. Teams develop and present concept papers.

This project supports development of an extension course, Applications of Bioengineering, Bioinformatics and Basic Biological Science to Current Problems in Diabetes. The Applications course will enable E-Teams from the introductory course to further develop their project concepts and obtain preliminary results on their solutions and/or develop early prototypes of medical devices

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery

CUNY City College

In 1967, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia teamed to form one of the first Departments of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the country. Over the past thirty-five years, the department has focused on graduate education, developing strong doctoral and masters programs while carrying out world class research. In 2000, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) added a BME minor to supplement existing traditional majors. This venture met with success, and has led to the development of a BME major within SEAS. In fall 2002, the principal investigator obtained preliminary approval for the BME major curriculum.

The first course of the BME major is Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery. First offered in fall 2002, the course provides students with theoretical and practical design experience, an overview of issues relating to entrepreneurship in BME, and an introduction to the discipline. Within the first few weeks of class, students identify problems in the field of BME that they wish to address through their semester long design project. They then form design teams based on interest and backgrounds. The major student effort in the class is toward E-Team development of a novel device, method, program, or experiment. Whenever possible, teams develop prototypes to prove design feasibility. The second segment of the class focuses on tackling the issues involved in developing a new product in BME. The course covers basic management tools including Gantt charts, critical path diagrams, and criteria for team selection. Students attend lectures on intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and regulatory issues. The third segment of the class serves as an introduction to the BME discipline. At the end of the course, E-Teams present their final projects to a group of faculty and local entrepreneurs. This grant provides E-Team seed money, student team travel, speaker honoraria, equipment, tools, and a stereo microscope

Wireless Entrepreneurs Program


United States
40° 33' 4.3812" N, 85° 36' 8.5104" W

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology - $28000.00

The Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Florida Institute of Technology are collaborating on undergraduate entrepreneurial projects in the area of wireless communication and radio-related fields. The Wireless Entrepreneurs Program builds on existing design curricula at both schools, but follows the entrepreneurial model developed at Rose-Hulman, rather than a traditional engineering course format. In the collaboration, faculty and students work on two projects. In one project, students from each school work together on multi-institutional teams on a development project. The student project focuses on developing interactive modules that visually depict and/or simulate the principles involved in cellular and PCS systems. Each team researches, proposes, and develops their own projects for a wireless application, starting in the teams’ junior years. The teams submit a proposal to a committee composed of industry and faculty from both institutions.

The second project involves the development of a small auxiliary radar device that senses the presence of a vehicle in an unsafe zone or detects the presence of a vehicle that is approaching with excessive speed. The project involves the evaluation of both technologies and techniques for sensing as well as providing wireless means for communicating to the dashboard. While faculty and students at each institution work independently, the faculty shares the team findings, approaches, and experiences as development progresses from concept through design, developing, and testing.

An Integrated Approach to Technological Innovation

Georgia Institute of Technology - $30000.00

With support from the NCIIA, the Georgia Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Emory University, established an innovative multidisciplinary training program, entitled Integrated Approach to Technological Innovation (IATI). The IATI Program equips science and engineering PhD students with the skills and multidisciplinary perspective necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. IATI also produces science and engineering (S & E) dissertations with both technical merit and market relevance, and provides Master of Science Management and Doctor of Jurisprudence students with practical experience in a technical research environment.

As part of the IATI Program, students in management, law, and economics team with S&E students to explore the market potential of the new technologies developed by the S&E students. Team projects focus on research in four primary S&E areas critical to US innovation: biomedical engineering, manufacturing, microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Advised by faculty and industry mentors, these teams develop the technical, legal, and business issues involved with moving fundamental research to the marketplace. Fifteen students participate in IATI each year, joining E-Team projects for the duration of the two-year program.

TUI^2 Certificate Program in Innovation & Product Development

University of Virginia-Main Campus - $14000.00

In January 2000, with the approval of the president and college deans of the University of Tulsa, an interdisciplinary team of faculty developed alliances and constructed a comprehensive two-year curriculum for a certificate program in innovation and product development, TUI2. This curriculum and its faculty assist students with the entrepreneurial evaluation, selection, development, management, funding, and nurturing of promising technological developments. Students form E-Teams, collectively select their project topic, and together prove its technical and commercial feasibility. Students have faculty advisors throughout their study and receive the benefits of business community mentors during the last semester of their senior year. NCIIA supported TUI2's efforts by providing funds for prototype materials, technical services, E-Team and advisor travel expenses, course planning expenses and stipends for E-Team summer internships

Design of Biomedical Systems and Devices I and II


United States
35° 31' 2.9676" N, 86° 34' 49.6092" W

Vanderbilt University - $36220.00

Since its inception, the Design of Biomedical Engineering Devices and Systems I and II capstone course, required for all biomedical students, has evolved into a two-semester course. At the onset of the course, students learn from lectures and then transition to team projects. Students divide themselves into teams and choose a project from a list solicited from engineering and medical faculty and staff as well as from industrial sources. Currently, few students carry their projects beyond the confines of the course.

With added support, E-Teams have the opportunity to extend the scope of their projects beyond the classroom. The new course integrates the engineering and life science backgrounds of senior biomedical engineering students. Students learn design principles and discuss solutions to design problems in medical devices and systems. Guest lecturers cover some topics of interest, such as database design and entrepreneurship. The director of the Own Graduate School of Management has expressed interest in lecturing and possible involving entrepreneurship students in E-Teams. Example projects include genetic identification of hazardous indoor air organisms, a leg compression device to assist in ultra-sound testing, ergonomic chair design, and an O.R. X-ray sighting system.

For more information on Vanderbilt's Biomedical Engineering Program, visit their website

Entrepreneurship Implementation: Internet-Based Business

University of Arkansas Main Campus - $19000.00

Entrepreneurship Implementation: Internet-based Business is a course for students interested in the start-up phases or management of a new Internet-related business or technology. This course is appropriate for students that have already taken a business plan development course and seek to form and implement their E-Team plans. The course has a "how to do it" practical emphasis. Students who complete the course will know how to implement a business plan, understand the technologies involved in Internet-based businesses, and how to proceed with the fundamental, underlying implementation tasks required to start an Internet-based business. Each E-Team student in the class selects a project, problem-solves, and completes the project with their team members, learning the critical tasks involved in a new venture implementation

Creative E-Teams Developing Global Products

Loyola Marymount University - $15200.00

LMU's College of Science & Engineering and College of Business Administration will develop and integrate three unique courses during one academic year: New Product Development, International Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

The project combines faculty from engineering, business, and applied psychology that have expertise in design, marketing/entrepreneurship, and team building, respectively. The goal is to form diverse E-Teams of engineering and business students who design creative products for international customers. The E-Teams perform product planning, market research, design, prototyping, and write a business plan. They focus on developing unique, high risk/high reward products leading to a factor of 10x improvement over existing products. The E-Teams conceive products that "improve the quality of life for people."

Six E-Teams, each composed of 5 students, will design their product around their customers' needs in different geographical areas. The E-Teams will address the different social/economic, environmental and cultural needs that affect their product's design. The students will interact both in collocated teams and in virtual teams. The virtual teams will collaborate over the Internet using ipTeamSuite software from Nexprise Inc. This project will integrate engineering, marketing and entrepreneurship for meeting the changing demands of the 21st century

Wyoming $10K Entrepreneurship Competition


United States
43° 4' 33.4848" N, 107° 17' 25.0224" W

Clarkson University - $29500.00

This program will help create E-Teams to compete for the University of Wyoming's $10K Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition, started in FY 2001, rewards students who have excellent business plans for viable ideas with financial support to take their projects to the next level. In addition to financial support, through the process of preparing for the competition, the $10K Entrepreneurial Competition provides students with a thorough education in business planning and entrepreneurship, mentor contacts, and networking opportunities. The addition of E-Teams adds a new dimension to the $10K competition by providing additional support to students throughout their process, and by helping students form teams. The program encourages the formation of well-rounded E-Teams composed of students from different disciplines, through "student mixers" where students can network after listening to a guest speaker. E-Teams receive funding for project materials, to supplement UW's business plan writing course fees, and for intellectual property protection.

NCIIA funding will also be used to expand the existing list of entrepreneurs available for E-Team mentoring, and to fund venues for students to work with their mentors. Funds will also be used to support the 10K project itself, the competition's newsletter, website, and judging process.

Exploring Innovation Technologies Using RF Technology for Engineering Applications


United States
40° 3' 29.9664" N, 74° 24' 20.3796" W

Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary - $2000.00

This grant supports the new course Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship under Rutgers' Special Problems in Civil Engineering Course. This course is a unique addition to the Rutgers Engineering curriculum, to be institutionalized after the pilot semester. The class is the first step toward the creation of Rutgers Invention Institute, to promote invention and creativity in engineering at Rutgers. The undergraduate/graduate course will lead E-Teams through brainstorming new ideas, identifying problems and solutions, completing assessments of an idea's commercial potential, and writing business plans.

The E-Teams will work on radio-frequency identification (RFID) as the focus of their initial projects for the pilot course and possibly future courses as well. In addition, the class will undergo ennegram personality typing to help them understand their own personality types and to better understand the people they are working with, be they managers, teammates or investors.

Technopreneurial Leadership Center


United States
35° 31' 2.9676" N, 86° 34' 49.6092" W

California Institute of Technology - $27000.00

This program helps graduate level E-Teams launch tech-based businesses through the Technopreneurial Leadership Center (TLC) at the University of Tennessee. TLC is a recent initiative of the university, which works in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Using ORNL technologies as the product, E-Teams form a company, establish a business mission, research the product's market potential, create a virtual presence for the company, and manage its operation for the duration of the course. By the end of the two-year program, E-Teams are equipped to launch their ventures.

CS 426 -Senior Project

Lehigh University - $6000.00

This grant project introduces an E-Team approach to the Computer Science Department's Senior Project class, with the objective of ultimately merging the class with the combined Electrical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering course supported by previous NCIIA grants. The teams will develop, prototype and lay out a business strategy for their ideas in the spring semester. The teams will have mentoring faculty with a specialty in the area of development, active mentoring from an outside industry advisor, and access to extensive on-campus computing resources. Teams will present their ideas at the end of the course

MME 498, 499 Senior Design MMI 421/521 Entrepreneurship

Lehigh University - $26500.00

This project incorporates E-Teams into a program focused on technical innovation. Drawing on students from business and technical disciplines and providing coursework in entrepreneurship and product development, a select group of students identified through a competition have the opportunity to pursue technology-based product and business concepts in a team setting. The curriculum is centered on a two-semester design sequence and a sequence of entrepreneurship courses offered in the business school. Interdisciplinary teams from the engineering and business schools form around product or business concepts. A previous emphasis on specific assistive and design projects for clients will be replaced by a more open-ended and commercial set of evaluation and development criteria.

Tuck General Management Forum - Team Project

Rowan University - $29800.00

This project supports the work of teams within a newly modified intensive first-year management curriculum. The program provides students with a hands-on opportunity to develop and plan a new business venture in a team setting over the two years of their MBA program. The Forum (as the program is called) provides self-directed team experiences with a focus on E-business creation (although any opportunity is open). Students are encouraged to form teams and pursue ideas of their own creation or those suggested by alumni or sponsors. Outside speakers and consultants participate. Teams develop ideas, work closely with a research librarian to do an industry survey, and write business plans. The first year culminates in a presentation of the business plan to a group of venture capitalists. Successful projects can continue in the second year as the focus of work in an entrepreneurship class and as an independent study under two faculty advisors. Long-term plans for the development of an incubator are underway, in collaboration with the medical and engineering schools.

Hinman Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEOs) Program


United States
39° 2' 44.718" N, 76° 38' 28.5756" W

University of Maryland - $4000.00

The Hinman Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEOs) program, the nation's first living-learning entrepreneurship initiative, brings students together from diverse majors to learn how to start their own businesses. A specialized, high-technology "e-Dorm," seminars and workshops from venture capitalists and successful businesspersons, industry-student mentoring, and unique entrepreneurship education courses give students a stimulating and supportive environment in which to dream and realize their ideas. The program culminates in a business plan for each new student venture and assistance in obtaining financing.

For more information about the program, visit the Hinman CEOs website

Starting an Internet-Based Business

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - $2000.00

This project establishes a semester-long course in which students in the Lubin School of Business have the opportunity to conceive, plan, and develop ideas for internet businesses. Teams of students form after taking a business planning course to develop and plan business concepts, analyze and research these concepts, and then implement them in prototype form with the assistance of hired web programmers and external mentors from the local area (Silicon Alley). The objective is to develop and provide marketable concepts that will be developed further as Advanced E-Teams or startup ventures.

The course has access to the resources of the business school, including a mentoring program. Plans are underway to provide internship opportunities for students working on startups, and expand the network of mentors. A short but impressive list of existing members includes the founder and CEO of Quicken and Corcoran.

E3: Education, Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship Awareness

St. John's University - $19500.00

This grant supports the development and implementation of an entrepreneurship curriculum at a large (20,000 enrollment) community college in the Chicago, IL suburbs. The program incorporates elements of existing outreach programs with a focus on technology topics, and brings in hydroponic growing systems as an area of technical and product focus. The college is currently involved in a web-based Mars exploration simulation program. This project is the focus for the development of hydroponic growing and robotics curriculum materials and kits. Students come into the program through courses, speaker forums, an exposition, and competition for innovation prizes. Opportunities for commercialization are provided through a local SBDI grant

Mechanical Systems Design

Dartmouth College - $13700.00

This grant supports the incorporation of innovative and entrepreneurship activities into the senior level Mechanical Systems Design course at the University of Rhode Island. The new course format splits the class into groups of four each plus a member from the Business School at URI. Each group works in the fall semester on one of several different, product-orientated design projects. The students are asked to perform a patent search, critique related products, prepare a marketing study, propose a design of this product, and realize their design using a 3-D solid-modeling software. At the end of the fall semester, groups compete for funding for activities in the following spring term that include building prototypes of their design, formulating business plans for commercialization, and applying for patent protection. The new format gives students better understanding and exposure to the entrepreneurial process of the product design and innovation

Imagination and Product Planning, Innovation and Technology

California State University-Fresno - $17850.00

This grant supports a program in entrepreneurship that is offered as a minor to nonbusiness (technical & other) majors at Miami University. The PI previously received a planning grant for the development of this course. The grant supports two classes which, taken together, constitute the core components of a team-based approach to entrepreneurship. The first course focuses on creativity and productive ideation with content provided on teaming, creativity, and related topics. All exercises have a commercial focus. The second course focuses on technological entrepreneurship and provides opportunities for teams to develop around technologically based commercial opportunities. Both courses feature extensive guest lectures and draw on resources beyond the university by including mentors and guest speakers. E-Teams that form in these courses go on to focus on the development of their ideas in a capstone entrepreneurship course already in place.

AMES 15: Introduction to Engineering Graphics and Design

Hampshire College - $13350.00

This program draws on the personal experience of the PI in teaching freshmen through senior students. He finds that students who are introduced to teamwork and projects as freshmen are much more capable of creating high quality senior design projects than those who have not. This program incorporates teams and design projects into a large (200 or more students), standard introductory CAD course. Emphasis is placed on creativity, project management, teamwork, and learning from the iterative nature of design to overcome obstacles. Students who wish to pursue their ideas after the completion of the course will have the option to form pre-E-Teams. These teams meet periodically in their sophomore and junior years in preparation for a senior level Advanced E-Team project

Stanford Medical Device Course & Prototype

Stanford University - $45000.00

This E-Team program supports the development of early stage commercialization of products formed within the Medical Device Network at Stanford University. The program draws on the Medical Device Design Program in the medical school and the Product Realization Lab in the engineering school. The program combines three elements. The first is the twice yearly Medical Device Invention Challenge, where students design solutions around a medical problem ripe for innovation. The program also offers a new course sequence in medical device design that is open to undergraduate and graduate students and will be a combination of lectures and team projects. The last development supports medical device ideas that occur outside the sequence of courses, called Medical Device Prototyping Pathways. Typically, this part of the program requires student independent study where the faculty develops pathways and student-driven E-Teams with mentors

Integrated Principles of Business II - BUAD 302

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo - $10009.00

This program is the continuation and expansion of a course sequence in entrepreneurship and product development. The courses are taught by faculty in management, marketing, operations, and law. Faculty and students communicate using, a site that allows the faculty to place course materials online and where students may post and share information. Eight E-Teams are formed and charged with developing product ideas and initial marketing plans during the first semester. In the second semester, students further develop their concepts, define production and service requirements, and create a business plan. Each team has its own online space for discussion, a whiteboard, and a drop box for file sharing. A network of graduate students and mentors support the student teams formed in the course

Curriculum for Inter-University E-Teams

Illinois Institute of Technology - $19100.00

This project develops two unique interactive courses between Loyola Marymount University (LMU), the lead institution, and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), the supporting institution. The two courses will be New Product Development and Entrepreneurship. Graduate engineering and MBA students from LMU interact with undergraduate/graduate engineering and business students from ESTU. The university teams communicate using ipTeam Suite software for data exchange, design creation and changes, information sharing, messaging and group sharing.

The product concepts focus on space-saving and portable devices, devices for the handicapped and elderly, products that improve the quality of life, and sports recreation products. The instructors feel that this project opens new opportunities for inter-university and industry-university E-Teams to jointly develop innovative projects. The definition of E-Teams broadens to include "E"= Excellence, Entrepreneurship, and Electronic Interaction

University of Miami, College of Engineering E-Team

University of Virginia-Main Campus - $14000.00

An E-Team course for juniors and seniors within the College of Engineering, the initial area of focus for this program is biomedical innovations that build on existing coursework. The course runs for two semesters, and successful E-Teams are encouraged to apply for Advanced E-Team funding in the second semester. Teams are supported to design and patent projects.

During the first semester the teams develop a business plan and attend weekly lectures on topics such as intellectual property, market analysis, budget development, and manufacturing. In the second semester, the teams meet biweekly to report progress and solve problems found during independent work. At the end of the second semester, they present a prototype and marketing plan. Support is available for teams that decide to continue their projects

A Venture Capital Fund to Encourage Rapid Product Development in the Junior and Senior Clinic

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - $30000.00

A renewal and extension of Rowan University funded Junior Engineering Clinic I and Junior Engineering Clinic II, this program supports a joint Rowan/NCIIA Venture Capital Fund. The Venture Capital Fund provides the opportunity for multidisciplinary E-Teams to propose, plan, and implement an original, semester-long product development enterprise. Student E-Teams involved in the program create a corporate structure to develop a prototype and write a business plan in one semester. Teams must form early, have an original idea, and be interdisciplinary in order to receive funding. Teams who do not receive NCIIA funding in the course join other teams or work with an industry or faculty sponsored project

BUS 100 - Business Perspectives

Clark Atlanta University - $6000.00

This course in technological entrepreneurship is part of a new program in technology entrepreneurship within the school of business. The course reaches over 200 freshmen and involves mentoring by senior students, seminars and visits to J&J plants. Business plans and presentations are the main deliverables. The course is well-supported by faculty and the administration, with plans proposed to fully fund it after its second year.

MME 498,499 Senior Design

Clarkson University - $2000.00

UAB's current senior design curriculum is based on mechanical engineering design teams solving industrial-based problems. The problems are formulated by industrial clients who must be satisfied with the final product offered by the design team. This NCIIA-funded program keeps the current client/team format of the design process while adding to selected teams a business component comprised of a marketing team member from the MBA program or Engineering Management program at the UAB School of Business and a patent attorney mentor from the local community.

Projects selected for E-Team design must develop a business plan, conduct market research, and perform a patent search. The design team incorporates the business plan and results from the market analysis and patent research into product design. The team submits the written reports on the business plan, market analysis, and patent research, demonstrates how these plans and studies were incorporated into the product design, and explains how the design was affected by these inputs. The team also builds a prototype of the product and provides test information demonstrating its effectiveness in meeting the design goals

Senior IPD Project Course

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $15000.00

Proposal requests renewal of funding for E-Teams in Lehigh IPD program. Program is multi-disciplinary design and business development program run in conjunction with the Ben Franklin Incubator. Funding would enable 2 teams to develop prototypes and marketing & business plans. Teams are well supported and the IPD courses offer very good support for E-Teams including lectures and connection with industry and business mentors and access to the incubator center for successful projects. ITEM $ Requested $ Approved E-Team Prototype Development $4,000 $3,000 Technical services 2,000 1,000 Support services 4,000 1,000 Summer stipends for students 2,600 0 Equip 1,000 1,000 Supplies 200 200 Travel 200 200 Patent & legal 200 200 Market analysis 200 200 Business plan development 200 200 Posters, presentation mtls and reports 400 200 $15,000 $7,200 The proposal is very well rounded and likely to produce good E-Teams. The funding requested is quite high although the teams work on projects which are often quite complex and involve elaborate prototyping. Recommend funding at $7200 based on comparable expenses in the programs with the removal of internship expenses. Encourage applications for advanced support for summer funding Fund at reduced level of $7200.

Introduction to Engineering Design and Follow-on Courses

Kettering University - $9500.00

This grant supports the creation of an E-Team "clinic" for continuing projects from an existing Introduction to Engineering Design course or other sources. Funding supports prototyping, patenting, market research, and further product development. The technically oriented teams of engineering majors each sell their ideas to business students from the management school business planning class. Students work with mentors to write business plans as they refine their products. Each semester, three to five teams work on patenting and commercializing their products. The students work on the projects on a non-credit basis, register for independent study credit, or complete projects for other classes

Mechanical Design/ Digital Systems Design

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $12300.00

This project used NCIIA funding to create an E-Team course at Howard University, entitled Mechanical Design / Digital Systems Design. The course is a two-semester design sequence incorporating electrical engineering and mechanical engineering students into E-Team projects. Students select topics, research market potential, write a feasibility plan, and build prototypes. The curriculum includes information on intellectual property (IP), lectures on business topics and a competition between teams to create the projects worth of applying for Advanced E-Team grants.

Patent Evaluation and Entrepreneurship

Swarthmore College - $7100.00

This course creates interdisciplinary E-Teams that evaluate the commerical potential of on-the-shelf, patented, university-owned technologies. The curriculum focus is on business planning and creation; students develop prototypes and pursue commercialization if the ideas are feasible. The central feature of the course is the use of E-Teams to move patented but unexploited technologies into the marketplace.

Smart Product Design

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $13500.00

For this project, Dartmouth College used NCIIA funds to purchase rapid prototyping equipment, leading to E-Teams’ development of mechatronic, or “smart product” ideas. The grant funds supported approximately sixty students, some working independently on E-Team projects, and some first and second-year students enrolled in ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering. All students were required to define a problem, brainstorm for a solution, test and prototype a design solution, and propose a commercialization strategy.

Invention and Entrepreneuring

University of Virginia-Main Campus - $3500.00

This course is for students who have taken a course in creative problem solving to apply what they have learned by inventing or developing a product or a process. In addition, students learn additional principles of entrepreneurship and hone their teamwork skills in E-Teams. The course is team taught by one professor in mechanical engineering and one from business management. Both have taught creative problem solving and model the process throughout the development of this interdisciplinary pilot course. The course is a one hour seminar and three hours of lab per week for student E-Teams to work on prototyping and patent searching. Students are drawn from engineering, computer science, and engineering management. Topics covered in the course include teamwork and communication, creative problem solving, patenting, entrepreneurship, and marketing. The course will teach an inventing process including problem identification, idea generation, feasibility study, design and specifications, and prototype construction and testing

Technological Innovation for a New Agriculture: Redefining the Tractor

Columbia university

This project supports a course focusing on the development of innovations in organic, tractor-based agricultural cultivation. E-Teams work to create a tractor that runs on vegetable fuels and uses non-chemical weed control devices and implements. E-Teams also pursue innovative approaches to problems with diesel fueled tractors.

Integrated Design

Drexel University - $3500.00

This two-course sequence is required for all seniors in the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department. The fall deliverable is a set of engineering drawings and a manufacturing plan. Teams select products from a list of ideas. The spring project is a tested prototype. Seventy students take the course and form eight to ten E-Teams of about six to seven students each. NCIIA funding allows students to focus on the development of quality prototypes

Junior Engineering Clinic I

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art - $10000.00

In this project, Rowan University's Engineering Clinic incorporated an E-Team structure, enhancing the existing entrepreneurial focus of the Clinic. NCIIA funds were used for E-Team prototypes and product development in the junior and senior phases of the Clinic's four-year course sequence. Throughout the sequence, courses are team-based and focused on design and development of products. Innovation is stressed and students are encouraged to create new technologies.

GEEN 2400: Innovation for the Community

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $8900.00

This E-Team-focused course, Innovation for the Community, offers lectures on entrepreneurship, IP, and team development from visiting mentors. E-Teams learn first-hand about product development by designing, building, and testing interactive learning exhibits for K-12 classrooms. Students explore the market potential for such products and evaluate competitor products at the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference. An important part of this course is that students "learn by doing."

The course is offered to sophomore engineering and business students who have not taken the course First-Year Engineering Projects. Experience has taught the PIs that students work harder and produce better products when they serve a real client. Students gain an understanding of how innovation causes people and society to change for the better. The course is part of the Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program that began as a grassroots, college-wide initiative to reform the engineering curricula to incorporate hands-on, team-oriented, project-based learning

Entrepreneurial Studies in the Natural Sciences

University of Massachusetts Amherst

To meet the growing need for business skills in technically-trained individuals, Carthage College founded the Entrepreneurial Studies in Natural Science (ESNS) program, an integrated undergraduate program in technical entrepreneurship. The ESNS Program begins with a one-year course covering a range of materials including: accounting and marketing; intellectual property and regulation; personnel management; communications and presentation skills; international business issues; information retrieval and organization; creativity; and an overview of technical careers.

Following the initial course work, students participate in a hands-on internship to prepare them for their senior technology business project. NCIIA funding allows ESNS to integrate E-Teams into the year-long course, by modifying the course work activities, re-ordering and supplementing topics, and reformatting the entire second semester curriculum to shift from individual to team projects. This class was developed with support from a Planning grant in the March 1996 cycle.

Invention Project

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach

The Invention Project is an extension of the Invention and Innovation Project, which received a Course & Program Development grant in the December 1995 cycle to support IIT's innovative curriculum. The program has advanced considerably since the award of its first NCIIA grant. The program generated the Advanced E-Team Automotive Ozone Pollution Fighter, which won the BF Goodrich Invention Award in the undergraduate division; Professor Ruiz was invited to speak about the E-Team course before the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago; the program was awarded a grant from the US Department of Education for curriculum development and dissemination of the "Invention Center" concept, providing more resources for E-Teams; IIT is establishing E-Teams into all levels of its undergraduate program and the university is renovating a 30,000 square foot building for the "Invention Center". With the NCIIA Level II grant, the Invention Project class offered continued support for the development of E-Team projects in the class, and for equipment for the students.

MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship/ EE491 Senior Design

The Evergreen State College

With NCIIA grant funding, a new product design course was created at the University of Nevada/Reno by Professors M.S. Fadali and R.C. Barnes. By combining EE 491 Senior Design and MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship and Senior Design course prepares students for today's marketplace. Within the course, multi-disciplinary groups of engineering and business students form companies and are asked to build a product and investigate its market potential. To provide students with a concise but clear representation of the organization required to accomplish this task, students use the "Hierarchical Process Modeling" (HPM). HPM requires the collection of considerable information, yielding insights into the operation and potential of an organization as a whole. NCIIA funding provided students with HPM software and equipment, prototype development money, and legal assistance with patent searches.

Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of Nevada-Reno

This program is an interdisciplinary product and business development course conducted online. Students form E-Teams at the six South Dakota University (SDU) campuses around the state. At the beginning of the course, ten teams form, and include at least two technology-based members and two business members. Most teams have a team leader who is a student funded by the South Dakota National Science Foundation EPSCoR program. The E-Team works with a local mentor from a technology business to identify the product, conduct research, and create a development plan.

The course is delivered to students at SDU campuses using the internet in conjunction with two-way video and audio technology. Successful technology entrepreneurs present to the teams about product development and business issues. Topics and activities in the program include legal issues, sources of capital, budgeting, brainstorming, and successful collaboration. The objective of the course is for E-Teams to continue to work with businesses and organizations to make the projects a reality. Some E-Teams will continue work to compete for financial awards and support

New Product Development and Venturing

This project supported development of New Product Development and Venturing, a course offering students the opportunity to design a product and take it to market. The course is modeled on the E-Team concept. Students design a new product, develop a feasibility study, learn about patenting and seed capital sources, and work in a team with product-oriented entrepreneur mentors. Each E-Team makes two formal oral presentations to a panel of entrepreneurs and professors: one on its business feasibility study and the other on its product design. An award is presented to the E-Team with the best presentation

E-Tech E-Teams

Swarthmore College

Springfield Technical Community College is developing a new course, E-Tech E-Teams, to generate student E-Teams. Within the course, E-Teams conduct research on engineering technologies and analyze the findings; carry out experiments in product development; and then identify, create, and market new products. The content of the course curriculum includes mathematics, written/oral communication, historical aspects of design, scientific principles and business knowledge. E-Teams work with entrepreneurs from the on-campus technology business incubator in the areas of telecommunications and optics. The courses and materials developed at STCC are used as the basis for a model for a technical entrepreneurship curriculum to be offered to a consortium of State Community Colleges.

MECH 452: Design Synthesis

University of Nevada-Reno

Mechanical Engineering 452: Design Synthesis is an existing senior design course at University of Nevada/Reno. In the past, the course has focused on teaching students the fundamentals of product development. With NCIIA funding, the course has been revised to include product innovation, elements of entrepreneurship and invention, and early stage E-Teams, modeled after Professor John Kleppe's well-structured Electrical Engineering E-Team class at UNR. Each E-Team functions as a start-up company, creating their own organizational structure, and submitting a pseudo-business license. The teams then construct a proposal detailing the team's ideas and begin product development. Student teams compete within the class and are evaluated on their commercial potential as well as their technical content.

EE1185, Microprocessor Systems

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

The Microprocessor Systems annual engineering course considers the interfacing between microprocessors and computers in general, which normally leads to communications with and control of many different types of physical devices and technologies. Students are required to consider all aspects of design, manufacture, and marketing. With NCIIA funding, two E-Teams have been generated in the class - Argus and EarTronX. Each E-Team was challenged to design a prototype device for locating lost hearing aids. Both prototype devices included a target in the hearing aid, and a locator implement. The E-Teams presented and discussed each prototype with five industry experts and entrepreneurs and submitted individual designs as a part of national and local competitions. The E-Teams plan to apply for Advanced E-Team funding.

Senior Project Design

For the past twenty-five years, Drexel's College of Engineering has required its students to take a Senior Project Design course, taught by a team of faculty from each engineering department save chemical engineering. Within the course, students work in teams, developing solutions to problems of practical and societal importance, while at the same time learning about intellectual property, ethics, professionalism, and design. What was missing from Drexel's Senior Project Design course, in the opinion of the professors, was an entrepreneurial component. With NCIIA funding, the engineering faculty team teaching the course were able to modify the class curriculum to include entrepreneurship by exposing students to entrepreneurial success stories from other engineers, and targeting E-Team projects with commercial potential for further project development.

Invention: Creative and Legal Perspectives

Invention: Creative and Legal Perspectives is the first course on invention offered at Ramapo College. The course integrates students from a variety of disciplines, including science, business, and the arts. With a NCIIA grant, Professors Anderson and Sherman revised the curriculum to extend over two semesters. In the first semester, the professors divide students into teams of four and challenge each group to identify a problem in daily life and solve it with an inventive solution. Students begin this process by listing daily problems and annoyances they would like to eliminate. After this initial exercise, students then form new teams and work together on invention ideas culled from students and faculty. Each team applies its newly gained knowledge in the course to its own invention, constructively reducing the invention to practice. The goal of the course is to motivate students to invent and to supply them with the minimum legal and business know-how they need to produce, market, and protect an invention.

Invention and Entrepreneurship

California State University-Fresno

With NCIIA funding, Professors Timothy Stearns and Ed Sobey collaborated to create Invention and Entrepreneurship, a prototype for a permanent course challenging students to create a business to invent and sell toys. In the course, students from the Sid Craig School of Business, the schools of Education and Human Development, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture and Technology, and Arts and Humanities form E-Teams and learn how to work creatively in those teams, designing, building and testing mock-up toys, while developing a comprehensive business plan. The inventions and plans are presented to business leaders, venture capitalists, inventors, patent attorneys, and course participants.

The toys developed in the course include: Paragear, a launcher with a parachute attachment that fits to the back of an action figure; The Orb, a sphere that balances on a pedestal with pegs placed in the orb; The Ringer, a ring toss game that builds hand-eye coordination; and Stack-O, a marble game.

Student Originated Software

The Evergreen State College

Student Originated Software (SOS) is a multi-disciplinary, year-long, full-time program offered each year at The Evergreen State College. In SOS, students gain the skills and in-depth practical experience of working in teams on the planning, management, design, implementation, and installation of a major software project by creating software for actual clients. Each E-Team organizes itself, finds its project and "real world" client, prepares a feasibility study, and completes the software development. SOS stresses innovation and creativity, and a multi-disciplinary approach to software development. NCIIA funding strengthens the market research portion of the curriculum, supports E-Team projects, and allows Evergreen to update equipment for the course.

Design and Management of Biomechanical Products

Michigan State University

Design and Management of Biomechanical Products is a popular course among students at Michigan State University. In the course, teams of engineering and marketing students study the technical feasibility and market need for their product ideas. The products the teams create must function mechanically with the body and provide tangible benefits for end users.

Some examples of student projects include: All-in One, an improved baby bottle with a vent to eliminate airlock and air bubbles; and Air-Form, a children's structural toy made from inflatable plastic. Before the class received NCIIA funding, students paid for prototyping and research costs with their own money, thereby limiting the scope of their projects. Funding allowed students to fabricate more sophisticated prototypes of their projects. In addition, funding purchased additional machines for the prototyping shop, to accommodate the increased number of E-Teams.

Ergonomic Design for Special Populations

This grant helped introduce E-Teams into a design course focused on developing new technologies for people with disabilities. Teams of students worked with clients to create new assistive technologies to suit their client's needs. A seminar and practicum approach emphasizing teamwork made E-Teams central to the course pedagogy. Students were encouraged to pursue innovative solutions to design challenges

TEC 210 - Product Development Lab I

Wheeling Jesuit University

The Department of Technological Studies (DTS) of Wheeling Jesuit College offers a Bachelor of Science in Innovation and Technology. The major is designed to provide students with a broad range of knowledge, skills and experience in processes used to develop successful products for commercial markets. Innovation and Invention is a required class for the Innovation and Technology degree.

In the course, student groups form to design innovative products with commercial potential. Product Development Lab I is an extension of Innovation and Invention, offering students the opportunity to further develop those products. NCIIA funding allowed students to create prototypes of their products, and conduct market research. Student projects included a cold weather breathing mask, an improved automated garage door and opener, and a system for real-time readout of long distance telephone charges for home use.

MECH 452: Design Synthesis

The Evergreen State College

This course is a renewal and expansion of NCIIA grants MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship/ EE491 Senior Design and the previously funded MECH 452: Design Synthesis. The course has produced several high quality E-Teams and businesses. An interdisciplinary program, it is offered to mechanical and electrical engineers, emphasizing product development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Students are divided into "companies" and develop new products or prove new technologies that will subsequently be marketed or licensed. Guest lecturers from industry discuss various topics including intellectual property, venture capital, inventing, and entrepreneurship. This course is also taken for credit by MBA students who help the E-Team develop business plans. Each E-Team must develop a working prototype. Funding is for direct use by each team for product development and marketing

Developing Solutions to Real World Problems

Northeastern University

In GE 1103 Engineering Design, first-year students work in teams of three or four on design practice modules that incorporate a broad range of engineering disciplines to develop solutions to real problems. Problems addressed in the course include humanitarian demining in third world countries, increased ozone in the troposphere, and the multiple problems experienced by refugees in troubled areas like Goma, Zaire.

The class serves several functions: first, it introduces students to the different disciplines within engineering; second, it helps students gain an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of engineering problem-solving; third, the class provides students with the opportunity to address a range of valuable problems; and fourth, it allows the faculty to integrate their personal experiences and expertise with a set of core topics in engineering and design. The course integrates with a campus-wide E-Team recruiting effort throughout the school's Entrepreneurship Program.

Product Design Studies I & II

Trinity College

This project supports the establishment of a design studio for the first two semesters of the interdisciplinary design curriculum at RPI. The curriculum, designed to support students in independent design work, follows on the Introduction to Engineering Design course already offered. The studio provides ongoing support for E-Teams after IED, and includes shop equipment for modeling, digital cameras, and computers with scanners and printers.

MAE-497-Invention and Innovation Curriculum

Illinois Institute of Technology

IIT launched its Invention and Innovation Project in the fall of 1995. The class curriculum goes beyond the traditional lecture style by focusing on an academic experience based on personal coaching. The idea is to give the students an opportunity to look at engineering projects as an art – the art of invention. To emphasize this point, the class is structured as a studio class, such as those common in architecture and fine arts programs, but with a technical content. There are fifteen students in each studio, which behave as a small, high-tech firm engaged in developing new products.

In one semester, the products must move from concept to design, prototype, patent, and business plan. NCIIA funding provides money to the student teams for project development and commercialization, as well as additional equipment for class use. Thus far the class has produced a team that won Advanced E-Team funding, the Automotive Ozone Pollution Fighter. Also, two products are nearing commercialization: a portable ladder for hunters, and a car seat for infants that massages them as the car moves. The class is taught every semester at IIT. A continuation of support for Dr. Ruiz's class was approved in the October 1996 round.

Mechatronic Product Development

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Mechatronics is the integration of mechanical systems and electronics focusing on sensors and actuators technology. This mechatronics design course takes an interdisciplinary approach by integrating both mechanical and electrical elements of design. The program is a two-course sequence involving about sixty students per semester, in which E-Teams form and design products. Both engineering and marketing students are on each E-Team. Students are encouraged to develop, patent, and market their inventions.

The first course, Mechatronics Design, features an acute emphasis on learning how to interface and control a series of sensors and actuators with a microprocessor. Students form teams, envision a product, and then move onto the second course, Mechatronics Product Development. This course includes students from business-related fields. Teams develop and create plans to market the envisioned product. The culmination of the two-course mechatronics sequence is an event at which students publicly exhibit their products. This event is an opportunity for students to find the encouragement and support to continue developing their innovations.

Turning Students into Inventors (TCC315)

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Through participating in E-Teams in the Invention and Design course at the University of Virginia, students study the invention process and learn how to create environmentally conscious designs and products. With this NCIIA grant, the course modules were altered to incorporate hands-on innovation. The objective was to provide students with enough financial and development support to make significant progress toward patenting and marketing new technologies that both make a profit and make the world a better place to live. This course has generated several Advanced E-Teams, including the Soil Aeration E-Team and the Inventor's Toolkit E-Team. Professor Gorman also works with the Solar Airship E-Team.

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