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Entrepreneurship Activities for Engineering Students and Faculty David Barbe Professor, ECE University of Maryland.

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Presentation on theme: "Entrepreneurship Activities for Engineering Students and Faculty David Barbe Professor, ECE University of Maryland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Entrepreneurship Activities for Engineering Students and Faculty David Barbe Professor, ECE University of Maryland

2 New Directions for Engineers The old days – The choices for engineers were to work for big companies or governmental agencies New option – starting their own companies or working for startups Students are demanding entrepreneurship education Engineering Schools can “educate” students about technology startups

3 What about the down economy? The economy is cyclical Down times are a actually a good time to start ventures  prepare for upswings

4 The Radar Screen Dean, Provost, President support?  If yes, very helpful  If not sure, just do it “under the radar”

5 Capitalizing On Innovations Research & Knowledge Self-Use Resources Hands-On Assistance Seed-Stage Monies Entrepreneurial Culture

6 Classifications of Activities Education and culture building  Encourage faculty and students to examine their research for “commercially viable” concepts  I can start a venture! Widely available resources  Help “entrepreneurs” to help themselves Hands-on assistance and guidance; money  Combine technical innovations with business acumen and process

7 Education and Culture Building Students need to believe in the feasibility of starting companies and commercializing technologies:  People available to help  Diverse monetary resources  Case studies Students need to understand accepted “tactics” for creating a technical venture  How do “I” proceed with my concept?

8 Education and Culture Building Activities Education and culture building activities designed to encourage students to take the critical step – learn about venture creation: Boot Camps Technology Ventures Clubs Entrepreneurship Courses Business Plan Competitions Residency Programs Promotion of Success Stories

9 Technology Startup Boot Camp Kicks off the academic year Large audience of students (and faculty) Regional sponsors Basic startup processes  Evaluating tech ideas  IP basics and licensing  Legal fundamentals  Building a team  Obtaining financing  Entrepreneur experiences Presented by experienced VCs, service providers, and tech executives Networking

10 Technology Ventures Club Dynamic forum for technical graduate students to network and explore commercializing an idea and forming a venture 25 to 100 active members Monthly meetings include start-up workshops, speakers, and social mixers Members have opportunity to network with local VCs, service providers, business students and entrepreneurs Started by faculty/staff Student president and VP Migrate to student-run with faculty advisors  NCIIA guide available

11 Fundamentals of Technology Startups Course < 30 technical graduate students Boardroom setting best Study basic processes of tech company formation and operation Form into teams Teams develop business plans during semester Teams present plans to “judges” Course is best co-taught by technical and business faculty/staff  Adjuncts ok

12 Business Plan Competition Culmination of academic year Prize money and/or contributed services raised from external sponsors Scale the competition to the supply of entrants Start advertising early in the Fall Semester First level of down-select based on executive summaries submitted near the end of the Fall semester Use a Judging panel to select top ~ six for full plans and presentations Give two or three awards Conduct Networking and mentoring sessions between finalists and judges/sponsors during the Spring semester

13 Entrepreneurial Residency Programs Provide one location for students to reside  Adds significantly to relationship building Select Undergraduate Students having strong Entrepreneurial Spirit  GPA  Essay Example: UMD’s Hinman CEOs Program

14 The Hinman CEOs Program

15 Program Goals Attract students with an entrepreneurial spirit Create a sense of community and cooperation among like-minded students Impact the way they think about their careers and destinies Help prepare them to start businesses

16 Clark School of EngineeringSmith School of Business Jointly Founded David Barbe – Faculty Director Karen Thornton - Program Director

17 Third cohort - 100 students 44% hard sciences, 39% business, 17% other (30% are engineers) Indian, African American, Asian, Hispanic – 54% Caucasian - 46% Female - 27%, male - 73% Class GPA - 3.57 12% have 3.8 or above with 4 perfect 4.0 GPAs The CEOs

18 CEOs Program Components Community Technology Team Building Seminars and Workshops Mentoring Product Development Projects Technology Opportunities Entrepreneurship Education Partnerships

19 A Living-Learning Program Facilitates sense of small community within larger university – Living Spaces – Working Spaces – Meeting Spaces Community

20 Incubator-Like Setting State-of-the-Art Technology - Wireless technology - Videoconferencing - IP Phones in the rooms - Computer-based conferencing capabilities - Computer labs - Business software - Copiers, fax Technology

21 Team building  Ropes Course  Facilitate Team Forming

22 Weekly seminars Education Experiences Resources Seminars and Workshops

23 Four-Course Entrepreneurship Citation Program Starting a New Venture Financing a New Venture Growing and Managing an Emerging Venture Business Plan Development Entrepreneurship Education

24 Mentoring Level One Mentoring - Just-in-time Program Director and MBA Grad Assistant Level Two Mentoring - Advanced Faculty and Staff Outside Experts

25 Product Development NCIIA and Campus Sponsored Funding for patent work and to help build Prototypes Faculty Supervision including internships

26 Technology Opportunities To Expose CEOs to Technology Commercialization Opportunities Network CEOs with MBAs and Technical Grad Students to form Teams

27 Partners Technology firms Venture firms Legal firms Other service providers Individuals Retired executives

28 Promotion of Success Stories Evidence that it can be done is a powerful incentive for others to try Word about successes will spread among students Legislators and Alums will like it Successes stories should be promulgated to expand the reach  Campus newspaper  Local publications

29 Self-Use Resources Creat resources to support venture formation:  Build a mentor network: execs, VCs, marketing experts, legal, accounting…  Technology Startup Portal with comprehensive information in plenary stage

30 Mentor Network Business plan reviews, questions about funding, advice about IP common inquiries to mentors Available to all students or students involved in the other entrepreneurial activities University staff involved in technical entrepreneurship provide “level one” mentoring Extensive database of entrepreneurs, consultants, retired execs, VCs, and service providers offer “level two” mentoring

31 Entrepreneurial Resources Web Portal Technical entrepreneurship web portal under development:  Forecasting template  Business plan preparation guidance  IP rules  Information on funding sources  Testimonials and case studies

32 Hands-On Assistance Build programs to provide hands-on guidance and assistance to technical ventures started by students on campus Many successful technical ventures follow a “dual-path” approach to launch – assistance needed!

33 Launching Technical Ventures Technical development: Final product development Beta testing Alpha testing Laboratory testing Begin developing prototype(s) Concept is feasible Business Planning: Recruitment Marketing materials Customer segmentation Solicit funding Monetary needs Business planning Commercial viability Many technical entrepreneurs lack experience in business planning.

34 Hands-On Programs VentureAccelerator: Hands-On Assistance Couple with local incubator(s)

35 VentureAccelerator Comprehensive consulting and “interim” management services for approximately five companies at one time Selection process Services coordinated by on-campus person provided by a network of key mentors and service providers

36 VentureAccelerator Services:  Strategic planning  Forecasting  Executive recruitment (database)  Fundraising (debt, equity, grants)  License negotiations  Legal/accounting issues  Marketing analysis  “Marshall” diverse business resources

37 Graduation from Accelerator Demonstrate likelihood of “self-sustainability:”  Significant financing event (e.g. “A” round)  Significant initial customer(s)  Addition of key, full-time executive managers Or…recognize business not worth pursuing

38 Identifying Accelerator Companies Incubator Faculty outreach Residency program Tech Ventures Club Tech Ventures Class Accelerator can feed other programs too

39 Seed Monies The Current Climate  Investors returning to fundamentals  Fundamentals = great technology  Universities good places to find technology

40 Seed Monies Actively build “seed investor” network  Couple with nearest “angels” and VC firms Take max advantage of SBIRs and other programs (e.g. NIST ATP) Encourage solicitation of strategic investments by startups Other sources??

41 Program Information Sources NCIIA  N2TEC  Small Business Administration 

42 Meetings ASEE – Entrepreneruship Division - June NCIIA - March

43 Funding for Starting a Program NCIIA  Kauffman Foundation  Coleman Foundation  Lemelson Foundation 

44 Conclusion Your campus can become a nucleus of technical venture formation in your region Engineering research and knowledge provide sources Combining research with increasingly entrepreneurial culture as well as new resources, assistance programs, and sources of seed monies will yield even more successful startup ventures

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