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“ Venture Enhancement Teams ( VETs ) for Commercialization of IP ” Louisiana Tech University Center for Entrepreneurship & I.T. (CEnIT) PI: Dr. Les Guice Co PIs: Dr. Jon Pratt, Dr. Rich Kordal, Dr. James Nelson, Dr. Dave Norris.
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“Venture Enhancement Teams (VETs) for Commercialization of IP” Louisiana Tech University Center for Entrepreneurship & I.T. (CEnIT) PI: Dr. Les Guice Co PIs: Dr. Jon Pratt, Dr. Rich Kordal, Dr. James Nelson, Dr. Dave Norris NSF Award # 0650130 3 Year Award Start Date: 1 Feb. 2008 Key Attributes of our Innovation Ecosystem: Brief Project Overview: This project implements Venture Enhancement Teams (VETs) to transform recommendations about Louisiana Tech IP from the existing Innovative Venture Research (IVR ) process into concrete products or venture opportunities that fuel economic development in our region. Questioning & Curiosity: Due to the intense nature of the work, only the creative and highly motivated faculty and students volunteer to participate in the IVR/VET commercialization process developed at Louisiana Tech. But those who join, make lasting friendships and finish with a “Can-Do attitude”. Risk Taking: The VETs are formed within Louisiana Tech University. This academic environment lessens the fear of failure and encourages taking the necessary risks to make great innovations a reality. Louisiana Tech’s Research Foundation has sponsored a new Innovation Fund to provide seed money to promising new venture opportunities arising from the VET program. Business and Engineering students collaborate to build marketable prototypes Program Activities: • Our previous PFI grant created the IVR process in which a multidisciplinary class studies an invention and identifies and describes the specifications of a product that will sell. • Venture Enhancement Teams (VETs) of business and engineering students are formed within the University’s existing Multidisciplinary Senior Design class and are supplied with the resources needed to create a specific product prototype previously recommended for commercialization. • VETsareaugmented with graduate assistants who enable marketing research needed to produce a market-readyproduct or graduate engineering student s who are familiar with the faculty inventor’s research to supplement hands-on design capabilities. Openness: The IVR/VET program at Louisiana Tech is open to any and all students and faculty who are willing to work hard across disciplinary lines for innovation. The nature of the program causes the breakdown of barriers related to “turf” and discipline, as teams must focus on the project rather than themselves. Collaboration Across Fields: The NSF PFI grant program has enhanced the already strong willingness of faculty and students at Louisiana Tech to collaborate in cutting-edgeresearch and commercialization . The number of reports of invention per dollar of federal funding and the prototypes produced by VETs at Louisiana Tech is evidence that “Innovation occurs at the interface of disciplines”. Placing Partners in “New Environments” & “Playgrounds”: Engineering student members of VETs are initially intimidated by the requirement that VETs prepare business plans and marketing research for their prototypes. Business students are similarly intimidated by the technical aspects of these projects. Mentorship by our PFI partners helps alleviate these fears and makes this a unique real world experience for students. Through mentorship, regional entrepreneurs have a new awareness of the invention and commercialization process going on at Louisiana Tech. Top Challenges: 1. VETs require close supervision by faculty inventors/advisors to hold the VETs accountable. New procedures to facilitate closer supervision by faculty inventors in the 2nd year are addressing this challenge. 2. The ongoing need for higher quality, more motivated students to increase the quality of the prototypes is addressed with new awareness campaigns and outreach to identify potential students to enroll in the program. 3. A new, Internal Triage Team (ITT) consisting of the PI, co-PIs, 3 local volunteer mentors, instructors and faculty inventors now meet more frequently to enable provision of timely interim advice and feedback to the VETs. Top Contributions: 1. VET projects have provided an excellent and unique interdisciplinary learning experience for the students enrolled in the program. 2. Half of the VET projects so far, have led to real opportunities for negotiating IP licenses with 3rd parties through the contacts made with outsiders by the VETs. 3. A core group of faculty researchers whose research was furthered by the VET program have become enthusiastic supporters of the program. Graduate student participation is also on the increase as of the second year of the program. Leading/Inspiring for Surprising or Unexpected Results: Faculty inventors leading VETs are reporting unexpected contributions to the quality of prototypes from the involvement of business students. • Partners: • Louisiana Fund1(www.louisianafund.com) , Baton Rouge, LA • Biosyn, Inc. (www.biosyn-inc.com) Harahan, LA • Microtec Associates Fairport, NY • VCE Capital Partners, LLC New York, NY • Louisiana Department of Economic Development (led.louisiana.gov) Baton Rouge, LA • Louisiana Business and Technology Center, Baton Rouge, LA • Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, LLP (www.joneswalker.com) Baton Rouge, LA . PFI . . National Science Foundation Partnerships For Innovation Grantee’s Meeting April 25-27, 2010 Arlington, VA
“Your Grant Title Here” Name of Institution Department PI: Full Name Co PIs:Full Names Your School Logo here NSF Award #IIP- 3 Year Award Start Date: 16 March 2007 Key Attributes of our Innovation Ecosystem: Brief Project Overview: We would you to use large type. Do not change the size or font, just type/copy your text here. Questioning & Curiosity: Your answers in at least 28 point font -black -Arial Picture or Logo from your project here Risk Taking: LEGEND/ explain picture Program Activities: Openness: You can move around anything in this dotted line box Please remove the dotted line for your final version. Anything outside of this box-needs to stay as is- please answer the questions Collaboration Across Fields: Top Contributions: 1. 2. 3. Placing Partners in “New Environments” & “Playgrounds”: Top Challenges: 1. 2. 3. Partners: Leading/Inspiring for Surprising or Unexpected Results . PFI . . National Science Foundation Partnerships For Innovation Grantee’s Meeting April 25-27, 2010 Arlington, VA