Open Minis: Early Stage Innovators

Where Do I Start?

This Open Mini will describe a 90-minute workshop that we have delivered successfully for two years to fledgling student entrepreneurs at George Washington University. The workshop is designed as a response to the often-heard question: “I have an idea for a new venture, where do I start?” The workshop introduces the basic concepts of the Lean Startup. In the workshop, students complete their first Business Model Canvas, with heavy emphasis on defining key customer segments and value propositions. They also learn techniques for customer discovery and do role play exercises. Students are quick to grasp the foundational concepts of customer segmentation and value proposition creation, and with just this one workshop session, they are able to immediately start to validate their venture hypotheses without incurring significant expenses. Students make progress right away, though that progress often takes the form of learning that their key hypotheses are incorrect.

Lex McCusker, George Washington University

T2: A Trans-Discipline, Multi-University Community Commercialization Program

In 2014-15 Spectrum Health Innovations (SHI) and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) created “T2: A Community Commercialization Program” to test the feasibility of commercializing SHI’’s problem/IP portfolio. The commercialization team, an MBA and a Bio-Medical Engineering student, was overseen by an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. In 12 months, starting with 300+ ideas, five products were commercialized. Following the pilot, SHI implemented a multi-school innovation/commercialization program. Using a common collaboration agreement and IP template, SHI works with five colleges and universities using trans-discipline (engineering, design, business) and cross-university teams. Every school year the program runs ~12 projects, engaging ~ 80+ students. Two years of the program has produced nine licenses or in process. The session will share the results and program processes. It will allow attendees to see the power of a community engagement and trans-discipline, cross university teams.

J. Kevin McCurren, Grand Valley State University

Full Cycle Innovation: From idea to launch

Let’s explore the shared lessons in the room for guiding students through the full journey of early stage entrepreneurship, from idea generation to team matching, from light-touch coaching to fully dedicated mentorship, from incubation to early stage launch. At City College of New York, we have integrated our program into the academic curriculum, offered an extraordinary array of co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities to give students pathways to get involved, and then through our bootcamp, competitions and accelerator, we vet and narrow the selection of teams to those with the greatest chance of success. We are eager to share our model, and learn from the experiences of others.

Glenford Patterson, The City College of New York

We Want to Make Innovation Happen. Now What?

You are a budding entrepreneur who has worked hard to develop an innovation. But how do you make it happen? Where do you start? How do you communicate your idea? How do you work with the skeptics who are standing in the way? This Open Mini will present leadership strategies, gathered from 20 years of research interviewing change agents who had a good idea that became a reality. These strategies, known as patterns for leading change, describe successful solutions to recurring problems that entrepreneurs are likely to face as they work to make their innovation happen.

Mary Lynn Manns, University of North Carolina Asheville

Track: Early Stage Innovators

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