Reports of Innovation in Las Vegas

Watch this 15-minute interview with Jaun Carlo Pascua, 2010 Student Ambassador from UNLV, and you’ll get a sense for why we believe Patience, Persistence and Perseverance are three important qualities in a student changemaker.

2010 Student Ambassador Juan Carlo Pascua starting to see results in Las Vegas.

2010 Student Ambassador Juan Carlo Pascua starting to see results in Las Vegas.

2010 Student Ambassador from the inaugural group has been working way for the last three years, unbeknownst to me. Last I spoke with him in April 2011, Juan Carlo was at the end of his rope disappointed that only a handful of people attended his entrepreneurship I2V event. Having come from UC Santa Cruz and placed in the clean energy competition, Juan Carlo knew what a high-functioning ecosystem looked like. He had a vision that Las Vegas, with its infamous ‘strip’ and casino energy users would ultimately aspire to invent and innovate for the better. His efforts at University of Nevada Las Vegas are just starting to bear fruit.

Anyone know how much energy is consumed in Las Vegas?

For one, Tony Hsieh of Zappos moved company headquarters within a stones throw of the main drag and declared a commitment to make for a more vibrant creative community. To add to this, UNLV hired an entrepreneur in residence who offers up his home, the mansion formerly owned by Mike Tyson, for entrepreneurial events. Innovation is an idea whose time has finally come. The moral of the story is that it is a LONG road. Student changemakers, you will get a lot of no’s. You will get people telling you what you can and cannot do. There will be many red herrings. One of the most important things you can remember is to stay focused and persistent on the goal of cultivating the entrepreneurial climate on your campus.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera

Huffington Post Article on Cooper Union’s Invention to Venture (I2V)

I2V Mention

Cooper Union I2V Covered in Huffington Post

Congratulations to Cooper Union Student Ambassador Sharang Phadke who held his first Invention to Venture (I2V) and received a terrific mention in a Huffington Post blog piece, In the End, We Are All Entrepreneurs, by John Pavley. I2V is a day-long event is a crash course for University-based scientists and engineers interested in seeing their innovations commercialized or pursuing an entrepreneurial venture.

Pavley, who also spoke at the event, reaffirming what we know about Cooper Union’s commitment to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In describing the energy at Cooper, the CTO of Huffington Post says “The engineering students, educators, and alumni I met this Saturday proved to me that the I2V idea is working. Even at 8 a.m. the students were wide awake and asking tough questions. In fact, it was the students who setup and ran the event. The Cooper Union professors spoke to me about how focused they were on creating an environment for innovation and making sure their students graduated with the business acumen needed for starting and running their own businesses. The alumni told great stories about how they tried and failed again and again until they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams at solving real world problems — while building businesses.”

With students as committed to this vision as Sharang Phadke and his team, Cooper Union has a promising future in producing the nation’s brightest problem solvers. For the entire blog post, click here.

Sparking Entrepreneurship at UC Davis

On Monday October 8, 44 students and 2 professors came together for the first ever Engineering and Technology Entrepreneurship Club (E-TEC) general meeting at UC Davis. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students from all engineering disciplines on campus were represented. Students from chemistry, biology, and business also attended the meeting. The event consisted of an overview of E-TEC’s mission to provide a space for engineering, science, and technology students at UC Davis to learn more about technology entrepreneurship, become aware of university and national resources available for student entrepreneurs, exchange ideas, form teams that can participate in the entrepreneurship programs on campus organized by the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and ultimately help create more student startups. Attendees watched a video about leadership, and participated from 2 exercises that sparked their entrepreneurial thinking. These “sparks” stimulated individual creativity, teamwork, and idea generation in students, while providing them the opportunity to practice pitching ideas to an audience. The activities were well received by the students. Participants had fun while learning more about entrepreneurship and innovation. Nine students have volunteered to become officers of E-TEC and help catalyze entrepreneurship and innovation among engineers and scientists on the UC Davis campus. These leaders are: Michelle Lozada, Gil Benezer, Eric Berg, James Hawkinson, Sebastian Anaya, Virgil Zhang, Natalie Qabazard, Karthika Pai, and Nick Mahoney. E-TEC’s faculty advisor will be Dr. Bruce White, Associate Dean of the UC Davis College of Engineering.

Next event: Invention to Venture UC Davis on October 29.


– Lucas Arzola

University of Tennessee Health Science Center – Invention to Venture Tennessee 2011!

Just imagine a room filled with entrepreneurs: tall ones, short ones, rich ones, poor ones, experts, and novices… the list goes on and on. These entrepreneurs travelled from all over—Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas, and Arkansas. All of these entrepreneurs united for Invention to Venture: Tennessee 2011! Sessions were lively with questions and discussion! Topics included:

Idea Validation & Opportunity Assessment by Mike Sherman of MB Venture Partners

Sales & Marketing in the Life Sciences by Patrick Wilson of Medtronic

Building the Team by Jan Bouten of Innova and Allan Daisley of Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Finding the Funds Panel by Andrew Seamons of Pittco Capital Partners, Eric Mathews of LaunchMemphis and Brad Silver of Computable Genomics

Intellectual Property & Licensing by Susan Fentress of Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, PLLC

FDA & Regulations by Michael Meagher of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Business Planning in the Life Science by Michael Graber of Southern Growth Studio

The highlight of the event was the Experiences in Entrepreneurship Luncheon featuring Pitt Hyde, Founder of AutoZone. The event even attracted media attention from The Commercial Appeal (check out the article at Overall, Invention to Venture: Tennessee 2011 was a huge success. Thanks to all of the speakers and the organization team that made it happen!

~Dee Helton, Student Ambassador at UT Health Science Center