Where are the studentpreneurs?

March 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm 5 comments

I’m writing this at the <a href="NCIIA Open conference in Alexandria, VA. The conference is about catalyzing innovation, and it’s all people from universities — so there is a ton of talk about student-launched businesses.

At my lunch table were engineering students from Boston University who launched mobiLIFE. Brian Chan and his team entered multiple business plan competitions, won some prizes (including free legal work from a top Boston law firm), and are entering the prototype phase. mobiLIFE will offer diabetes patients and their physicians continuous, painless glucose monitoring.

There is also an OpenMinds exhibition of student projects.

This leads me to ask: where is the LTU mobiLIFE? Why don’t we see LTU students in technical, design and other areas fighting to get into these competitions? How can we encourage more participation? Should we encourage it?

-Dr Evans


Entry filed under: Journeys of a Studentpreneur.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nick George  |  March 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I think these are some vary valid questions, some questions I am wondering myself. From my perspective, I feel that LTU doesn’t have an easy way for students to network with others. Since I am a commuter student and often only on campus the days I have classes, I don’t have much time to network and be part of the student life on campus. What if there was some sort of organization or club that could help build this community? Perhaps there is no direction into what type of business or innovation, but just a organization where people could meet and have time to share different ideas and work on them together. This might help foster a community of innovators and spark some ideas for new projects.

    • 2. Karen  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

      I like the idea of a club or some sort of loose but organized network. Would enough people show up to this to make it worthwhile? What days/times/frequency of meetings do you think would attract both commuter and on-campus students?

      • 3. Nick George  |  April 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm

        Dr. Evans,

        I think the questions you have are definitely important and I’m not sure what the answers are. I am not sure how much entrepreneurial and creative spirit is on LTU’s campus. However, this may be a society that takes some years to grow and eventually gains momentum over time. In terms of frequency of meetings, I don’t think this is something that would be extremely frequent. Perhaps a “kick off” meeting at the beginning of each semester, and perhaps another one towards the end would be enough to start the group. In the end, I believe it would be up to the individual to network with other students and find times for each other to meet. However, having some form of an event to spark this idea into the student body and provide the resources available to do so may help exemplify this talent on our campus.


  • 4. Ruqiayah Madany  |  March 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    The only competitions and lectures I know about are the ones that are posted around school or I get an email about. If my schedule permits, I would love to take part in competitions, but not everyone feels that way. I know people who just feel too overwhelmed with their classes and won’t take on anything extra. There would probably be more cooperation if there were more meaningful incentives like a private meeting with Josh Linkner or something like that. I think students should be encouraged to enter competitions because they are very beneficial. I learned a lot from my Innovation Chase experience, and I never would have attended if it had not been a class requirement.

    • 5. Karen  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

      I like the idea of more meaningful incentives. I don’t know if enough people would get the value of a one-to-one meeting with someone like Josh Linkner — or am I underestimating our students? What other kinds of incentives do you think would draw people? People are definitely super-busy — but I will say the chances for experiences (and prizes) like those offered by these competitions drop very significantly once you jump into the “real world!”


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