Category: Entrepreneurship

Boston University Names First Innovator-of-the-Year

August 9th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Entrepreneurship, News, Press Release

Mark Grinstaff

Mark W. Grinstaff

Professor Mark W. Grinstaff wins inaugural honors

 

Boston University Professor Mark W. Grinstaff has won the inaugural Innovator-of-the-Year Award from BU’s Office of Technology Development, recognizing a faculty member who translates research into innovations that benefit humankind.  It was awarded at OTD’s first annual networking event, Tech, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll, the unofficial kickoff of a university-wide commitment to establish Boston University as the new hub of entrepreneurship in Boston.

A professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, Grinstaff co-founded three companies now commercializing his research ideas:  Hyperbranch Medical Technology, Flex Biomedical, and recent start-up Acuity Bio, which is commercializing a new drug delivery device for the prevention of tumor recurrence after surgical resection – a significant unmet clinical need. His current work includes research into new macromolecule and amphiphile syntheses, self-assembly chemistry, tissue engineering, and drug delivery.

” Professor Grinstaff is an entrepreneurial scientist, whose practical approach to science has led to the formation of three companies producing beneficial products.” 

–Robert A. Brown, President of Boston University

“Professor Grinstaff is an entrepreneurial scientist, whose practical approach to science has led to the formation of three companies producing beneficial products,” said BU President Robert Brown, who presented the award.  “His accomplishments in the past year include 15 peer-reviewed papers published, two invention disclosures, a patent filing, and more than $1 million invested in Flex Biomedical.”

Grinstaff received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology.  His honors include the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award, NSF Career Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and Edward M. Kennedy Award for Health Care Innovation.

About the Boston University Innovator-of-the-Year Award

The Boston University Innovator-of-the-Year Award seeks to highlight translational research at the School by recognizing an entrepreneurial faculty member and the potential for commercialization and/or wider adoption of their inventions.  It also encourages faculty to become entrepreneurial while promoting role models who can inspire graduate students to pursue entrepreneurial careers.

Media Contact:
Adriane Dean
Marketing & Communications Manager
Boston University School of Management
617-358-0234

Tech, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll: Marking a University’s Commitment to Entrepreneurship

August 4th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Entrepreneurship, Press Release, School

smgBU Aims to Be the New Hub of Entrepreneurship in Boston

 

On July 27, 2010, Boston University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) hosted its first annual networking event, “Tech, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll,” the unofficial kickoff of a university-wide commitment to establish Boston University as the new hub of entrepreneurship in Boston.

The OTD, whose mission is to “encourage, educate and enable…the BU community to realize [the] commercial potential of their ideas,” helps students, faculty, and alumni bring their innovations to market through assistance with business incubation, patent filing, licensing, and funding.

Gathering industry professionals, research scientists, and budding BU entrepreneurs for conversation, food, live music, and the launch of an annual networking event.

Tech, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll gathered together industry professionals, research scientists, and budding Boston University entrepreneurs for an evening of food, networking, technology presentations, “education by conversation,” and live music by the Joshua Tree Band.  University president Robert A. Brown presented BU Professor Mark W. Grinstaff with the inaugural Innovator-of-the-Year Award, recognizing a faculty member who translates research into innovations that benefit humankind.

In addition, OTD staff provided information about how to get involved with the Kindle Mentoring Program, which matches members of the BU community with senior executives of established companies, CEOs of start-ups, and angel investors.  Mentors then support these new entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to the marketplace.

Vinit Nijhawan Gives WSJ $19 Billion Reasons “Why US Entrepreneurs Should Compete On Price”

June 25th, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation

Are Business Schools Partly to Blame for Diminishing Price Competition?

 

Vinit Nijhawan

When Boston University School of Management’s Vinit Nijhawan, executive-in-residence at the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC), posted a Tweet in April about US entrepreneurship, the Wall Street Journal wanted to hear more.

His original message on Twitter was:

“US entrepreneurs have lost the desire to compete on price. Business schools are partly to blame, encouraging them to ‘go up the value chain.’”

In May, the Wall Street Journal wrote,

We asked Nijhawan, who has started up five companies and teaches an MBA course on entrepreneurship at Boston University, to expand on this topic for Venture Capital Dispatch. Nijhawan was kind enough to write the following essay, which urges US entrepreneurs to build products and services that can compete on price in both domestic and emerging markets.”

Here’s what Nijhawan wrote in response, offering $19 billion in ideas for new US ventures:

Why US Entrepreneurs Should Compete On Price

By Vinit Nijhawan

For 60 years the US has been the biggest market for virtually any product or service. Local entrepreneurs tend to have an advantage in big markets and as a result, US entrepreneurs have become accustomed to only competing in domestic markets.

“For 60 years the US has been the biggest market for virtually any product or service….No longer.”

No longer. Most growth markets are in emerging countries, and China is quickly becoming the largest market for many products and services: cars, cell phones, food, clothing, Internet connections, etc. The big difference between US consumers and emerging market consumers is their ability to pay equally for the same product or service. The result is new and established emerging market companies that are capturing share in their home markets by competing aggressively on price.

The lowest cost car, the Nano, comes from Tata in India. The lowest cost telecom equipment is from Huawei in China. The lowest cost cell phone service is from Bharti Airtel in India.  Embraer in Brazil makes the lowest cost small jet; BYD in China sells the lowest cost electric car battery; and the mPesa service in Kenya is the lowest cost money transfer service. All these companies are now looking to expand to overseas markets based on the strength of their performance in their home markets.

“Most growth markets are in emerging countries, and China is quickly becoming the largest.”

As they lose the ability to compete on price, US companies have been going “up the value chain.” This strategy has been encouraged by US business schools, and by their spin-off management gurus. In other words, US companies are increasingly targeting the top of the pyramid, to borrow a phrase from CK Prahalad, the late business school professor and management guru. As they climb the pyramid, US companies are addressing smaller and smaller market niches that can afford to pay for unique products and services. For example, US medical device and drug companies are increasingly targeting uncommon diseases at exorbitant prices.

I recently sat in on a presentation at Boston University about a new drug-eluting device that was targeting lung cancer patients. The entrepreneur forecasted the US market at 5,000 units per year at $10,000 each. When I suggested that they consider countries with high lung-cancer incidence such as India and China to drive up volume at lower pricing, I was met with skepticism. Could patients in these countries afford the product? Would companies steal the idea, etc.?

“As they lose the ability to compete on price, US companies have been going “up the value chain.” This strategy has been encouraged by US business schools.”

It is time for US entrepreneurs to think about competing for the entire pyramid. This means that they have to address markets outside the US right from inception not after they have saturated domestic markets. If US companies can compete in mainstream emerging markets, they will be in a strong position to compete in developed markets as well. Only then will we match exporting countries such as Germany, where 40% of the GDP is export-driven, compared with 11% for the US.

So what strategy should entrepreneurs employ? First they need to pick industries where labor is a small component of end-user cost (eg., automobiles). Second they need to target global growth industries (eg., medical devices). Lastly they need to apply inventions and innovation primarily to reduce cost and then secondarily to add competitive features. In many cases US companies may be component suppliers with final labor-intensive assembly being done in emerging countries to be near markets and take advantage of lower labor costs.

“Create a national renewable energy electric utility: a $5 billion company.”

There are several business models emerging to address both low-cost emerging markets and high-cost developed markets. One is to employ differential pricing: higher for developed country consumers and lower for emerging market consumers so the overall blended price allows decent profits. Developed country farmers, for example, provide large amounts of their output for food aid, which is essentially given away for free in emerging markets. The farmers get an advantage of volume production and the US government bears the subsidies to emerging markets. The other model is to create products for either market that have the same components but with features that meet local market needs.

With this in mind, we should establish a version of the X Prize, which creates incentives for entrepreneurs to come up with feature-busting products. The B Prize would encourage “Billion Something” products and services to address the 5 billion consumers in emerging markets. Here are some possible B Prize challenges:

  1. Create an electric commuter car that will sell for $5,000 (with a 15% gross margin) that can become the No. 1 selling car on the planet (1.4 million annual units sold) within 10 years: a $7 billion company.
  2. 81 million people in the US have some form of cardio-vascular disease (CVD) with less than six million hospital discharges and $350 billion in medical costs, or $4,300 annually per patient. Create a chain of CVD Management Centers that reduces the annual cost of CVD management to $1,000 per patient and capture 5% of the US market in five years: a $4 billion company.
  3. Create a national wireless network operator that will offer voice and data service at an annual ARPU of $100 (US average is $600), capturing 10% market share in five years (30 million subscribers) with a 10% EBITDA : a $3 billion company.
  4. Create a national renewable energy electric utility that will output 50 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020: a $5 billion company.

It is time to harness the ingenuity of US entrepreneurs, our university research labs, and public policy in favor of exports to emerging markets to once again make the lowest cost products with the most desirable features.

“It is time for US entrepreneurs to think about competing for the entire pyramid.”

Prahalad, who tragically passed away last month, presented his “Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid” ideas at a conference I organized in 2003. It really got me thinking about emerging market opportunities, and as a result, I started visiting India and China. I have witnessed a transformation in those markets as entrepreneurs have gained confidence in the rapid adoption of their homegrown products and services. Many of these entrepreneurs were trained in US universities. The playing field is leveling quickly, and US entrepreneurs must be price competitive globally to maintain our standard of living.

 

See article online at the Wall Street Journal‘s site.

ITEC Gains Funding in Support of Student Mentoring

May 11th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Entrepreneurship, School, SMG Hot Topics, Students

Boston University’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) today announced the creation of the Kindle Student Mentoring Program at Boston University, which is funded by a $33,000 Course and Program grant from the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).

Dr. Jonathan Rosen, the Executive Director of ITEC, sees this as a transformative opportunity.

“Team-based, multi-disciplinary projects are a central part of our educational program at ITEC.” 

–Jonathan Rosen, Executive Director, ITEC

The student mentoring process aims to identify promising innovation, attract the appropriate mentor to the project, and monitor the progress from innovation to commercialization. The NCIIA grant will enable ITEC to recruit, train, and link volunteer mentors to student entrepreneurs interested in creating new ventures.The grant will also provide modest funding to student teams to develop preliminary prototypes, implementation plans, and funding strategies. Participants will be drawn from new and existing ITEC programs that reach across Boston University, including finalists in the ITEC $50K Business Plan Competition and student teams in the Clinical Innovation Awards Program.

“BU Kindle Student Mentoring educates and enables entrepreneurial students to achieve their commercial potential.” 

Vinit Nijhawan, Kindle Director, ITEC Director of Enterprise Programs and Special Assistant to the Vice-President of Research.

This program complements and extends the Boston University Kindle Venture Mentoring Program, launched in July 2009, which links mentors to alumni and faculty who have started companies. Mentors will work with students on a short-term basis to develop their business idea. Students who start companies can then graduate to longer-term venture mentoring. Mentors include CEOs of start-up companies, senior executives of established companies, and angel investors. Kindle Mentoring Programs are administered by ITEC and the Boston University Office of Technology Development.

About the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization
The Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) provides a full range of education, training, mentoring, and networking programs and opportunities that support the new entrepreneur. We are centered at the Boston University School of Management and serve as an educational resource to the entire university campus and to the local, national, and international communities.

The primary mission of ITEC is to develop, provide, and support multiple learning opportunities for the new entrepreneur. ITEC works with businesses, investors, policy makers, foundations, academic researchers, and students to design innovative new models that will help create sustainable enterprises to meet important global needs in healthcare, clean energy, information systems, and other technology sectors. www.bu.edu/itec.

About the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in universities and colleges to create experiential learning opportunities for students, and successful, socially beneficial businesses. With a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages more than 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their respective school campuses as working laboratories and incubators for businesses and ultimately helping them to bring their concepts to commercialization. www.nciia.org.

ITEC Launches Entrepreneurship Podcast Series

March 15th, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, SMG Hot Topics

05.18.09

This week, the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) launches a podcast series devoted to topics in entrepreneurship, such as social entrepreneurship, innovations in the health sector, family businesses, global entrepreneurs, and opportunities for finance professionals in the entrepreneurial sector.

The first installment to be released is "Measure Twice, Cut Once: Best Practices in Business Plan Development" with Pete Russo, Executive-in-Residence/Sr. Lecturer, Strategy and Innovation Department and Faculty Director, Entrepreneurship Programs (ITEC).

All recordings in the series will be available here on the School of Management site, and on the School’s Facebook page.
 
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ITEC Announces Finalists for 10th Annual $50K Business Plan Competition

March 15th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Energy & Environment Sector, Entrepreneurship, Health Sector, School, Sectors, Social Impact, Students

 

Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and CommercializationBoston University School of Management’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC)  is thrilled to announce the team finalists for the 10th Annual $50K Business Plan Competition :

  • Better Means is a web-based platform platform that fosters entrepreneurial autonomy and organizational belong. BU Team members: Karim BIshay & Adele Burnes
  • CorMend offers a treatment for chronic heart failure. BU Team member Keith Jansen
  • LED 2.0 delivers energy-effiicient LED lighting for residential, commercial and government applications. BU team member Perry Grossman
  • mobiLIFE provides a bluetooth-enabled continuous glucose monitor with precise readings. BU Team members Brian Chan and Dan Collins.

The four teams will compete for prizes worth over $50,000 at the final competition held at the Boston University School of Management on April 7, 2010 and is open to the public.

Each team will present its plan to a panel of judges consisting of VC’s and other members of the business community. The panel of judges considers the quality of the written business plan along with the ability of the team to successfully communicate the goals of their plan.

University and City Resources for Entrepreneurs

February 22nd, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, MediaWatch, Video

Pete Russo, director of entrepreneurial programs at  the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC), discusses the unique campus- and area-wide assets that ITEC provides students at Boston University School of Management: from incubators to medical laboratories across campus, to resources available throughout Boston, a word-class center of innovation.

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See also:

Jonathan Rosen on The New Entrepreneur

Peter Russo on Individual Attention for Budding Entrepreneurs

Individual Attention for Budding Entrepreneurs

February 22nd, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, MediaWatch, Video

Pete Russo, director of entrepreneurial programs at the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC),  discusses the unique, individualized approach¯including a plan tailored to each student’s goals and needs¯that ITEC provides for each member of the School of Management community interested in entrepreneurship.

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See also:

Jonathan Rosen on The New Entrepreneur

Peter Russo on University and City Resources for Entrepreneurs

 

The New Entrepreneur is Socially Driven and Globally Skilled

February 22nd, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, MediaWatch, Social Impact, Video

In this video interview, Jonathan Rosen, director of the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC), describes the "new entrepreneur" coming to ITEC, one whose mission is defined by social and environmental causes and whose skills and goals are defined by global experience.

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See also

Peter Russo on University and City Resources for Entrepreneurs

Peter Russo on Individual Attention for Budding Entrepreneurs

Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization Gains Funding in Support of Early Stage Translational Research

October 21st, 2009 in Entrepreneurship, Press Release

Johnson & Johnson Awards Grant

 

 

 

 

Boston, Massachusetts (August 4, 2009) – Boston University’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) today announced the creation of the Boston University Clinical Innovation Awards Program (CIAP) supported by a grant from the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT). This COSAT funding of $150,000 will provide initial support for researchers involved in identifying and solving unmet clinical challenges by developing innovative new medical technologies.

Enabling critical collaboration between the medical and engineering communities, the grant will support customized teams of students assembled from a variety of disciplines to solve real ongoing healthcare delivery problems identified by clinical practitioners.

“This grant provides an important new link in the growing chain of support for the Boston University applied research community.  We are grateful to Johnson & Johnson for this opportunity to more actively engage the BU clinical community in the process of developing new products that improve patient care, and for supporting our efforts at ITEC to enrich the educational experience of our students through their participation in every aspect of the commercialization process,” says Dr. Jonathan Rosen, Executive Director of ITEC.

ITEC is the entrepreneurship education and research center at Boston University and the Clinical Innovation Awards Program made possible by this grant will offer advanced students from programs across the BU campus a hand-on opportunity to work directly with the clinical community to address the most challenging unmet medical needs. These awards are part of a University-wide initiative to promote cross-campus collaboration, encourage entrepreneurial leadership, and accelerate the commercialization of University research with the potential to improve global patient care.

A formal launch of CIAP will take place on August 25, 2009.

About the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization
The Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) offers a new model for entrepreneurial research, education and commercialization. Housed at the School of Management, ITEC promotes cross campus exchange among students, faculty and alumni across all 17 schools and colleges at the university. We are dedicated to the new entrepreneur who is pursuing technologies, products, and services that meet pressing global needs in healthcare, life sciences, alternative energy, and many other sectors. We are focused on providing the resources to empower these new entrepreneurs to work collaboratively, across the university and around the world, to achieve great things and realize their dreams. For more information, visit www.bu.edu/ITEC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Catherine Santore, Assistant Director, ITEC
617-358-4901
csantore@bu.edu