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Announcing the Winners of the 2012 Venture Creation Competition

The Virginia Commonwealth University da Vinci Center for Innovation hosted the 2012 VCU Venture Creation Competition (VCC) and winners of the inaugural campus-wide competition were announced Friday, April 27, as part of VCU Student Research Week.

The competition began earlier this semester with 40 student teams submitting executive summaries of ideas, concepts and/or technologies for a business venture. These teams represented 87 individuals across nine of VCU’s schools. A panel of esteemed judges evaluated the summaries and selected 12 semifinalist teams, which then submitted business plans. Following another round of judging, five finalist teams gave 20-minute presentations to the judges on Friday.

The Quinn-Tyrell Corporation, comprising of VCU Brandcenter students Katie Acosta, Brian Jang, Jerry Roback and Mena Xiong, won $4,000 as the first place finisher in the 2012 competition. Their venture aims to elevate the in-home ice cream eating experience by introducing uniquely flavored ice cream cones.

CycleStay won $3,000 as the second place finisher. VCU School of Business students Austin Callwood, Justin Kauszler and Joshua Newton introduced a publicly accessible bicycle rack system with integrated locking, mobile communication and security features.

Fourpoint Art was the third place finisher winning $2,000. Led by a VCU School of the Arts graduate student, Owen Duffy introduced a virtual space and internet marketplace to help emerging artists showcase their work and connect with consumers worldwide.

Two other teams were awarded $1,000 each as finalists in the competition. Control, comprising of Brandcenter students Matt Fischer, Rajikumar Kuppuswamy, Anthony DiMarco, Jacqueline Rogers and School of Medicine student Jesse Swift, introduced a software and hardware system for helping asthmatics enjoy a more normal life. Gryffindor, comprising of School of the Arts students Angela Melito and Moria Pruefer, proposed a 24-hour art supply and print services store venture.

“The response to our inaugural VCU Venture Creation Competition has been very strong,” said Kenneth Kahn, director of VCU’s da Vinci Center and professor of Marketing. “It shows that there is truly an innovation and entrepreneurship spirit here in the VCU community. We aim to make the 2012 Competition the first of many annual VCU Venture Creation Competitions.”

Judges for the competition included the following individuals: Karen Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Hot Technology Holdings; Frank Ball, Managing Partner, New Dominion Angels; William Daughtrey, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator; David Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Dominion Payroll Services; Darrell Jervey, Chief Executive Officer, Worth Products Group; Robert Lynch, President, Practice Management Associates; Mike McGinley, Managing Partner, New Dominion Angels; Dick Menendez, Chief Operating Officer, Motley’s Richmond Auto Auction; Tonya Mallory, Chief Executive Officer and President, Health Diagnostic Laboratory; Erik Milch, Partner, Cooley LLP; John Mills, Associate, Cooley LLP; Matt Rutherford, Associate Professor of Management, Virginia Commonwealth University; Brent Smith, Associate Professor of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Scott Tolleson, Head of Cable and Media Industries, Ericsson.

Premier sponsors for the event were the VCU Office of Research, VCU School of Business, MWV Foundation, and Motley’s Richmond Auto Auction.

VCU’s da Vinci Center for Innovation is a collaboration of VCU Schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and Humanities and Sciences. Through its programs such as the undergraduate Certificate in Product Innovation and the Master of Product Innovation launching in fall 2012, the center catalyzes interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship as it prepares students for the 21st Century workforce and supports development initiatives for partner organizations.

For more information, contact Kenneth Kahn at kbkahn@vcu.edu

 

Will you develop the next big thing?

Sign up for INNO 200 and find out. In this one-hour lecture course, you’ll discover the exciting and multidisciplinary world of product innovation. You’ll meet some of the top innovative leaders from right here in the Richmond community. It will pique your creativity and challenge your entrepreneurial spirit. Do you have what it takes?

With a limited number of spots available, register for this course today.

Below is the catalog description. No pre-reqs. Open to all VCU students.

INNO 200 Seminar in Product Innovation

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. A seminar series focused on the discussion of pertinent topics related to product innovation and “technopreneurship.” Students will be exposed to numerous topics through guest speakers supplemented by readings and class discussion. Topics include conceptualization, patents, capitalization, venture formation, commercialization, market assessment, project management and product life cycle management.

Fall 2012 – INNO 460 Now Accepting Applicaitons


The VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation is currently accepting applications for participation in its INNO 460: the da Vinci Project Course during the 2012 Fall semester.

This opportunity is open to all undergraduate juniors and seniors in the Schools of Arts, Business and Engineering. More information about the course can be found here: THE WORK

The application deadline is April 6. (extended!)

 

MPI in Business & Main

Check out the da Vinci Center’s Master in Product Innovation in the most recent issue of Business & Main.

Just an ordinary day.

Just an ordinary day here in the da Vinci Center. Leave it to our INNO 460 students to make research day radtastic.

[pro-player width=’450′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiLg-KiRWuU[/pro-player]

InnoBlitz – Spring 2012

Implementing Innovation in 8 Hours

What could you come up with in only eight hours? On Saturday, February 4, two interdisciplinary teams of students from the VCU da Vinci Center will be participating in a 8-hour InnoBlitz at the Science Museum of Virginia. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the students will be given two innovation projects on which to work. What will they create? Will they work together? Can they finish?

Follow us on twitter @VCUdaVinci

Virtual TourWrist

Playing around with the TourWrist app for iPhone. Take panos, upload for a virtual tour and then embed to your site. #innovative

Innovation goes to work, literally

Following is an article from The Branford Seven of how one of our Certificate in Product Innovation students leveraged his da Vinci experience to get a job.

How Matt Schell Got His Job

Written by Joe Gordon

Two years ago, I received a nice letter from a college mechanical engineering student from Branford who was looking for a summer job with my small manufacturing company, also in Branford. His name was Matt Schell, and while he was only in his sophomore year, he had a very interesting resume. In addition to being president of his fraternity, he had a near 4.0 GPA. My own background was in mechanical engineering, but I had a lifelong passion for art, and Matt was attending Virginia Commonwealth University in a program called “The daVinci Program” which recognizes the symbiotic relationship between artistic creativity and engineering. He earned the first available scholarship offered in this field. It also helped that he was an Eagle Scout. Unfortunately, we had no openings, and I responded that I was sorry to turn him down, as we were suffering a slowdown in sales and profitability.

He quickly responded that he really wanted to get experience in engineering and in a manufacturing company, and offered to work free as an intern in engineering. This was too good to pass up, and I offered him a summer job at slightly above minimum wage, thinking that we would be able to expose him to real experience in engineering design and applications.

He eagerly joined, and quickly found that one of our products was difficult and costly to assemble economically. He was able to make simple design changes, and improved the productivity of this item significantly. For fun, I gave him an assignment to construct a mural for the assembly area. It was a top view image of an antique wooden boat, made with real mahogany. When he returned to college, he left a vacancy in the area of problem solving using computer knowledge, which made us realize that we were the recipients of the new engineering experience.

The following summer, a key manager became victim to a serious health crisis, and became totally disabled. Matt stepped in to fill the void, which required both sales and engineering skills. By the end of the summer, he had lifted the company out of the slump we were experiencing, and we were wondering how we would survive without him. I hired a non-technical sales administrator who helped fill the role. We sent Matt back to VCU and realizing how we had grossly underpaid him, and we agreed to keep him on the payroll until Christmas. He was grateful as it is expensive to go to college even with a full scholarship.

Recognizing that a remarkably good student like Matt will have several fine offers when he graduates next year, I have already made him an attractive and competitive offer when he graduates. In addition to his competitive offer, he will have an opportunity to earn 50% ownership in my company in 5 years, which will be well deserved, and provide me with a badly needed succession plan for retirement. Eventually, Matt may own 100% of the company and I am relieved that I will be able to pass the company on to someone who will take it to the next level.

Joe Gordon

Chairman, Branford Economic Development Commission

Are you the next Steve Jobs?

Sign up for INNO 200 and find out. In this one-hour lecture course, you’ll discover the exciting and multidisciplinary world of product innovation. You’ll meet some of the top innovative leaders from right here in the Richmond community. It will pique your creativity and challenge your entrepreneurial spirit. Do you have what it takes?

With a limited number of spots left, register for this course today.

Below is the catalog description. No pre-reqs. Open to all VCU students.

INNO 200 Seminar in Product Innovation

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. A seminar series focused on the discussion of pertinent topics related to product innovation and “technopreneurship.” Students will be exposed to numerous topics through guest speakers supplemented by readings and class discussion. Topics include conceptualization, patents, capitalization, venture formation, commercialization, market assessment, project management and product life cycle management.

Leading Through Innovation

VCU’s da Vinci Center, in partnership with VCU School of Business Foundation’s Center for Corporate Education, will host Leading Through Innovation, a one-day training course covering practical examples and industry case studies.

Led by Dr. Kenneth Kahn, Professor of Marketing and Director of VCU’s da Vinci Center, attendees will learn the importance of innovation, ways to spur innovation among teams and industry best practices.

When: Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: VCU School of Business, 301 W. Main Street, Richmond, VA

Course Outline:

  • 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Innovation Understanding
  • 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. | Break
  • 10:45 – noon | Innovation Culture
  • Noon – 1:00 | Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 | Innovation Process
  • 2:30 – 2:45 | Break
  • 2:45 – 4:00 | Innovation Best Practices

Cost: $295 – includes meals, parking, course materials and copy of Dr. Kahn’s book Product Planning Essentials (ME Sharpe, 2011). Register on or before November 29 for complimentary parking; those registering after November 29 will be responsible for their own parking expenses.

Click here to register

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