Research Foundation News

May 25, 2018

Purdue’s Entrepreneur Learning Academy seeks faculty interested in commercialization and entrepreneurship

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship will open its 12th year of the Faculty Entrepreneur Learning Academy, a yearlong professional development course exploring research commercialization and the Purdue entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The program assists faculty interested in commercialization to understand the critical skills and tools necessary for entrepreneurial success. Through the course, faculty learn critical entrepreneurial skills and participate in extensive networking opportunities.

“Through the academy, faculty can learn about a new venture’s non-technical aspects with the goal to move their impactful technologies into the world,” said Arnold Chen, managing director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. “We provide seed funding for faculty projects, and we are excited to see even more participants discover their entrepreneurial spirit and grow their startups.”

ELA faculty also discuss vital leadership and entrepreneurial skills during their weekly two-hour meetings throughout the fall and spring semesters. The course will cover topics such as entrepreneurial finance, how to pitch and intellectual property.

Seven faculty members joined the 2017-2018 iteration, and 12 will be accepted in the 2018-2019 program. Jasmine Begeske, a College of Education clinical instructor, Zach Weber, the College of Pharmacy’s director of interprofessional education, and Mohammad Rahman, a Krannert School of Management associate professor, are continuing their projects with their skills learned at ELA.

Begeske is commercializing GREAT TEACHER, an online platform that tracks education field hours and assisted education training programs. Currently, she is preparing the application for prototype testing during the 2018-2019 academic year.

“The ELA gave me the time and the knowledge to explore starting a company,” she said. “The program helped me to refine my startup idea through presentations and conversations. It was helpful to hear how my peers were progressing and to learn about available support.”

Also working in education, Weber is developing a curriculum management and tracking system for educators. Next, he hopes to join this summer’s Purdue Introduction to Customer Discovery I-Corps program.

“ELA was a lot of fun and helped me learn from other successful business leaders,” he said. “It was also very helpful to learn about all the steps involved in creating a product or service, trying to get it to market an ultimately, what it might take to turn it into a successful business.”

Mohammad Rahman is building a data analytics application and looks forward to the further development of his startup.

“The ELA focused me on the elements necessary to commercialize my idea for a secure and intelligent multi-party data analytics platform,” he said. “I learned more about the fine balances a faculty turned entrepreneur needs to consider. I’m excited to found the start-up soon and am grateful to ELA for all the support.”

At the end of the year, participants will also have the opportunity to present their project as a business pitch. Based on this pitch, the faculty will be awarded funding to further assist their project development after the ELA course finishes. Of all attendees from the past 11 years, 25 percent have successfully started a new venture.

After completing the course, the 2018-2019 ELA faculty cohort will be eligible for a development award that includes up $10,000 funding and entrepreneurial mentorship from the Purdue Foundry. In June 2020, an additional award with $20,000 in convertible equity will recognize any previous faculty participants who have successfully licensed their technology and formed a startup.

Weber said, “My background as a pharmacist and professor is really different from entrepreneurial rationale. ELA taught me a unique way of thinking that is necessary when presenting and marketing my product.”

To apply, faculty will need a condensed biography or curriculum vitae (CV), a project description or commercialization interest including an expected impact and a support letter from their department head or dean. By June 14, the chosen faculty members will be accepted into the program and the course will begin in August.

Faculty who have previously participated may reapply with a new project. The application should be submitted to Deanna Bush at bushd@purdue.edu by June 8, 2018. Any questions can be directed to Arnold Chen at acchen@purdue.edu.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

The Burton D. Morgan Center is the gateway for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. It houses a number of programs and competitions for student and faculty entrepreneurs.  The Purdue Foundry, launched in 2013 by the Purdue Research Foundation to enhance the university’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, is housed here, along with Purdue Ventures, which provides and fosters meaningful access to capital and talent for Purdue entrepreneurs, and the Certificate for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Writer: Kelsey Henry, 765-588-3342, kehenry@prf.org 

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org  

Sources: Arnold Chen, chen2503@purdue.edu  

Deanna Bush, bushd@purdue.edu  

Jasmine Begeske, begeske@purdue.edu

Zach Weber, zawber@purdue.edu

Mohammad Rahman, mrahman@purdue.edu


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