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Alumni's institute creates entrepreneurs
WSU students to meet CEOs, learn entrepreneurship
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012
By Tina Hilding, College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University food engineer Juming Tang, teaches students about the connection between engineering and entrepreneurship. Tang also is an entrepreneur with several copyrights. Photo courtesy of WSU College of Engineering and Architecture.
PULLMAN, Wash. - Starting Aug. 13, a group of Washington State University engineering and business students will have the chance to meet high technology CEOs, attorneys and visionaries around the Puget Sound region as part of a two-day, immersive, experiential learning experience.
Each year, the Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute selects 12 students to receive a $2,500 scholarship and participate in a year-long program on how to start and run a business. Students also participate in a three-week summer program. This summer's program is the first to include a Seattle component.
|Harold Frank with past WSU President V. Lane Rawlins|
WSU was named in 2010 as a top university in the country for developing successful technology industry leaders, according to the Daily Beast.
As part of this year's summer program, the students met with patent attorneys and visited the Applied Sciences Laboratory in Spokane. They also visited with faculty who started Food Chain Safety, a recently formed company that is creating improved military rations with extended shelf life.
The students also learned how to frame and present an "elevator pitch” for their start-up ideas. They then traveled to Silicon Valley, where they met with personnel from several venture capital firms, high technology incubators, and other companies. The students visited the headquarters of Google and Tesla Motors and were housed with successful Cougar entrepreneurs.
As part of the Seattle-area program, the students will visit with early-stage startups, mature enterprises, advanced labs producing new technologies, and joint ventures between large multinational corporations. They will also see Microsoft's Home of the Future.
"There are very few opportunities for college students to sit down and hear first-hand from CEOs and industry leaders about their success and failures,'' says Kevin Randolph, executive director of the program. "We're excited to give our Frank Fellows the chance to learn from real people and see the drive, commitment and sacrifice that these endeavors require.''
Next year, the Frank fellows will spend the year working to fully develop their business ideas as part of their senior capstone design project. Their work culminates in their entering the WSU business plan competition … and in perhaps someday bringing their ideas to market.
Kevin Randolph, executive director, Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute, 415-999-6804, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina Hilding, communications coordinator, College of Engineering and Architecture, 509-335-5095, email@example.com