Tech Transfer Central

Get Your Student Body on the Innovation Team

Format: On-Demand Audio/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: September 23, 2010

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Price: $197
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Your university’s future inventors and CEOs are right under your nose…

It’s a discovery more and more tech transfer offices are making. For a growing number of TTOs, students are becoming not only a critical source of assistance in licensing and start-up efforts, but are developing new technologies, creating venture funds, commercializing once-dormant IP, and leading new spinoffs out of the starting gate.

Those who are successfully tapping into this wellspring of talent and energy have identified and met the single most important challenge: ENGAGEMENT. Each success story in building an active and meaningful student contribution to university innovation and commercialization begins there, with a host of strategies including:

  • effective use of and integration with university resources, including business schools, marketing and engineering departments, medical schools, incubators, labs
  • high-profile engagement opportunities: clubs, business plan competitions, student inventor contests
  • meaningful internship programs: in the TTO, in the business community
  • opportunities for real-world entrepreneurship: assessing and developing university IP
  • curriculum development in entrepreneurship
  • effective marketing to build and maintain student interest and involvement

Learn from the Leaders in Student-led Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has secured two top experts – from  MIT and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – to guide you with proven strategies and tactics for engaging the student population and creating multi-faceted environments and resources that support student-led innovation and entrepreneurship.

Listen to this how-to distance learning program that’s sure to enhance your efforts to more effectively tap into your student body’s talent, creativity, and “innovation energy”:

Get Your Student Body on the Innovation Team

Your world-class faculty will break the program down into three key areas: People, Opportunity and Resources — and why no student innovation program will succeed without them:


  • Identifying student interests and trends
  • Targeting student leaders, student innovators, and student entrepreneurs (the alpha wolves)
  • Effectively utilizing resources to gain exposure and outside support
    • Alumni
    • VC groups
    • TTO
    • Business, engineering, and marketing programs
    • Mentors
    • Industry


  • Creating a pipeline that consistently reels students in – and keeps them engaged
  • Using social media to reach the student population: breaking through the noise
  • Reaching students along the continuum of the innovation process:
    • Clubs
    • Classes
    • Competitions
  • Successfully partnering with businesses, investors


  • Connect opportunities with school, alumni, and community support structures

PLUS: We’ll review a case study student venture stemming from a student competition that is still in successful operation today!

Meet your faculty:

Rhiannon Clifton is the assistant director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center, College of  Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She joined the TEC’s staff in 2005, and is responsible for the development and implementation of programs, policies, procedures and objectives of the Center and its role in promoting technology entrepreneurship through courses, lectures, new venture activities, alumni networking, and other events and experiences for students and faculty within the College of Engineering and across the Illinois campus. Rhiannon directs all aspects of the external relations efforts of the Center, including activities relating to communications with media at the local, state, and national levels; funding entities; strategic partners; alumni; and the University community. Rhiannon also leads curriculum development for the Center, and is an instructor for the TEC’s Marketing High-Tech Ventures course. Additionally, Rhiannon recently joined the College of Media’s advertising department as an instructor for their Audience Analysis course.

Joshua Schuler is executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a non-profit organization within MIT’s School of Engineering. In that position he focuses on advancing strategic goals that support the program’s mission to recognize outstanding inventors, encourage sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enable and inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. He has been responsible for managing the daily operations of this educational initiative since he began this position in July 2007. From August 2003 to July 2007, Schuler held the post of InvenTeams grants officer, a supervisory position for the Lemelson-MIT Program’s national initiative to inspire a new generation of inventors by awarding high school teams grants of up to $10,000 each to develop an invention that solves a problem they have identified. Through Schuler’s vision, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, InvenTeams evolved from a pilot that served three New England teams to a prototype for hands-on problem solving that funded grants for as many as 20 schools from Alaska to New Mexico to Florida. Schuler also established continuation grants as a means for former grantees to sustain inventive communities through the experiential learning of InvenTeams.  Prior to joining the Lemelson-MIT Program, Schuler was a consultant for Axxon Biopharm, Inc., and with the Renault-Nissan Alliance for Renault.

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