Sixteen USI students developed ideas and business strategies around the commercialization of several military patents from Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center (Crane). The fourth annual Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA) included students in several different academic disciplines across USI. The TCA is a partnership between USI, Crane, and Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE).
This year’s academy, overseen by Dr. Jason Salstrom, Technology Commercialization Manager, lasted eleven weeks and began with a trip to Crane Naval Base to learn about various military patents. Once back on campus, student teams were formed and guided through a unique ideation process by Mr. Bryan Bourdeau, instructor in business. Dr. Jack Smothers, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Arthur Chlebowski, assistant professor of engineering, then led the teams through an extensive feasibility analysis which examined market, technical, and business feasibility for each product idea. Mr. Charles Kelly, instructor in business, directed the final phase where the teams fine-tuned their product pitches.
Five potential products were inspired by Crane intellectual property, and two teams intend to form licensing agreements for their products. The five projects were:
Front row: Bryan Mitchell, Jesse Reising, Daniel McMurtry, Tim Baughn, Kyle Gray, Matt Virgin
Second row: Tori Densley, Penny Lloyd, Caleb Riley, Logan Kelly, Bridget Butcher
Row three: Tyler VanMeter, Jacob Titzer, Odalys Miranda, Lindsay Kast, Cole Schafer
Back row: Dr. Jason Salstrom, Dr. Arthur Chlebowski, Dr. Jack Smothers
The academy culminated in the five teams pitching their products to audiences of business professionals, like-minded entrepreneurs, USI faculty, staff, administrators, and community leaders at three events:
“I couldn’t be more proud of these teams and coaches. They are a joy to work with, and our region will progress from the work of their hands," said Dr. Smothers.
Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE) in collaboration with USI came up with the TCA idea in their Tech Transfer Committee. The academy was made possible through a Lilly Endowment Sustaining Grant secured by Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost of Outreach and Engagement, and Dr. Scott Gordon, dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.