The UT Inventors program engages interdisciplinary teams of science and engineering undergraduate students in authentic entrepreneurial projects. Through the Inventors Program, students will…
- gain experience working in multi-functional teams and collaborating across disciplines
- engage in a systems approach to entrepreneurial design and development
- practice career skills such as communicating effectively with diverse audiences
- participate in identifying, formulating and solving real-world problems
1) Problem Statement Gathering – Each semester we gather problem/project proposals for Inventor’s Program student teams. Projects could involve design, prototyping and testing, market research, or procedure and policy development. Problem statements are welcome from UT faculty, UT alums, local industry and community organizations.
2) Inventors Sprints – Each proposal is reviewed and suitable problem statements are selected for an “Inventors Sprint.” The sprints are one-day intensive events, in which a team of students works on a feasibility study and design ideation for a problem statement under mentored supervision. The sprints are used to select the most promising problems for further work. The sprints also help recruit engaged students, give them an opportunity to try out entrepreneurial activities, and identify the skill sets needed on the teams to further approach the problem.
3) UT Inventors Course – Each year we run a project-based “STEM Innovation, Invention and Entrepreneurship Practicum”. Projects selected through the sprints process will be further explored by undergraduate student teams in the one-semester course. Generally, a student team will consist of 3-6 students. Depending on the nature of the problem statement, some projects may have a single team or several student teams. The instructor for this course acts as a facilitator and helps guide the process management for the student teams, provides feedback on their progress and helps connect the teams to appropriate stakeholders, subject matter experts, industry consultants and mentors and potential customers. The UT Inventors Course will satisfy a requirement for the UT Entrepreneurship certificate.
4) Student Launch – We try to connect engaged and successful Inventor’s Program students to further opportunities. For student teams that have developed a viable product, we will help connect them with campus and community incubators, launch programs and accelerators. For promising individuals, we will help find internships and other practical experiences.
- Project Sponsorship – We need problem statements to be used in a sprint and perhaps a semester-long project course. Project Sponsors would ideally be able to meet with students at least once at the beginning of the project to describe the project and answer questions and at the end of the project to give feedback.
- Consulting – During the Inventor’s Program course, we need various business consultants, subject matter experts and guest speakers to provide information and feedback to students.
- Project Forum Feedback and Networking – Each spring, student teams will give “pitches” on their solutions as part of our Undergraduate Research Forum. We need local industry representatives and alums to give feedback to the students and participate in a networking event to share career advice.
- Internship Hosting – We need internship opportunities for our most talented Inventor’s Program students.
Contact: Please contact Dr. Tim Riedel at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the program or to volunteer for one of the areas of collaboration need.