Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor Culminates in Presentations to “Investors”

Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor Culminates in Presentations to “Investors”

Better known as “E4,” EGEN 4100: Marketing, Finance and Venture Planning is the final course for students in the popular Engineering Entrepreneurship minor. In this class, students learn the detailed steps in designing and commercializing a product. Hands on workshops cover the topics of fine tuning business plans and developing "elevator pitches" and presentations to help attract funding to support business ideas. The course culminates in team pitches to a roomful of judges who act as potential investors.

On December 8, five teams presented a variety of concepts to judges from industry, academia and a venture capital firm. Each team was given 15 minutes to present its ideas, along with a competitive analysis, financials, marketing plan and prototype. Three minutes were allowed for questions from the audience. Judges scored teams on the quality of their venture propositions and the clarity of their presentations, videos and demonstrations. They also indicated whether they would back the project. 

Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor Culminates in Presentations to “Investors”

This year’s ideas included:

Safe Cone: An enhanced version of the traditional traffic cone, safe cone is designed to reduce injuries to road workers by alerting them to the presence of an oncoming road hazard, such as a speeding vehicle. Another phase of the project called for self-navigating cones that would eliminate the need for workers to set them out on the roadway.

Power Panel: Designed for hikers and other outdoorsy folks, Power Panel is a flexible, adhesive solar panel/charging station that travels with the individual, secured to a backpack or piece of clothing.

Carpet Diem: Designed by the creatively named team “Six Men and a Mattress,” Carpet Diem is an area rug and air mattress in one, solving the problem of where friends sleep when they visit a dorm room. When not in use, the rug lies flat with the mattress folded underneath it.

Lazer-Tex Mirror: Rather than turning to the television, your smart phone and the radio for everything you need to know in the morning, the inventors of the Lazer-Tex Mirror plan to give you all your information in your mirror. With this technology you can get ready for work or school and at the same time become up-to-date on weather, email, news and more.

Shareway Parking Solutions: The Uber or airbnb of parking spaces, Shareway connects property owners with driveways with drivers needing parking spots.

Engineering Fellow Ross Lee, PhD, who teaches the course with Sue Metzger from the Villanova School of Business, explains that the evening’s presentations were the culmination of the whole engineering entrepreneurship minor. “Some of these students will become entrepreneurs, but others will bring the entrepreneurial mindset to the company they work for. They will lead innovation.”