Still time to submit ideas for business/engineering NSF-funded course

September 8, 2015 | UToday, Business and Innovation, Engineering
By Bob Mackowiak

Tuesday, Sept. 15, is the deadline for University of Toledo faculty, staff and students to submit ideas for a medical or biotechnology product that may get launch assistance from students participating in an innovative course this fall.

College of Business and Innovation and College of Engineering students are taking a merged class to learn how to take creative product ideas and develop them into profitable businesses. Funding comes from UT’s participation in a National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (iCorps) grant to promote the launch of new and viable business ideas.

The student teams will be mentored and coached by Dr. Ron Fournier and Dr. Patricia Relue, bioengineering; Dr. Sonny Ariss, entrepreneurship; and Deirdre Jones, professional sales.

“For the 2015-16 academic year, we expect to have at least 12 student teams,” Fournier said. “We expect that our students, faculty and staff have many medical or biotech-related business ideas, and we would like our student iCorps teams to develop them for you. All students will sign a noncompete/nondisclosure form to protect your interests in the idea that you submit.”

“These interdisciplinary student teams will be using the iCorps Lean Launch Methodology and the Business Model Canvas for idea evaluation. The student teams will also develop and test prototypes. Opportunities for future support of viable businesses is available through the College of Business and Innovation Business Plan Competition,” Ariss said.

With a product idea in place, teams develop their business models utilizing the Lean Launch Pad system, which focuses on nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

If you have a medical or biotech-related idea that you would like to see developed, complete the requested information on the online form at

Click to access the login or register cheese