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  • IllumiBar: a new brake light system to alert drivers

  • Raise the Roof: an easy-to-use car roof system

  • Thermostart: an automated car starter to protect children/pets

  • Traybilizer: automatically balances a tray to avoid spilled drinks

  • Eazi Park: a parking management system designed just for colleges

  • Snowbot: a robot that will shovel your walkways

Are you an idea person who has a concept for a new product or service for a start-up business? You've come to the right place. Western New England University offers major, courses, clubs, and Elevator Pitch competitions to help you turn your "Big Idea" into a working business. 

The Entrepreneurship Major: Two Paths to Innovation
The Entrepreneurship major will inspire you to turn your business concepts into a reality. You can choose an entrepreneurial path toward becoming your own boss or an intrepreneurial track to be an innovator within a corporation.

Product Development and Innovation Course: Business and Engineering Entreprenurs Welcome
In industry, engineers and business professionals work together to develop and launch new products. That's why we put them together in the same class. Through our cross-disciplinary Product Development and Innovation course, funded in part by a grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, entrepreneurial “e-teams” of business and engineering students collaborate to turn ideas into marketable products. Demand for the course has grown so high that four sessions were offered last fall. Each December, more than 120 students compete at the Product Development and Innovation Showcase, where alumni, faculty, staff, students, and area entrepreneurs vote with play money on the ideas they aould most likely invest in. Below are some of the diverse products our e-teams have developed. Several provisional patents have been filed under the students' names.

  • a men’s subscription clothing service
  • a language app for foreign students entering STEM programs
  • a device that monitors autoclave sterilization of reusable medical products for Third World countries 
  • a cap worn under athlete's helmets and app to detect and report potential concussion impacts
  • a quick-change drill attachment sponsored by Lenox to make drilling holes more precise
  • a affordable, portable AA or AAA battery charger that can be powered by a bicycle in Third World countries
  • an ultra-violet water purification system for Third World countries
  • a combination weed whacker-grass trimmer to reduce changover time and improve productivity
  • a significantly improved breast lumpectomy surgical tool that reduces surgical time
  • an automatic turn signal for motorcycles to improve safety

To learn more about entrepreneurship opportunities available through the College of Business, contact Dr. Mary Schoonmaker at mary.schoonmaker@wne.edu.

What's Your Big Idea?

Entrepreneurship Club: Be a Part of It

Sharing ideas with fellow students who have the same goals to be entrepreneurs is a great way to build your business skills outside the classroom. Through the student-run Entrepreneurship Club, you'll find a forum to share stories of successes and failures, develop important contacts with classmates and members of the business community, and learn the value of relationship building to start-up business ventures.

Planting Seeds for Success

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a variety of programming of interest to future entrepreneurs at Western New England University. By utilizing workshops, academic programs, and our popular Speaker Series, the Center fosters entrepreneurial thinking across our Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and our School of Law. The Center also assists small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups in the Pioneer Valley with professional services and informational and educational resources.

Ideas Wanted!

Each fall, Western New England University hosts a 3 Day Startup (3DS) event, a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment. 3DS is an organization that that helps campuses organize entrepreneurial workshops to provide their students experience in creating a start-up company. Undergraduate and graduate students in all majors are invited to participate in the Western New England University event at which local entrepreneurs serve as mentors and judges. 

One product resulting from the event has become a start-up. AnyCafé, creator of a travel brewer,  was invited to participate in a 3DS event in Austin, participated in the Valley Venture Mentors’ (VVM) Accelerator Program for burgeoning entrepreneurs, and raise $90,000 on Kickstarter. Graduated team members are now running the start-up full-time. You can view AnyCafé's President Logan Carlson's TEDx Talk on Youtube.

View photos from this year's 3D Start-Up Weekend.