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Engineering Entrepreneurship

  • 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

Lots of people have great ideas for a new product, service, or app, but Western New England University students have the skills and resources to make them a reality. And many of them don't wait until they graduate to get started!

The College of Engineering helps student develop an entrepreneurial mindset from their very first year when they work on teams to produce a product using smart technology. Throughout their course of study, they have opportunities to participate in exciting competitions such as the 3DS, intensive three-day start-up competition for students.

These ideas are turning into patents, real products, and multimillion-dollar companies like FloDesign, which was started by a former professor, headed by an alum, and staffed by scores of other Western New England engineering and business graduates. In fact, FloDesign is revolutionizing many industries from wind power to the use of accoustics to filter water. Read about our alums and current professor's recent trip to the White House to present their groundbreaking work for the National Science Foundation and discuss their role in prioviding clean water world-wide. 

Collaborate with Business Students

In the business world, engineers and business professionals work collaboratively to develop ideas and bring them to the marketplace. At Western New England University we put our engineering and business students in the same class, the Product Development and Innovation course, where they learn how their roles will intersect. Student teams are challenged to create a new product, through a simulated work environment. Our teams have competed at the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers Innovation Showcase (IShow) and placed in the top 10 four times. To-date students have been awarded more than $33,000 from the Grinspoon Spirit Awards for their entrepreneurial ideas.

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 is already in development. AnyCafé was invited to participate in a 3DS event in Austin and participated in the Valley Venture Mentors’ (VVM) Accelerator Program for burgeoning entrepreneurs. Watch a video interview of the team on PBS.

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

Kern Entrepreneurial Network (KEEN) Partnership

KEEN Entrepreneurial Teaching Initiatives at the College of Engineering

The College of Engineering established a partnership with the Kern Entrepreneurial Network (KEEN) in order to collaborate with other partner institutions and contributors to develop and identify the best solutions and practices in modern engineering. This partnership also offers support to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate students.  The College of Engineering has received multiple grants from KEEN designed to bolster our Engineering students’ education in order to better position our graduates for the demands of their field.

An abbreviated list of accomplishments from these grant efforts included:

  • Student groups have been sponsored to attend workshops and competitions. last year 4 students traveled to Palo Alto, CA for 1 week and meet with entrepreneurs and business leader in Silicon Valley.
  • 100 % of current 1st  year engineering students participate in entrepreneurial minded learning activities.
  • 100% of current 2nd year engineering students participate in entrepreneurial minded learning activities.
  • 47 WNE faculty have attended and participated in our 4 day entrepreneurial minded learning workshops.
  • The faculty of the College of Engineering and the School of Business have disseminated scholarly work related to student demonstration of entrepreneurial thinking.