Learn the Basics of Taking an Invention from Pipe Dream to Market at a UMass Amherst Workshop On Saturday, Sept. 27

September 24, 2008

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AMHERST, Mass. – Entrepreneurs can learn the basics of developing an invention or idea into a marketable product at a University of Massachusetts Amherst workshop on Saturday, Sept. 27. “Invention to Venture” will meet in the Engineering Laboratory II auditorium from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Registration for the College of Engineering event is $75 for the general public, $25 for faculty or staff, and $10 for students. It includes continental breakfast, workshop handbook and lunch. For more information or to register, go to www.invention2venture.org/umass08/.

Participants will learn about intellectual property, marketing, venture capital, business plans and more from scientists, attorneys and entrepreneurs who have started companies. They include Joseph Bohan of SciDose LLC; Henry Gibson of SABIC Innovative Plastics; Dennis Guberski, founder and CEO of BioMedical Research Models, Inc., and Dev Gupta, founder and CEO of Newlans, among others. Workshop co-sponsors are Wolf Greenfield, Saint Gobain, and the university’s Isenberg Program for the Integration of Management, Engineering and Science.

The workshop is the first of two events leading up to the university’s Innovation Challenge business model competition in May 2009, where the top prize has risen to $50,000. Before that, the executive summary contest will be held on Dec. 9, 2008, when four winning individuals or teams will share $12,500 in total prizes. This year the prize money contributed by private companies for the two contests has increased from $50,000 to $85,000.

The contest, formerly known as the Technology Innovation Challenge, was recently renamed to shift the emphasis from technology to innovation, according to UMass Amherst engineering Dean Mike Malone. All full-time UMass undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni, with a faculty advisor, are eligible to compete. Malone said, “we are encouraging students, faculty and alumni from every discipline and department on campus to get involved and use technology for solving problems in new ways.”

Mechanical engineering doctoral student Brian Mullen won the challenge in May 2008 from among 28 teams for his invention of an adjustable vest that can be tightened to “hug” people with autism or other conditions helped by mild physical restraint. More information about the Innovation Challenge is available at: www.umass.edu/innovation.

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