UEDA Summit 2013 - Awards of Excellence - Innovation & Entrepreneurship - Innovation Café©


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The Innovation Café© was created by Penn State College of Medicine to meet a definitive need in the commercialization of university innovation — to provide access to resources required to bring an idea out of the lab and into the marketplace.
The Innovation Café©, or iCafé©, is an exciting focal point for expanding and sustaining the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Central Pennsylvania. The centerpiece of the initiative is a reoccurring networking forum featuring high profile guest speakers discussing industry innovations, business trends, regulations and their impact on the ecosystem. Each event also features a start-up company introducing regional stakeholders to entrepreneurs, intellectual and investment capital, and commercialization opportunities. iCafé© is a platform to engage investors, entrepreneurial faculty, students, government and industry professionals committed to building a vibrant start-up community in Central Pennsylvania.
Building on the Innovation Café© brand, Penn State and its partners has expanded the platform to include educational programming, access to capital and entrepreneurial mentorship. Educational programs include entrepreneur forums and topic-specific lectures for early entrepreneurs all the way through advanced year-long programs for high growth CEOs. Earlier this year, College of Medicine launched an Innovation Fund to invest in promising technologies striving to achieve proof-of-concept. Start-up companies within the ecosystem also benefit from working with the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. These and other programs are delivered with partners including Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Life Science Greenhouse of Central PA, PA Department of Community & Economic Development, Capitol Region Economic Development Corporation, Hershey Center for Applied Research, ExecuStar and Penn Venture Partners.

Read the Case Study: http://universityeda.org/value-to-members/best-practice-sharing/awards-of-excellence/awards-of-excellence-2013-finalists/innovation-cafe/

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  • I’m Keith Marmer and I am responsible for all things innovation and entrepreneurship at Penn State’s College of Medicine in Hershey, PAId’ first like to thank UEDAI lived most of my professional life as an entrepreneur. Along the way, I had the good fortune to benefit from a number of mentors and moreover from an ecosystem that supported entrepreneurs; If not for that ecosystem, my company likely would have failed regardless of how innovative our technology and how entrepreneurial our team was.Innovation and entrepreneurship programs cannot take place in a vacuum. They are dependent upon an ecosystem. A good ecosystem needs a ‘social glue’ to hold it together.This is why we created Innovation Café.
  • We began in 2012 to establish the foundational core of a regional ecosystem in a geography that had several of the necessary ingredients which had never been brought together successfully.Bringing together stakeholders, particularly in academia where the terms innovation and entrepreneurship are often met with other terms like fear, confusion or resentment, I would argue is central to establishing university-based entrepreneurism.
  • When you look at the geography, not unlike many universities, we are removed from major urban centers and from main campus. It typically means that it is difficult to participate in their ecosystem and they don’t participate in ours. Innovation Café is changing that paradigm.
  • When faculty ask me what is an innovation ecosystem and how do I navigate it, they would like for me to draw something like the infographic here. It makes a complex environment easy to understand and, for academia, we like linear processes.
  • In reality, the innovation ecosystem looks like this. For those of us who spend our time leveraging the ecosystem for economic development purposes, we know that we pinball through this environment in what can only appear to be a random process.So our challenge was how to establish the foundation of an ecosystem that would be inviting to faculty and students at Penn State as well as bring together regional stakeholders who had a ‘we’ve tried this before’ attitude. The answer is Innovation Café.
  • First of all, we started with coffee; perhaps the most social beverage there is or at least that we can serve on campus. This all got started when we brought together all the regional stakeholders. WE DID NOT SAY WHAT DO STAKEHOLDERS NEED instead we said WHAT DOES THE REGION NEED FOR STAKEHOLDERS TO SUCCEEDAcademia wants to solve problems but it is critical to understand this was not our problem alone to solveFeatured speakers – Sec. Walker from DCEDNo money existed to launch a program. This often means programs don’t get launched. We bootstrapped and took the lean startup approach.
  • Innovation Café has expanded beyond breakfast networking events. -Innovation ambassadors-Happy hours / meet and greets-Sponsoring events -startup weekend -young professionals -student events -community-based entrepreneurship -investor events
  • This is just the result at Penn State Hershey from Innovation CafeThe concept is fairly simple but often overlooked. By branding with Innovation Café as opposed to Penn State, we see increased awareness and participation by faculty and others who previously were not engaged.Innovation Café is highly replicable, scalable and sustainable. I believe it is also original in that our approach spans all stakeholder programs and organizations.
  • overview of programmatic offerings at Penn State Hershey.programs or functions in red are the ones that either benefit from, and/or, contribute to, the success of Innovation Café. There is an inescapable truth that people do business with people they know and people they like.Development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is critical for any region. Innovation Café is an event and it is a process: IT IS THE GLUE. It is a CORE FOUNDATION that any region can create regardless of your existing resources and stakeholders.
  • UEDA Summit 2013 - Awards of Excellence - Innovation & Entrepreneurship - Innovation Café©

    1. 1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    2. 2. What is Innovation Café • A platform to engage investors, faculty, students, entrepreneurs, government and industry. • A recurring networking forum featuring high profile guest speakers. • A showcase opportunity for start-up companies. • Breaking down barriers for entrepreneurship.
    3. 3. Challenges
    4. 4. Building an Ecosystem
    6. 6. Innovation Ecosystem Corporate Innovators Chamber of Commerce Super Connectors Business Clubs F500 Corporations Student Entrepreneurial Organizations Mentors Destination Faculty University SBIR/STTR Native Venture Capital Executive Education Co-Working Spaces Serial Entrepreneurs Faculty Expertise Tech Transfer Core Facilities Business School Incubators Enterprise Centers Research Strengths Entrepreneurial Organization Start-Up Community Meet-UP Thought Leaders Research Park Vivarium Government Lab Start-Up Weekend Business Services Mash-Up Angel Network Mash-Up Rapid Prototyping Private Research Institute SBDCs Private Incubator Gap Funds Pilot Manufacturing Courtesy of Tom Osha, Old Dominion University Clinical Trial Center Technology Council State ED Regional ED Contact Research Locality ED Special Incentive Districts
    7. 7. History and Process • • • • • • • Initial meeting of regional stakeholders Creation of an advisory board Establish the ‘can’t miss’ event Nobody owns the event Strong educational component Deal flow for investors A physical space
    8. 8. Innovation Ecosystem that’s Working
    9. 9. Impact on Innovation & Entrepreneurship • • • • • • Events attended by more almost 1000 people 217% increase in inventions disclosed 211% growth in faculty involved 11 startup companies $3 million in follow-on funding for start-ups $2.9 million in follow-on sponsored research
    10. 10. Innovation & Entrepreneurship Resources Innovation Management •Invention disclosures •Patents •IP management •Material transfers •Royalties Tech Ventures •Seed funding •Angel fund •Venture capital •Entrepreneur in Residence •Attorney access Entrepreneurship Center •Technology Incubator •Ideas in Innovation •Entrepreneur forums •SBIR/STTR training
    11. 11. Thank You