TRAILS / TEAMS overview


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Document of student accomplishments under the BSU/INL/IEDA program to grow a more entrepreneurial idaho!

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TRAILS / TEAMS overview

  1. 1. OVERVIEW: TEAMS* OUTREACH PROGRAM (*Technology & Entrepreneurial Assistance Managed by Students)Breakthrough event: a multi-school technology commercialization contest sponsored by Idaho National Lab & Idaho Economic Development Association
  2. 2. Overview TRAILS: A true partnership between Boise State University, the Idaho National Lab (INL) and the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) Norris Krueger, Boise State University ( offers students an opportunity for hands-on experience at creating entrepreneurial value –creatinggenuine, visible value. Would your students want to help bring a cutting-edge technology to market? Would your students want to help ramp up community economic development?Basic Model:Student project teams fulfill their business capstone requirements through working closely with a diverse set ofentrepreneurial projects that focus on two particular broad themes: * Commercializing novel technologies * Economic developmentProcess:Each team works with external clients in negotiating the scope of their project(s). For example, teams workingwith a community will negotiate their project with the local contacts, the sponsoring agency (if any) and theinstructor. All parties then sign off on the assignment. During the semester teams share their progress (and theirhurdles) with other teams, including a midterm formal progress report and presentation. At the end of thesemester the team make a formal presentation to their clients, usually on-site, with a dress rehearsal presentationto the class. We invite guests to the final presentation from the local business and technology communities.Project Types: Technology Commercialization ProjectsWe recruit technology projects from multiple sources, but the key source is the large federal research lab here inIdaho, the Idaho National Energy & Environmental Labs (INEEL). Commercialization assessments begin with athorough industry analysis followed by a market analysis (a la QuickLook). Student teams then develop astrategic plan for implementing commercialization. These are presented to the inventors and tech transferprofessionals. 1) New technologies developed that INEEL wants to license. Examples include: * Software (data warehousing, computer security monitoring) * Biotech * Environmental remediation 2) Also from our own College of Engineering: (e.g., a MEMS innovation) 3) Currently planning to add projects from local high tech community (e.g., This semester we have teams supporting the rollout of the next-generation of wireless bySprint/Lucent, developing and assessing business models by segment. Economic DevelopmentSimilarly, we work with INEELs economic development group to recruit projects where student teams can helplocal communities. However, as with the technology projects the successful work of our students has attractedinterest from other development entities in the region. Sample projects include: 1) Community assessments, such as developing opportunity-capacity matrices to guide future projects.(For all of these, students present to development professionals and local leaders.) 2) Feasibility studies for new industries (past projects have demonstrated high potential for a newindustry cluster based on hydroponics; feasibility study for the Sacajawea Interpretive Center in Salmon, Idaho.) 3) Designing new development efforts (past projects include designing a next-generation producers co-op for rural Idaho; current projects include designing a distance learning center in northeast Idaho). Note: The co-op project is now moving toward funded implementation! 4) Specialized projects (this semester we have teams doing inventories of telecomm resources in severalIdaho cities. The students will present their findings at Connect-Idaho, a major conference to ramp up ruralconnectivity. Students will be presenting to the Governor and other top officials from government and industry!) 2
  3. 3. Future Directions in Progress: 1) There is considerable and growing interest by other groups seeking our students’ assistance. On the technology side, we have caught the attention of the high tech community: Support groups such as Kickstand (, TechConnect and the Idaho Science & Technology Corp. 2) On the economic development front, we have found growing interest from development entities: Department of Commerce, Idaho Rural Parnership, Idaho Economic Development Assn. 3) Cross-campus partnerships: College of Engineering (techs) and Honors Program (ED) 4) INRA, the regional university research consortium ( just asked us to investigate rolling out the TRAILS model to consortium schools. Our students (not just faculty) will be involved in this rollout! 5) Now, INRA asked us to create cross-school projects so students from multiple schools collaborate on TRAILS-type projects, leading to shared classes in entrepreneurship and economic development.Key Student Lessons Learned:Provide students multiple opportunities for hands-on experience at creating true entrepreneurial value (for thetheorists: this is truly constructivistic problem-based learning (PBL)) where they have to apply their skills at: * Ill-structured problem-solving (and project management under such conditions) * Building and maintaining a self-managed high-performance cross-functional work team * Integrate and apply a wide range of business skills in an entrepreneurial setting * An inside look at how large real world projects get designed and implemented. 1) Currently we are writing a handbook for the impending rollout of TRAILS to other area schools under the aegis of INRA. 2) Working to link project reports online at BSU and INRA websites. 3) Testimonials from clients and others (e.g., the Governor of Idaho) Student Excitement: 1) Students now maneuver to be in these capstone sections! 2) Providing clear choice of projects helps (e.g., Native American student on Sacajawea Center team) 3) Similarly, having the teams self-organized and self-managed helps “light their fires”! 4) Most Important: Students love a golden opportunity to make a real difference! Exciting Outcomes: 1) Tangible impact on high-stakes technology commercialization decisions 2) Tangible impact on local communities, often rural (but could easily be urban) 3) Improving student skills at team building, problem-solving and presentation skills, written and oral. 4) Projects provide real world context to illustrate key concepts such as business models, competitive intelligence, industry analysis, benchmarking and, of course, business plans! 3
  4. 4. One of three national best practice awards that the students earned (this one from SBA) 4
  5. 5. TEAMS Projects: Its Final Year+ Technology CommercializationTRAILS projects for INL: Over 40 projects to date (now with 3 schools involved), favorites: 2006 Stoel Rives Winner**: Medical Actinium for Therapeutic Treatment 2006 R&D 100 Winner*; 2006 Stoel Rives Winner**: Natural Gas Liquefier 2006 Stoel Rives Finalist**: Protein Adhesive from Blue Mussels Remote-Control Arc Welder (2005 student winner at Idaho TechLaunch) Change Detection Systems (2005 student runner-up at Idaho TechLaunch) In Situ Bio-Reactor (recent lab spinoff) Gazelle (High-Growth) EntrepreneursCenterpoint Companies: Corporate training and leadership development (3 projects)BlackFin Technologies: Assessing market for new software (OSIRIS)Pinpoint Performance: In-depth cost analysisClients of TECenter (incubator): Over 20 projects to date, favorites include: WFO - viral marketing study Builders Advantage – strategic partnering analysis Construction Concepts – competitive analysis Banshee Riverboards – sponsorship database & recruiting (Idaho TechLaunch finalist) NeoReef (Stoel Rives Finalist**, Idaho TechLaunch finalist) Social EntrepreneurshipHope’s Door: Women’s Shelter, NampaLife’s Kitchen: At-risk youth getting trained in food industryRide Idaho: Week-long bike tour (2 projects)Idaho Nonprofit Development Center: Market positioning studyThe Advocates: Thrift store supporting women’s shelter, HaileyIdaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: Expanding federal work incentives (3 projects) Cultural EntrepreneurshipIdaho Film Industry Task Force: grants primer & calendar for workforce developmentIdaho Film Industry Task Force: HR needs assessment for film industryWestern States College: film school for at-risk youthIdaho International Film Festival: planning for 2006Rivendell Music Academy [now ArtsWest magnet charter]: cutting edge new music programOnomatopoeia: Website analysis ( & competitive analysis for jazz industry Economic DevelopmentValue-Added Producers Co-op: Feasibility study and business plan for eastern Idaho co-opEmu Ranching Industry Feasibility Study (for Mackay, Idaho)Hydroponics/Speciality Produce (for Arco, Idaho)Nevada/Idaho Community Development Finance Institution: Feasibility of expansionHispanic Entrepreneur Initiative: Revitalizing Hispanic business support group (2 projects)Idaho Office of Science & Technology: Assisting with core competencesIdaho Legislature/Idaho TechConnect: Idaho Innovation IndexKickstand (tech entrepreneur support group): Feasibility of adding duesIdaho City: Business Recruitment ProjectNative American Cultural Center (2 projects)Aquarium & Education Center: feasibility study * R&D Magazine’s annual R&D 100 award for best new technologies of year ** Idaho Innovation Awards, sponsored by Stoel Rives ( 5