Penn State - Bootstrapping Student Start-Up - Open 2011

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  • 1. NCIIA Annual Meeting 03/24/11 Robert Beaury Penn State Univ. [email_address] 814.574-3059 Website: http://e-ship.psu.edu How to Bootstrap a Student Start-Up
  • 2. Presentation Overview 03/24/11 “ Presentation reviews how PSU Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor helped boot strap a student start-up named DiamondBack Automotive Accessories.” http://www.diamondbackcovers.com/
  • 3. Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor 03/24/11
    • Started April 2002
    • Undergraduate Eng., Bus. IST & Others
    • “ General Electric Told Us We Needed To Do More”
  • 4. Objectives 03/24/11
    • Cross Functional Teams
    • Problem-Based Learning
    • Experiential Learning
    • Real World Experiences
  • 5. The Dilemma 03/24/11 Entrepreneurs Or Intrapreneurs
  • 6. The Ingredients: Ethan Wendle & ENGR 407 03/24/11 “ An incredibly talented student who had already decided that he was going to start a business.” “ A class focused on creativity, innovation and starting a new business.”
  • 7.  
  • 8. The First Academic Steps 03/24/11
    • Class Project
    • The Partnership
    • Winning the Class Competition
    • Winning the Design Expo Competition
  • 9. The Next Academic Steps 03/24/11
    • Teaching Assistant
    • Independent Study Classes
    • Market Research
    • Provisional Patent Submission
    • Prototype Development
  • 10. The Decision: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” 03/24/11
    • The window of opportunity
    • What is our responsibility as educators
    • The academic perspective
    • The entrepreneur’s perspective
  • 11. DiamondBack Automotive Accessories 03/24/11
    • Business start: 2003
    • Considerable support from family & friends
    • Continued support from PSU
    • Class projects
    • Student interns
    • Garber Fund investment
    • Mentorship, Mentorship, Mentorship
  • 12. DiamondBack Automotive: “Where are they today” 03/24/11
    • $3.0M in sales
    • Profitable
    • Mfg. in Philipsburg, PA
    • Sales Office in Harrisburg, PA
    • Employs: 25+ people
  • 13. Lessons Learned 03/24/11 “ The entrepreneur and the intrapreneur have different needs and you must determine which is your priority and if it is possible to serve both.” “ Specifically, is it the goal of your program to start successful businesses?”
  • 14. Entrepreneur Needs 03/24/11
    • Educational Mentorship
    • “ You must be willing to commit significant hours
    • at outset and maybe for years”
    • Flexible Curriculum
    • “ Allow certain students to spend time working
    • on their ventures, while other classes/students
    • support their efforts.”
  • 15. Entrepreneur Needs 03/24/11
    • Money
    • “ Your program needs a fund to help
    • get businesses started - $100k a year is ideal.”
    • Professional Connections
    • “ Must establish an active network of alumni
    • and local entrepreneurs.”
  • 16. Ethan Wendle Today 03/24/11 President of DiamondBack Automotive “ Plans to complete his degree, wants our advice, our help, wants to help the Program”