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Penn State - Bootstrapping Student Start-Up - Open 2011


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Penn State - Bootstrapping Student Start-Up - Open 2011

  1. 1. NCIIA Annual Meeting 03/24/11 Robert Beaury Penn State Univ. [email_address] 814.574-3059 Website: How to Bootstrap a Student Start-Up
  2. 2. Presentation Overview 03/24/11 “ Presentation reviews how PSU Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor helped boot strap a student start-up named DiamondBack Automotive Accessories.”
  3. 3. Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor 03/24/11 <ul><li>Started April 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Undergraduate Eng., Bus. IST & Others </li></ul><ul><li>“ General Electric Told Us We Needed To Do More” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Objectives 03/24/11 <ul><li>Cross Functional Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-Based Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Real World Experiences </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Dilemma 03/24/11 Entrepreneurs Or Intrapreneurs
  6. 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 <ul><li>Class Project </li></ul><ul><li>The Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Winning the Class Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Winning the Design Expo Competition </li></ul>
  8. 9. The Next Academic Steps 03/24/11 <ul><li>Teaching Assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Study Classes </li></ul><ul><li>Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional Patent Submission </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype Development </li></ul>
  9. 10. The Decision: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” 03/24/11 <ul><li>The window of opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>What is our responsibility as educators </li></ul><ul><li>The academic perspective </li></ul><ul><li>The entrepreneur’s perspective </li></ul>
  10. 11. DiamondBack Automotive Accessories 03/24/11 <ul><li>Business start: 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Considerable support from family & friends </li></ul><ul><li>Continued support from PSU </li></ul><ul><li>Class projects </li></ul><ul><li>Student interns </li></ul><ul><li>Garber Fund investment </li></ul><ul><li>Mentorship, Mentorship, Mentorship </li></ul>
  11. 12. DiamondBack Automotive: “Where are they today” 03/24/11 <ul><li>$3.0M in sales </li></ul><ul><li>Profitable </li></ul><ul><li>Mfg. in Philipsburg, PA </li></ul><ul><li>Sales Office in Harrisburg, PA </li></ul><ul><li>Employs: 25+ people </li></ul>
  12. 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?”
  13. 14. Entrepreneur Needs 03/24/11 <ul><li>Educational Mentorship </li></ul><ul><li>“ You must be willing to commit significant hours </li></ul><ul><li>at outset and maybe for years” </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>“ Allow certain students to spend time working </li></ul><ul><li>on their ventures, while other classes/students </li></ul><ul><li>support their efforts.” </li></ul>
  14. 15. Entrepreneur Needs 03/24/11 <ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>“ Your program needs a fund to help </li></ul><ul><li>get businesses started - $100k a year is ideal.” </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Connections </li></ul><ul><li>“ Must establish an active network of alumni </li></ul><ul><li>and local entrepreneurs.” </li></ul>
  15. 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”