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College Launches Joint Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship

December 19, 2006

The Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), a new interdisciplinary center in the College of Business and the College of Engineering, has been established at UTSA this fall.

The CITE will create a pipeline for UTSA faculty, students and the surrounding business community to develop new technology ventures. "One of our goals for the center is to help unlock the entrepreneur in both faculty and students through education and experiential activities," said Cory Hallam, director of the center. Hallam holds a doctorate and masters' degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in engineering and technology management and policy.

During its initial start-up period, the center has conducted an innovative student project that brought together four undergraduate mechanical engineering students in a senior design class with a business graduate student in the Management of Technology program.

As part of their final class project, the engineering students designed a mechanically augmented and ergonomic laryngoscope, a medical instrument used for intubations. Partnering with the business graduate student, they not only developed a prototype for their device, but also created a working business plan. Student participants were senior mechanical engineering students Daniel Carrola, Tim DeLeon, Eric Dillon and Guy Lenny; and graduate management of technology student Neil Leatherbury.

"This project was beneficial for both student groups," said Hallam, who comes to UTSA with an extensive background in engineering, entrepreneurship development and technology management. "The undergraduate students gained exposure to the business context of technology development, and the graduate business student developed a functioning business plan for a new technology product."

Following their class project, the team submitted their work to the UT System Technology Transfer office in support of a patent. Plans include expanding this project in the coming year to include more student teams in the process.

"The goal is to select the projects which have the most business viability, create the business development plan and secure patents on these projects," Hallam said. "This gives students hands-on experience as early stage entrepreneurs, brings in additional revenue for the UT System through technology licensing and lends prestige to the university's efforts in entrepreneurism."

Wendy Frost—

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