Inside Rensselaer
Office of Entrepreneurship To Sponsor “Invention to Venture” Workshop
For more than 180 years, students and faculty at Rensselaer have been developing technologies, creating innovations, and forming business ventures to translate scientific discoveries into practical applications. To further educate and nurture today’s would-be entrepreneurs, the Office of Entrepreneurship will sponsor the “Invention to Venture” (I2V) workshop on Friday, April 18. The full-day program features seven critical-to-success sessions led by real-world entrepreneurial speakers, practitioners, and panelists. The event will take place in the Academy Hall auditorium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Being an entrepreneur is about more than just starting a business. Our new model for entrepreneurship at Rensselaer is a way to think, a way to learn, and a way to succeed in any new venture,” says Rob Chernow, vice provost for entrepreneurship. “We recognize that everyone does not want to be an entrepreneur, but in today’s world, it has become important for most everyone to be able to think like one.”

Chernow was appointed in January 2006 to the newly created position, which was established to strengthen Rensselaer’s culture of entrepreneurship and lead the Institute’s efforts to infuse the study, research, and practice of entrepreneurship across the curriculum.

“The workshop is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and researchers to further expand their entrepreneurial frame of reference,” says Chernow. “It also provides a forum to network with others in the entrepreneurial enterprise, such as investors, entrepreneurs, potential customers, and service providers, in an effort to develop their ideas. I believe those who participate will find the day most worthwhile and may discover the person sitting next to them could be their future business partner or their next investor.”

Session topics include: Is Technology Entrepreneurship for You?, Idea Validation and Opportunity Assessment, Marketing and Sales for Early-Stage Companies, Issues in Intellectual Property Licensing, Building the Team, The Perfect Business Plan, Slide Show &
Elevator Speech, and Finding the Money.

The program is a national forum on collegiate technology entrepreneurship, developed and presented by the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), and consists of workshops and conferences hosted by universities and organizations across the country. The event typically occurs in regions that are growing their technology and entrepreneurship infrastructure with a goal of stimulating the transformation of university knowledge into entrepreneurially generated commercial activity, according to the organization.

Fostering entrepreneurship is one of the main thrusts of The Rensselaer Plan, the Institute’s blueprint for success. The plan calls for infusing understanding and encouragement of entrepreneurship throughout all five academic schools and student programs, and cultivating a campus culture that motivates students and graduates to pursue commercialization and enterprise-building activities.

“Our plan for entrepreneurship education encompasses every aspect of the Rensselaer experience,” Chernow says. “We plan to integrate existing courses and develop new ones, provide more experiential learning opportunities, new seminars, workshops, and a speaker series, among other things. It is important to open up new opportunities for anyone with an innovation or idea — whether it’s social, cultural, commercial, or technological,” Chernow says.
Additional sponsors include the Lemelson Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation. Rensselaer’s Center for Automation Technologies & Systems and the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) are also co-sponsoring the workshop.

Rensselaer students, faculty, researchers, and community members, along with members from the business and investor community are invited to attend. Advance registration is required. To register, go to

For more information about the event, go to

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 6, April 4, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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