University of Connecticut students can now apply to complete a seven-week long course which presents serious topics, such as science and business, in an entrepreneurial context with Accelerate UConn, a project whose mission is to support students who are commercializing new technologies and discoveries.
Students accepted to participate in Accelerate UConn are divided into teams comprised of a diverse makeup of people, which Project Manager Jennifer Murphy said provides a unique opportunity for team members to learn from each other and grow. Each team has different student pairings and a varying number of faculty members advising; some have an industry mentor also working with them to commercialize their new technology.
Students who find market value potential in their technologies and ideas can apply for the Summer Fellowship Program, an eight-week program that students can complete as a paid internship, Murphy said. The students can receive a maximum of $5,000 from Accelerate UConn’s research fund.
Students who do not have a specific idea for a new technology, but want to gain experience from this program can join as an entrepreneurial lead, Murphy said.
“(An entrepreneurial lead) joins a particular and previously established research project that is looking for students to go through the program on behalf of that particular research program and that particular faculty member,” Murphy said. “They learn the science side and the business behind it.”
Daniel Yasoshima, a current graduate student who worked in the department of biomedical engineering as a senior, said he joined Accelerate UConn to gain experience in order to help develop his team’s specific technology, the patient bedside communication device.
“(The device) is a more efficient replacement of the call bell system at hospitals,” Yasoshima said.
The device offers various options for patients when they need to call a nurse while in a hospital, nursing home or while undergoing home care, Yasoshima said. UConn Health Services started to use the device this year.
“(The device) really has a wide range of use,” Yasoshima said.
John Campanelli, a graduate student and iConservationist (iConservationism is a field that aims to develop software that will help conserve plant communities) said he joined the program to gain experience in business and entrepreneurship in his field.
“The most important thing I learned from the program is the business aspect of any product,” Campanelli said. “It taught me about business issues I would have just never considered before.”
Will Field is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.