WPI’s approach to innovation and entrepreneurship covers everything from idea to execution.

Our collaborative approach to project-based learning and using applied knowledge is embedded in everything we do across our campus—from coursework to informal pitch practice sessions. Our students learn how to think with an entrepreneurial spirit, even if they never plan to start a business.

At WPI, an emphasis on applied research means faculty and students engage in work that can translate into products, services, or other intellectual property. Our spaces offer areas where our students, faculty, alumni, and community and industry leaders can interact, learning from each other as they network. Students access our expertise to determine an idea’s viability, discover funding potential, and enter competitions and scholarships. We even arm them with the essential professional development skills like grant writing and business communication.

From start-up to exit strategy, an extensive network of experts and resources can help turn a spark of imagination into a marketable innovation. We take your ideas seriously.

Diran Apelian Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

In recognition of his body of work, Diran Apelian, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was named to the 2017 class of fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). An innovative metals research leader, Apelian is the founding director of WPI’s Metal Processing Institute (MPI), university-industry alliance, and he directs the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC), an MPI center.

How WPI's I&E Resources Move an Idea Forward

Brian Keeley-DeBonis '18 thought his gaming app, GeoStage, would appeal to a wide audience, so he turned to WPI's resources to help him explore the idea. Thanks to help from the Office of Intellectual Property & Innovation and members of the Tech Advisors Network, Keeley-DeBonis expects to have a patent by year's end.

 

Read more about how Keeley-DeBonis developed GeoStage.

KEEN: Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset

At WPI, innovation and entrepreneurship begins with a state of mind. With recognition and funding from Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a national leader in entrepreneurial mindset learning, WPI weaves the approach throughout the curriculum and across campus activities. Through the work with KEEN, WPI prepares graduates with the mindset and skillset to solve problems and create value.

The Entrepreneurially Minded Culture at WPI

The First Step for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

WPI's faculty and student innovators and inventors partner with the Office of Intellectual Property & Innovation to find out if their spark of imagination has the legs to be a marketable innovation. There, they connect with the IP Evaluation Team, a vast network of WPI alumni, faculty, staff members, and friends who are all successful innovators, serial entrepreneurs, investors, and consultants themselves and willing to share their knowledge. 

Guidance from Experienced Leaders

Great ideas and innovations don't always take off in the market and that's where WPI's Tech Advisors Network (TAN) comes in. TAN helps determine if a proposal has what it takes to become a successful product. A volunteer group of more than 80 experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, TAN acts as a virtual incubator. Members offer novice entrepreneurs advice on business plans, marketing strategies, and potential funding on projects accepted for advising.

Success Stories

Find out about the successful companies that started in WPI residence halls, classrooms, and labs and read about the people who made it happen. Read more.

30%

above national average for research universities' invention disclosures and licenses

(2016)
$4M

Funds raised for new ventures 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)
65

new ventures supported 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)