The Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides the knowledge and connections to help you move forward. Whether you need resources or a mentor who can help guide you, CEI can assist. From start-up to exit strategy, an extensive network of experts and resources can help turn a spark of imagination into a marketable innovation.
At WPI, an emphasis on applied research means faculty and students engage in work that can translate into products, services, or other intellectual property. From start-up to exit strategy, an extensive network of experts and resources can help turn a spark of imagination into a marketable innovation.
Our network provides a tremendous pipeline of resources to foster entrepreneurial start-up dreams and includes C-level entrepreneurs, alumni entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, researchers, incubator administrators, small business organizations, service providers, private foundations, non-profit organizations, and government organizations.
Competitions that Strengthen Presentation and Pitch Skills
WPI students can participate in many competitions designed to strengthen their skills, introduce them to the wider innovation community, and gain essential funding. Competitions include the Kalenian Award, Strage Innovation Awards, Robert H. Grant Invention Awards, i3, and several elevator pitch events.
How WPI Resources Boosted One Student’s Innovative Idea
Knowing that gamers wanted more opportunities to play with other who were nearby, Brian Keeley-DeBonis ’18 created the GeoStage app. GeoStage lets people worldwide play in a virtual environment that appears to each player as local. With the help of the Office of Intellectual Property & Innovation and mentoring advice from members of the Tech Advisors Network, Keeley-DeBonis expects to have a utility patent by the end of the year.
Read more about GeoStage's development.
Getting Help from Seasoned Entrepreneurs
The Tech Advisors Network is a group of experts and leaders in various fields and industries that provides advising, networking, and mentoring for selected projects. With access to wide networks, seasoned advice, and varied funding sources, the Tech Advisors Network guides and assists promising projects and ventures.
Gathering Information from a Customer Viewpoint
Accelerate WPI is a new program in which teams of students and faculty members attend conferences internationally and gather information and input from customers before even writing a business plan. The resulting data ultimately helps their projects become customer driven and gives an opportunity to tests ideas in the marketplace. Read more about Accelerate WPI's launch.
Support and Funding Sources
New ideas need proper funding to advance to the next steps. WPI helps connect students with organizations that support their goals and can provide funds for training so they can progress to the next level of innovation or development. Find out more about potential support and funding sources for your entrepreneurial process.
Many WPI alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are successful innovators, serial entrepreneurs, investors, and consultants. They gladly share their extensive experience in new venture development, commercialization, engineering, strategic planning, financing, marketing, sales, and product/service development as mentors to aspiring innovators. From their knowledge to their connections, they help to fill the gaps in new venture development, supporting innovation from idea through impact.
- The Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation helps those interested in information about disclosures, patent, and license information.
- The Office of Sponsored Programs offers guidance on applying for grants.
- The Office of Advancement may give guidance on receiving funding from foundations.
- The Center for Innovative and Manufacturing Solutions offers support to small and mid-size manufacturing companies.
Check out the full WPI Intellectual Property Inventory Catalog to learn more about the exciting research happening on campus.
Funds from the Coleman Foundation began supporting WPI's entrepreneurial efforts in 2014, continuing and enhancing WPI's long history of bringing entrepreneurs to campus. The Coleman Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of self-employment through education programs that help create a new generation of business owners. The foundation has been helping WPI expand its focus on entrepreneurship education since 2010 and in 2016 began funding the entrepreneur-in-residence program. Read about 2016 Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Yael Schwartz.