Last fall, the National Science Foundation introduced a new competition for its Engineering Research Centers:
“The ERC Elevator Pitch Competition was inaugurated as as a means to embed entrepreneurial thinking within the centers, a task that represents a cultural shift within academia, where startup activity is usually not part of the tenure process. The competition featured undergraduates, Masters students, PhDs and post-docs all competing for the Innovation Accelerator-sponsored $5,000 prize. Though the contestants were all technology students, they had to speak in business terms, some of them for the first time.”
The ERC for Revolutionizing Biometallic Materials, led by N.C. A&T, won the competition. Da-Tren Chou, a PhD student in bioengineering from ERC partner the University of Pittsburgh, was the designated pitcher. Here are the details, as reported by the New Venturist website.
“The US needs more Da-Trens – researchers who cross the chasm from the lab to the marketplace by morphing basic research into products and services that can change the world.“