Sam Nanayakkara and Leila Daneshmandi.
The class is led by Sam Nanayakkara, a startup skilled and an entrepreneur, and Assistant Professor Dr. Leila Daneshmandi.

This past Monday, April 24th, was the ultimate pitch working day and culmination of the Know-how Innovation Entrepreneurship (TIE) programs for Spring 2023. The course is aspect of the two-sequence TIE I and TIE II classes that are provided in the Drop and Spring, jointly by the Universities of Company and Engineering. The courses give a one of a kind possibility for learners from equally educational institutions to variety interdisciplinary groups and do the job on technological innovation-based improvements jointly.

The course is led by Dr. Leila Daneshmandi, Assistant Professor in Residence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Engineering and Director of the Entrepreneurship Hub (eHub) and Sam Nanayakkara, a startup pro and an entrepreneur.  Professor Nanayakkara is a professional in startup operations and electronic engineering who uses his skill sets as an adjunct professor within just the Faculty of Business enterprise. The dynamic involving the two professors is intended to specifically mirror the interdisciplinary conversation that the training course seeks to highlight among the learners. Daneshmandi states that “part of the course’s teaching is in teamwork, collaboration, and communication. It is essential to be in a position to converse your function each internally to folks in your team, and externally to stakeholders.”

MENT 3500 and 3501 have authorized me much more progress than any other classes I’ve taken. A ingredient of the course is surely to create an notion and try out to broaden it into a organization, but a lot more than nearly anything I’ve figured out it’s about the course of action. These programs have taught me to appear at startup providers underneath a point of view vastly diverse from how I at the time would’ve considered about them. An entrepreneur with just an strategy has absolutely nothing. Getting these classes will allow just one to grasp a glimpse into the perseverance and perseverance necessary to change an plan into an real small business. — Joshua Ross – Business enterprise – Overall health Treatment Management / Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Senior

The students on Monday had used a comprehensive semester or two developing remedies for issues or challenges they were being passionate about. “We start out from the really early stages of entrepreneurship and startup enhancement. Pupils sign up for at any phase, some have an notion, some have determined a dilemma they are passionate about and completely ready to solve, and some are just curious and interested in studying about entrepreneurship and what it means. We welcome everyone, any one at any stage.” states Daneshmandi. Nanayakkara adds: “It’s like an incubator. We just take college students with diverse disciplines and capabilities into our atmosphere so they will perform with each other to build a startup concept.”

Student presenters at UConn.
Pupil venture ParticleN is an option to worthwhile catalytic converters that are at chance of theft.

The courses are task-dependent experiential classes for students to master and practice in entrepreneurial ideas these as person-centric innovation, long run of operate, sector tendencies, merchandise-market place fit, small business and income types, and startup technique. “Our aim is on technologies startups, the large-tech superior-expansion potential undertaking-backed startups.” states Daneshmandi. The students start out with places they’re interested in, and little by little learn the concepts to support them make a know-how innovation and join that into increasing a startup and enterprise. “We learn almost everything in the study course alongside one another. No entrepreneurship experience is vital. We only question that you arrive in curious, open to discover, and completely ready to build out your have eyesight.”

Leslie Shor, Kevin Gardner, Nick Briere and Joe Connor.
Guest judges Leslie Shor, Kevin Gardner, Nick Briere, and Joe O’Connor at the TIE Pitch Working day.

Students can enter each at the undergraduate stage, junior and higher than, and graduate degree. In addition to mastering the entrepreneurial frame of mind, they also intensely prepare in conversation, collaboration, teamwork, major image imagining, and trouble fixing. Aspect of bringing pupils from diverse disciplines alongside one another is to endorse dialogue and cross-speak between diverse backgrounds. Pupils from Engineering and Business are questioned to join teams with persons from outdoors their majors to market collaborative considering. Nanayakkara emphasizes: “It’s all about the setting. We create the correct surroundings and equip college students with the ideal applications. Then they will produce novel tips that will eventually evolve into startups.”

The class Know-how Innovation and Entrepreneurship given here at UConn has been a precious and worthwhile encounter for me. I have discovered what it will take to get a business off the ground and into a prosperous undertaking. The course has also built me a far better general public speaker as it taught me to current my strategies in a distinct and concise way though still proficiently speaking my concept. All of this is attributed to Professors Sam Nanayakkara and Leila Daneshmandi. They each individual have extensive encounter in either operating with or beginning their very own startups. They presented us with a rich knowledge in getting us commence a organization and building us choose the specific actions that is important to succeed. — Sage Bhagwansingh – Business – Management / True Estate Senior

The TIE classes have two variations, just one in the Drop and the other in the Spring and are a big part of the Entrepreneurship and Technological know-how Innovation Minor. Each courses stop with a ultimate pitch day, with visitor judges. The judges at these events have the background and abilities to offer individualized responses to the ventures that the pupils are doing work on. Beneath this umbrella, the professors work to convey in serial business people, investors, other professors from diverse colleges, industry leaders, business enterprise executives, and alumni. This offers the pupils the chance to get professional and senior responses and information on their function, and to community with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Connecticut.

Student presentations at UConn.
College student undertaking Tick Me Off describes the timing of tick bite illnesses.

The final takeaway from the study course is that despite the fact that one particular could watch the overarching aim of a know-how-based entrepreneurship program as getting ready students for creating their have startups, Daneshmandi experienced a distinct standpoint. She mentioned “It’s about empowering the learners to think entrepreneurially as nicely, not always to integrate a company tomorrow… It’s about the entrepreneurial mindset and

creating a issue-solving, resolution-trying to find attitude. So if you see a problem someplace do you truly feel empowered plenty of to just take on the challenge.”

This class and all the work which the professors put in do the job to instantly assistance and far better entrepreneurship at our college. This is paralleled with other plans like the Entrepreneurship Hub as a result of the Faculty of Engineering, the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship, and the Connecticut Middle for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (

The university student ventures that presented have been Breakthru Productions, Unipack, Tick Me Off, ParticleN, iMed India, SmarterHome, SEN Methods, ShadeSnap, and Toribio.

A person of the things that stood out to me was the emphasis on realistic, fingers-on studying. The class was structured in a way that authorized us to utilize what we have been discovering in genuine time. We were encouraged to get the job done on our personal business enterprise ideas and jobs and acquire opinions and guidance from both equally the instructors and our peers. This served us to earn 4 awards in unique entrepreneurship competitions and increase over $40K of prizes through the last thirty day period only. — Al Kasani, Chemical Engineering PhD Student

By Sia