NASA T2U Helps Inspire Young Entrepreneurs

Who will be the future entrepreneurs to license NASA technology and create startup companies to develop commercial products?   NASA Glenn is helping inspire young entrepreneurs through its Technology Transfer University (T2U) program, which brings real-world, NASA-proven technologies into college and university classrooms. Students build case studies with NASA’s patent portfolio while they learn about licensing opportunities. T2U is an important asset to NASA’s new Technology Transfer Expansion (T2X) program. "T2U connects universities with NASA-developed technology to enable students to work with federal government research and technology," said Tom Doehne, T2X commercialization specialist in Glenn's Technology Transfer Office.  Last spring, Glenn introduced the program virtually to Youngstown State University and Baldwin Wallace University.  Youngstown State University's Williamson College of Business Administration held two entrepreneurship classes in which ten NASA technologies were selected for class group projects. Students created hypothetical companies and applied the entrepreneurial skills they learned in the courses to analyze the commercial potential of a product based on the NASA technologies. Students utilized the Design Thinking process to identify a market need, conduct customer discover, and develop a prototype. They also performed market research and developed financial projections to test the viability and feasibility of launching the commercial product. Baldwin Wallace held a class where students conducted a technology development and market assessment on one of NASA’s technologies. The students concluded the semester with a presentation outlining their research and conclusions, while also finding multiple-use cases for different forms of the technology.   "The initial collaboration with these universities produced very good work by the students, and we look forward to seeing what great things come as both schools will be working with us again this fall," said Doehne.  Glenn's T2X team is contacting other colleges and universities in Ohio and its neighboring states to see if they are interested in joining the program for the upcoming semester. To find out more about T2X and T2U, check out the Technology Transfer website.
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