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Sidhu I.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship | Deletraz P.,IE University
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2015

In this paper, we demonstrate preliminary determinations that a person's comfort zone, as measured on a newly developed CZone Scale, has significant correlation with their potential as an entrepreneur or innovator. "Comfort Zone" is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk (White 2008). Our preliminary data, based on approximately 1000 samples, shows that the potential of an entrepreneur or innovator is much more correlated with higher tolerance for uncertainty than it is with field of study. We also find that this critical indicator of entrepreneurial potential is linked with the ability to learn and grow professionally, and that comfort with uncertainty is even an indicator of a person's perception of overall career satisfaction and personal happiness. We also find two particularly interesting characteristics; firstly, that comfort with uncertainty in professional decisions does not have to be the same as comfort with uncertainty in personal situations, and secondly, that a person's comfort with uncertainty can change in both directions over the course of his or her life and career. In fact, entrepreneurs tend to increase their comfort with uncertainty over their career, which is not true of non-entrepreneurs. Our findings have implications on how entrepreneurship is taught, on how to test for entrepreneurial and innovation potential, and even what types of individual-level behaviors are most critical to increase the innovation culture of an organization. Our study supports a position that not only can students and employees be screened for these fundamental characteristics, but also that this ability can be developed, grown, and reinforced. This study further reinforces a hypothesis that seminal entrepreneurship and innovation skills can actually be learned. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2015.


Raillard S.P.,Xenoport | Bercu J.,Eli Lilly and Company | Baertschi S.W.,Eli Lilly and Company | Riley C.M.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship
Organic Process Research and Development | Year: 2010

An in-depth analysis of the web-based CambridgeSoft Pharmaceutical Drug Degradation Database, Pharma D3, was conducted in two phases in an attempt to generate some general rules for the prediction of alerting structures for genotoxicity that may arise as a result of degradation. The first phase involved interrogation of the database to determine the nature and frequency of alerting structures present in the degradants. This analysis revealed five functional groups, which account for approximately 70% of the alerting structures found in the degradants within the database: (1) aldehydes; (2) α,β unsaturated carbonyls; (3) aromatic amines, hydroxylamine and its derived esters; (4) epoxides; and (5) polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The second phase of the analysis involved categorizing the major chemical reactions responsible for the generation of the five most prevalent alerting structures. This two-step approach led, in turn, to a proposal for the prediction of functional groups that may have a propensity to degrade to alerting structures not necessarily present in the parent molecule. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Marion T.,Northeastern University | Dunlap D.,Northeastern University | Friar J.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship
IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management | Year: 2012

Prior research studies have found that even though new ventures face the possibility of bankruptcy without large product portfolios on which to fall back, they are more innovative than large firms. Large, established firms have become experts at implementing best practices as a way to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of costly R&D. Yet in practice, relying upon these routine paradigms can create inertia for these firms. The purpose of our study was to conduct research on the innovation strategies used within start-ups and to show how large firms can start ''thinking small.'' With an eye towards what established firms can learn from start-ups, we investigated over nine years the innovative practices of small ventures. We found that successful, new firms use certain best practices in unique ways. They innovated with '' hyper-agility'' and implemented 1) small omnifunctional teams with no functional boundaries, 2) goal-driven rapid development of technology rather than process guided methods, and 3) instinctive exploration of market potential rather than quantitative analysis. We highlight several of these successful new ventures and provide a framework for R&D managers of large firms and discuss how the entrepreneurial approaches of their smaller counterparts can coexist within their existing innovation processes. © 2012 IEEE.


Kickul J.R.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship | Griffiths M.D.,Miami University Ohio | Jayaram J.,University of South Carolina | Wagner S.M.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2011

Cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of operations management and entrepreneurship offers the potential to generate new knowledge leading to tangible value for the firm. Likewise, themes such as the reliance on firm-external partnerships, the strong technology and innovation orientation, and the nurturing of dynamic capabilities, just to name a few, are on the agenda of both 'camps.' However, research at the nexus between the two disciplines is scarce. Over and above synthesizing the insights presented in the papers comprising this special issue, it is our intent to motivate richer and deeper explorations into this promising field of research. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Zhu J.,Hangzhou Normal University | Wang L.,Microsoft | Yang R.,University of Kentucky | Davis J.E.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship | Pan Z.,Hangzhou Normal University
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2011

Time-of-flight range sensors have error characteristics, which are complementary to passive stereo. They provide real-time depth estimates in conditions where passive stereo does not work well, such as on white walls. In contrast, these sensors are noisy and often perform poorly on the textured scenes where stereo excels. We explore their complementary characteristics and introduce a method for combining the results from both methods that achieve better accuracy than either alone. In our fusion framework, the depth probability distribution functions from each of these sensor modalities are formulated and optimized. Robust and adaptive fusion is built on a pixel-wise reliability weighting function calculated for each method. In addition, since time-of-flight devices have primarily been used as individual sensors, they are typically poorly calibrated. We introduce a method that substantially improves upon the manufacturer's calibration. We demonstrate that our proposed techniques lead to improved accuracy and robustness on an extensive set of experimental results. © 2011 IEEE.


Kolko J.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship
Interactions | Year: 2014

Austin Center for Design teaches students how to become self-sufficient and build their own business through the $1,000 Project borrowed by the center from one of AC4D's advisors, Gary Chou. Gary. Under the project, students must earn a $1,000 profit doing something legal. The primary learning outcome of this project is to help the student learn what value actually is, how it can be created, and to understand that both their ideas and skills can be valuable in the right circumstances. The quickest way to understand this is to engage the market: to talk to and observe people, introduce new ideas for products and services, and see how people react to those ideas. This project is so vague that students have to reframe it in their own terms in order to be successful. This project is presented in a curriculum focused on social entrepreneurship, and students initially question the largely capitalist undertone to the project.


O'Connor G.C.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | O'Connor G.C.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship | Rice M.P.,Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Journal of Product Innovation Management | Year: 2013

Large established firms typically focus on enhancing their ability to manage their core businesses, with an emphasis on cost reduction, quality improvements, and incremental innovation in existing products and processes. To sustain competitive advantage over the long term, mature firms must in parallel develop radical innovations (RI) as a basis for building and dominating fundamentally new markets. Management practices that are effective in established businesses are often ineffective and even destructive when applied to RI projects because of higher levels of uncertainty inherent in the latter. Understanding the characteristics of RI projects and the nature of the uncertainty that pervades them is critical to developing appropriate managerial practices. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal study of 12 RI projects in 10 large established U.S.-based firms. A qualitative, prospective design was used to collect and analyze data. Project team leaders, members, and sponsors for each project were interviewed repeatedly over five years. The analysis centers on the dimensions and characteristics of uncertainty that project teams experienced. The analysis of the challenges they confronted is used to construct a multidimensional model of RI uncertainties. The model identifies four categories of uncertainty as key drivers of project management: technical, market, organizational, and resource uncertainty. Each of these four categories is elaborated in the context of radical innovation and further distinguished via two additional dimensions: criticality and latency. These are substantiated through case based data. Implications for management skills, processes, and appropriate tools associated with radical innovation projects are discussed. © 2013 Product Development & Management Association.


O'Connor G.C.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship | O'Connor G.C.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Rice M.P.,Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Journal of Product Innovation Management | Year: 2013

While the technological development associated with breakthrough innovation (BI) is truly challenging, creating markets to stimulate their use may be an even more daunting barrier to successful commercialization. Co-development partners, distribution channel agents, and ultimate users are all required to adopt new processes and to change behaviors in many cases, and the outcomes are unknown. In this paper, the processes and challenges associated with creating new markets for BIs are explored in a qualitative prospective cross-case comparison of 12 breakthrough projects under development in 10 large established companies. A number of activities that take place in implicit fashion that create both enabling and constraining mechanisms for BIs are observed. The data suggest, for example, that the earliest application choices that scientists make in the project's development ultimately affect the revenue model, that scientists are unaware of the impact of these decisions, that business model development is a very exploratory process, that criteria used to choose initial market entry points conflict with the expectations of operating units, and that the concept of a killer application can be rather dangerous to the health and well-being of a BI in its commercial infancy. It is argued that new market creation is the result of managing a specific set of events and activities, which are identified in a grounded theoretic fashion. The companies studied, however, were neither fully aware of nor systematically attentive to these activities. A framework is presented of enabling and constraining mechanisms that teams and organizations impose through the processes and decisions they take in the course of the project's development, and a series of propositions regarding the dynamics of successful new market creation for BIs is offered. The implications of these results are far-reaching. These results show that market creation for BIs may require as much time and investment as their technical development. We do not find evidence of large established organizations' awareness of or willingness to make these investments as readily as they invest in technical development. The result is research and development labs at large established firms with stockpiles of potentially game-changing technologies. To evolve a mature BI commercialization competency, a firm must recognize and address the implications for managerial processes, for personnel recruitment, for setting leaders' expectations, and for developing appropriate performance metrics for those responsible for market creation that go beyond technical discovery and engineering development. Implications for each are discussed. © 2012 Product Development & Management Association.


Engel J.S.,University of California at Berkeley | Engel J.S.,United States Center for Entrepreneurship
Research Technology Management | Year: 2011

OVERVIEW: The last half century has seen the emergence of a new model of business innovation featuring the convergence of entrepreneurs, rapid technological change, and venture capital. This combination has proven an effective force at realizing disruptive innovation that has often left incumbents shattered in their wake. What can the mature enterprise learn from this venture capital model of innovation management? What is the role of the CTO in identifying and adopting these approaches? This article investigates the ten leading strategies employed by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to test new ideas and commercialize innovations quickly. The most disruptive innovations are seen to be those that go beyond technical discovery to embrace business model innovations that disrupt supply chains, disintermediate incumbents, and create new markets. This article presents the tools the modern CTO needs to participate in this dynamic process. © 2011 Industrial Research Institute, Inc.


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