September 23, 2010

SIUC to host ‘Invention to Venture’ event on Oct. 7

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- Inventors have an opportunity to learn how to commercialize their ideas during an event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale next month.

The Invention to Venture event, also know as I2V, is a fast-paced day of practical advice and information on commercializing new technology. The event, set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale, also will feature networking opportunities and workshops for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs.

The event features five sessions led by successful entrepreneurs who will serve as speakers, practitioners and panelists. Topics include “Protecting your Ideas,” “Social Networking and Other Marketing Ideas for your Business,” and “Finding the Money,” among others. It also will include a panel discussion by young upcoming entrepreneurs and a session on perfecting business plans and the so-called “elevator pitch,” which involves honing a succinct explanation of your idea and business pitch.

The keynote speaker for the event Nathan Stooke, of Wisper ISP Inc., an SIUC alumnus who went from selling computers out of his residence hall room to a career in software and finally to his current position as founder of a wireless Internet company with 21 employees.

Other speakers are:

• Suzanne Nasco, associate professor of marketing at SIUC

• Robert Patino, director of technology transfer for the SIU School of Medicine

• Michael Philip, a senior in information systems technologies at SIUC and co-founder and CEO of Rover Enterprises, based at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center

• Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner with Alliance Investment Planning Group and founder of the personal finance blog “Good Financial Cents.”

• Kate Sensmeier, owner of Starview Vineyards in Cobden

• Aimee Wigfall, a certified business specialist at the Southern Illinois Small Business Development Center specializing in policies, procedures, workflow efficiency, data/information systems and network marketing.

Organizers say the I2V is a great opportunity for aspiring technological entrepreneurs, including students, faculty and members of the Southern Illinois community, to get ideas for commercializing their ideas. Those who attend will learn about taking ideas into the marketplace. They also will gain important networking connections and will have a chance to trade ideas with other future entrepreneurs.

Costs to participate are $5 for Saluki CEO Corps members, $10 for students and $15 for faculty and staff of any college or university. Business community and others pay $20. Participants receive continental breakfast and lunch as part of their fee.

Space is limited. To sign up and get more information, go to

I2V workshops are held in cooperation with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. SIUC’s Center for Innovation, College of Business, Small Business Incubator and Saluki CEO Corps are sponsoring this event.