October 13, 2011

Innovation Week features variety of activities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is celebrating Innovation Week with five days of special events highlighting the innovative spirit, technological innovation and entrepreneurship found at the University and throughout the region.  The events, set for Oct. 24-28, include workshops, guest speakers, a technology and innovation expo and more.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of American economic progress, and perhaps never more crucial than right now.  Regional innovation requires new ideas, research and a culture of entrepreneurship that is supported by the community, the University and a mindset to achieve it.  The events during Innovation Week demonstrate our commitment to maximizing our positive economic impacts on the region, and run a wide gamut of efforts from workshops, to descriptions of new inventions, and panel discussions by emerging entrepreneurs.  These efforts are sure to contribute to a culture and success for innovation all across Southern Illinois,” said John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean.

The programming includes the Lunch-n-Learn Intellectual Property Workshop on Oct. 24, Venture into New International Markets on Oct. 25, the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series on Oct. 26, Trends in Raising Capital and Valuation of Early-Stage Companies on Oct. 27 and wraps up with the Third Annual SIU Carbondale Technology and Innovation Expo and ribbon-cutting for the new Saluki Innovation Lab on Oct. 28. 

All events take place at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.  You must pre-register for most of the events.

“It is really great to be able to bring nationally renowned speakers, presenters and authors to Southern Illinois.  These serial entrepreneurs and investors will share their knowledge and expertise during the many events planned during the week,” said Emily Carter, director of entrepreneurship and business development.

Andrew T. Hoyne, vice chair of Polsinielli Shughart’s multidisciplinary Life Sciences group, will speak at the Oct. 24 workshop.  It will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and he will discuss licensing agreements and how to structure equity deals involving university technology.

With more than 20 years of experience as a corporate attorney for biotechnology and life sciences clients, Hoyne’s presentation is “Commercializing Research -- Licensing Agreements, Equity Investment and More.”  While there is no charge to attend the presentation, you must pre-register by calling 618/453-3427 or emailing harfst@siu.edu.

“University faculty, researchers and scientists, as well as technology businesses in the region, will have the opportunity to hear from a St. Louis patent attorney about the latest policies and legal requirements concerning commercializing research,” said Kyle Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park.  “Although there is no cost to attend, seating is limited so that attendees are able to customize their questions to Mr. Hoyne.”

The Venture into New International Markets seminar is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.   If you are an entrepreneur who would like to see your exports double by 2015 and your business move into new export markets, this seminar can help.  Those who are already exporting or who are interested in exporting as well as CEOs, international division employees, shipping/receiving managers, international staff, export compliance staff and others will find this session informative.

“International exports are a growing market and subsequently a growing revenue stream for small businesses.  By using the tools provided to assist us in growing our region’s export activity, we are reaching out to put Southern Illinois products and services into the global marketplace,” said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade.

The session includes lunch and there is no cost to attend.  But, you must pre-register by Oct. 19 by calling 618/453-3805, emailing sbdc@siu.edu or online at www.siusbdc.com.

Joe Abraham and Barry Moltz, acclaimed authors and “serial” entrepreneurs, will be the guest speakers at the Oct. 26 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.  Abraham, who recently wrote “Entrepreneurial DNA,” will speak from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.   The interactive presentation will offer information about Abraham’s breakthrough discovery about aligning your business with your own individual strengths.  He’ll highlight practical techniques, profile strategies and plans for optimizing businesses.

Moltz’s presentation, “Getting Your Business Unstuck,” is from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.  He’ll address five key areas to “becoming unstuck:  sales, employees, customer service, social media and cash.”  The session also provides access to a web-based training video valued at $199. 

Both sessions include lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Each half-day session costs $45 and the price covers lunch and a book from the session’s author.  You can attend both sessions and get books from each author for $75.  Participants must pre-register no later than Oct. 19 by calling 618/453-3805, emailing sbdc.siu.edu or online at www.siusbdc.com.

The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series continues on Oct. 27 with the Angel Resource Institute, founded by the Kauffman Foundation.  The morning session from 8 a.m. until noon features Robert Okabe, angel investing expert.  He’ll present “Trends in Raising Capital,” offering the best practices to use in analyzing the environment to raise capital, meeting investor expectations and current trends in valuation methods and structuring deals.

“Valuation of Early-Stage Companies” is the 1-5 p.m. session.  This hands-on, engaging program will educate and empower angel investors, entrepreneurs and others involved in the business startup process about methods for valuing pre-revenue companies.  Angel investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, those pursuing financing to start a business, venture capitalists, financiers, lenders and commercialization and tech transfer professionals will find this session valuable.

The cost for each half-day session is $45 and that includes a networking lunch and materials.  Attend all day for $75, including lunch and materials. You must sign up no later than Oct. 19 to attend by calling 618/453-3805 or emailing sbdc@siu.edu

Wrapping up the week is the Third Annual SIU Carbondale Technology and Innovation Expo on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This is your chance to see and celebrate University innovation.  Learn about research and development at SIU Carbondale and the business opportunities it has brought about.  Meet some of the campus inventors and researchers, celebrate their achievements, and network with potential and existing inventors, investors and business people.  The expo will include presentations by faculty inventors and invited guests, awards for innovation achievement, University faculty entrepreneurs’ discussion panel and special displays.  Register in advance by calling 618/453-4556 or online at http://tie.siuc.edu.

The dedication and ribbon cutting for the new Saluki Innovation Lab is set for 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, officially opening the newest lab on campus.  No need to pre-register and everyone is welcome.

The new lab will provide University researchers and scientists with access to essential laboratory space and equipment for their work.  The lab offers rental and equipment lease opportunities for proof-of-concept activities, short-term grant projects and specialized scientific equipment needs.

SIU Innovation Week sponsors include the Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center, the Small Business Incubator Program, the Southern Illinois Research Park, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean, Technology Transfer Program, the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, Kaskaskia College International Trade Center, Champion Community Investments, Delta Regional Authority, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.