NIIC STUDENT VENTURE LAB GAINS TWO VENTURES

Two student-owned ventures have graduated from the Innovation Center’s BizWiz student entrepreneurship program to the on-campus Student Venture Lab, where they join the Lab’s four existing student ventures.

Student Venture Lab companies receive accelerator grants, paid internships to work on their own businesses, and office space in the Northeast Indiana Innovation Park’s Emerging Growth Center. NIIC’s student entrepreneurship programs are generously supported by grants from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, Grabill Bank, and the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation.

Advantagen, LLC, founded by IPFW student Tim Gulley, is tackling the problem of how to start your car with a remote starter when you are parked outside the range of a traditional remote starter. Instead of leaving you “out in the cold,” DynaKey will enable you to start your car with your phone. The product is targeted to college students and metropolitan workers who park significantly far away from where they study or work. Mr. Gulley is finalizing the product as his Senior Design project at IPFW’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science.

The Green ABC’s, founded by IPFW student April Langschied, will help children learn about green living. A series of flash cards, coloring books, puzzles, and activity books built on the Green ABC’s theme (e.g., “R” is for Recycle) will familiarize kids with key green living concepts and terms. All of the products will be made with eco-friendly materials, and the Green ABC’s website will provide a one-stop shopping opportunity for socially responsible parents who want to empower their kids. To create the initial set of products, Ms. Langschied has enlisted the help of students from Fort Wayne Community Schools Anthis Career Center’s Information Technology Academy, with the guidance of teacher Karen Gillie.

Steve Franks, NIIC Student Venture Lab Program Manager, said, “Many students enter the BizWiz program, but only the most diligent are selected for the Student Venture Lab. Both Tim and April have not only created ventures built upon solid customer needs, but they have made significant progress with both product development and business planning. We are pleased to welcome them to the Student Venture Lab.”

About NIIC’s student entrepreneurship programs: BizWiz is a free program that gives serious student entrepreneurs what they need to plan and launch their own business ventures while they are still in school. Students receive group and one-on-one coaching about how to grow their business concepts. Any Northeast Indiana high school or university student is eligible to join BizWiz. Ventures that successfully complete BizWiz and meet the Indiana State definition of a technology business may be selected for the Student Venture Lab. The Student Venture provides additional support in the form of accelerator grants, paid internships, and office space. For more information, visit www.niic.net/ or contact Steve Franks at 260-407-1754.

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