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College of Engineering to host inaugural freshman entrepreneurial pitch

The University of Toledo College of Engineering is hosting the inaugural Freshman Engineering Entrepreneurship Development (FEED) Angel Pitch Wednesday, April 16.

The Angel Pitch will showcase the creativity, diligence and enthusiasm of freshman engineering students. Teams have eight minutes each to present plans in a structured pitch consisting of six key subject areas: problem identified; solution to problem; consumer/marketplace; competitive landscape; economic model; and investment proposition. Each team will be awarded prizes and support aimed at helping commercialize the inventions.

Judges and attendees will follow the pitches using a beta version of INsight, a new mobile judging app created by UT incubation client Phabriq Development. Part ownership of the app was granted to two Phabriq engineering interns for their contributions in programming and user experience design.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, recruited Scott McIntyre, managing director of Phabriq Development and former UT manager of business incubation, to mentor freshman engineering students through a hands-on introduction to entrepreneurship with the ultimate aim of helping them learn the potential rewards and realities of self-directed careers.

FEED was created to be a student-managed group charged with helping further develop innovations imagined by fellow classmates. FEED members can explore potential future careers in a physically and intellectually collaborative environment, including being invited to biweekly meetings with the Young Entrepreneurs Society, another UT student entrepreneurship organization, founded by Phabriq entrepreneur-in-residence and engineering graduate student Michael Koludrovich.

Designed and coordinated by McIntyre, the event will be held at the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Innovation Center located inside the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex.

“The Angel Pitch is the culmination of a pilot program for freshman engineers that began with Drs. Patricia Relue [associate professor of bioengineering] and Matthew Franchetti [assistant professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering] forming freshman design clubs. I carried forward that effort by introducing students to the finer points of entrepreneurship in a hands-on way. By asking me to mentor these students, Dr. Naganathan provided the ideal opportunity to adapt my company’s development process to student initiatives,” McIntyre said.

“This initiative is made possible by the founding patronage of Tom and Betsy Brady. We are grateful to their generous philanthropy and their personal engagement. I compliment Scott and Mike on their special efforts in engaging the young students,” said Naganathan.

“As a College of Engineering, we are committed to graduating not just outstanding engineers, but also entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow in our society,” Naganathan said. “It is about seeding and nurturing a mindset and culture of success.”

For more information, contact McIntyre at mc@phabriq.com or visit feed.phabriq.com.