Thanks to a unique Capital One and NJIT competition, four teams of Albert Dorman Honors College (ADHC) undergrads probably can't wait until next June when they'll move into their new roles as entrepreneurs with seed funding. Known as the annual Capital One Bank Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge (NIAC), the competition held at the end of last year also bestowed laurels on two adult teams from the community--Dean and Cheryl Allen-Munley, of Tewksbury, both NJIT alums, and Caron White, of Newark. All winning combinations will receive not only $3,000 in seed capital, but also mentorship from Capital One Bank's Small Business Banking team. Sterling Medical Devices was also a program sponsor.
The competition was steep. Of the 37 team applicants, 14 made the final round to pitch their business plans to judges and then from that group, six winners were chosen. Judges included Capital One Bank's Small Business Banking team, NJIT faculty and others. "We were so proud of our NJIT students, who were especially well-prepared," said event organizer, NJIT Associate Professor Michael Ehrlich. "Probably what helped them the most was their participation in the unique ADHC mentoring program, known as the Interdisciplinary Design Studio (IDS)."
The five-year-old IDS program is the brainchild of ADHC Interim Dean and Distinguished Professor Atam Dhawan, a noted medical device inventor. "The IDS program allows students to learn a roadmap of innovation, research and entrepreneurship towards developing a vision and necessary skills for bringing new technologies in the market taking a leadership role to impact the regional as well as national economy."
This coming summer all winners, including the two community teams, will develop their business concepts through a fellowship at the Capital One Bank Learning Lab at NJIT's Enterprise Development Center, a technology and life sciences start-up incubator that has graduated over 85 successful b
|Contact: Sheryl Weinstein|
New Jersey Institute of Technology