The sun was just slightly above the horizon by the time I left my house. On that Friday morning, MSTM students met up at EnterpriseWorks, located on the southern part of our campus in what had previously been "South Farms". That was the second Frontiers' field trip this fall that we had and I was excited to learn about this facility at my beloved campus.
Enterpriseworks is a 43,000 square foot incubator facility dedicated for early-stage technology firms. The facility houses students, faculty members and professors with brilliant ideas in the process of innovationand its' vision is geared towards problem solving and transforming early entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. This is aligned with the mission of the university to encourage its members to be independent and successful individuals.
Like other well-known incubators, EnterpriseWorks provides a wide array of services such as technology consultation, services revolving legal issues, dedicated amenities for laboratory and offices, consultation regarding business proposal, and networking events. Due, in part, to the drive for excellence and joint collaboration of the university, EnterpriseWorks was recognized in 2011 as ’10 start-up incubators to watch’ by Inc.com.
The incubator also holds a luncheon series called Startup Café. This event series provide a platform for entrepreneurs related to EnterpriseWorks to share their experience and insights on their entrepreneurial journey. Some of the past presenters were Roger Dickey - founder of Mafia Wars, Sanjay Patel - President and CEO of Nuvixa, and Neil Kane – President of Advanced Diamond Technologies. This is an especially important platform for the aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in.
When we arrived in front of the brick orange building, Donna greeted us and we conversed about the facility. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, my interest in knowing EnterpriseWorks grew deeper by the minute. 10 minutes later, we went to a conference room and our presenter Laura Bleill gave a quick overview of EnterpriseWorks and some programs that they offer to students such as Entrepreneur in residence and I-Start. We also have an opportunity to hear the experience of the start up members from Dioxide Materials and Valkyrie Computing.
After a short presentation and Q&A, we were given the chance to have a tour around the campus. Passing through several offices, I could not help but to notice the variety of people passing around us. Some of them were busy discussing product development, while others were absorbed on long calculations. A plethora of activites lead by eager faces filled this incubator and for me, this enthusiasm feeds the growth of EnterpriseWorks as one of the leading young incubators in the nation.
After a quick glance of Valkyrie Computing office (specializing in mobile application) we had another quick meeting with members of MPressInteractive. Their concept of developing a mobile application that combines the element of a high-quality printing press and and the touch of art. The last start-up company was Xerion Advanced Battery, which focuses on developing battery that can charge and discharge efficiently, while at the same time increase the power density in the battery itself.
These three companies serve as representatives that EnterpriseWorks is a canvas that combines technology from every possible angle, be it development of mobile development, novel technologies in engineering and the mixture of art and science. I believe that being able to participate in such an environment is beneficial because it widens one’s horizon especially as a student of MSTM, which focuses on the utilization of the business perspective in managing technology.