University of Oregon
From University Innovation
The University of Oregon is a public research University located in Eugene Oregon and founded in 1876. Our University is a rated very high on research activity and is the main flagship public university in Oregon. The institution is divided into eight individual schools including: school of architecture and allied arts (AAA), the college of arts and sciences, Charles H Lundquist College of Business, College of Education, Robert D Clark Honors College, School of Journalism and Communication, School of Law, School of Music and Dance.
The university has multiple research institutes which include the areas of molecular biology, neuroscience, optics and materials. A new program at the UO is the Product Design Program, which allows students to learn theories and applied practices of art, architecture and design to creative collaborative opportunities across disciplines. The program is still very new and growing but is deeply rooted in hands on learning where students can learn to develop projects from a personal, local and global perspective.
Currently, the entrepreneurship program at Oregon is driven by a mission to educate, inspire and empower the future of entrepreneurs by instilling in students the characteristics of innovation, initiative, accountability and dedication. The Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) combines a foundation of theory with hands-on learning that fosters the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. Oregon believes its students are very career oriented, networked and inspired individuals. A majority of the curriculum that are defined and structured in LCE are: recognizing and evaluating business opportunities, venture planning and implementation, developing and commercializing new products, legal, financial and operational considerations for startups.
Links to our landscape canvas are below:
Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship
Programs, Opportunities, Organizations:
UO Entrepreneurship Club
- Background: The Entrepreneurship Club was started to promote entrepreneurship through connecting students with local entrepreneurs and business proffessionals. Today the club is going dormant as attendance and member engagment have been dropiing significantly. This came to our attention when leadership possitions opened and no showed any interest in running.
- How it works: Currently the club meets bi weekly and hosts a speaker in the Lunquist College of Business.
- Mission: "Our mission is to facilitate the development of young proffessionals through the entrepreneurial perspective."
UO Product Design Program
- Background: This program provides a strong grounding in the use, invention and production of consumer products. It integrates the theories and applied practices of art, architecture, and design disciplines, creating collaborative opportunities across campus with the business school and anthropology and chemistry departments.
- How it works: Students can get a BA or BS in Material and Product Studies in Eugene and a fifth year BFA in Product Design in Portland.
- Mission: Provide students with an in-depth knowledge about materials, idea generation, prototyping and manufacturing in order to allow students to design a better world.
- Entrepreneurial Tie: In order to provide students with real world opportunities, many studios tie in a competition element allowing students to pitch their designs to industry professionals. In the past competitions have involved Wilsonart Chair designs, which were highlighted at the ICFF, a user interface challenge and a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation competition, etc.
Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship
- Background: LCE offers real world experiences and mentoring students through investment competitions, consulting projects, internships, and the Venture Launch Pathway Program.
- How it Works: Based on student’s area of interest, background and commitment, LCE admits them into one of four centers.
- Mission: Experiential learning, curriculum to harness opportunity and strong investor and alumni network.
Oregon New Venture Championship
- Background: Oregon’s New Venture Championship (NVC) is the original six-round business competition for graduate students. This movement was started at the University of Oregon and provides an opportunity to translate scholastic experiences into real world opportunities.
- How it works: Students get feedback from judges to help turn their business plan into a successful venture and get the chance to capture the attention of angel investors to get their business of the ground.
- Mission: NVC wants to develop skilled and knowledgeable entrepreneurial leaders who will successfully confront the ever-changing business environment with creative and innovative solutions.
- Competitors: MBA students from the top business programs worldwide are invited to compete. Students have come from the US and places like Hong Kong and Thailand
- Outcome: In 2013 the 1st place prize went to students from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration for a prebiotic syrup. In 2005, a UO student group placed 3rd for a battery replacement for transceivers and sensors.
- Background: A brand new, small funding opportunity of $500 to get a project off the ground. Starting Fall 2017.
- How it works: Any student can submit an idea with a purpose and a plan. Students then have 6 weeks to develop and prototype their project. The students will have to present their product at the end of the 6 weeks. Possibly have their idea funded further with Rainmaker Grants
- Mission: Remove a barrier to starting a project.
- Background: Five yearly grants of $5000 for developed ideas and projects.
- How it works: Students will need to demonstrate a well constructed and planned project or prototype. Ideally stemming from a Spark Grant.
Civil War Shark Tank
- Background: An annual competition based on the TV show 'Shark Tank', University of Oregon and Oregon State University students compete to pitch their ideas in front of judges and an audience. A $1000 first prize and a place at the Willamette Angel Conference where startups compete for seed money. Also included is an elevator pitch competition.
- How it works: Students submit a 2 minute and 5 page executive summary and the best are chosen to represent the school at the event. At the event students must defend their idea and be well prepared for criticism.
Making the Entrepreneurship Club the Hub for Innovation
- Background: The current Entrepreneurship Club is slowly declining in attendance and engagment from current UO students. The club has a speaker come in every meeting to discuss business related topics while also providing inspiration and networking opportunities.
Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship
Oregon is a highly research oriented campus, with faculty working on their own projects of interest. Within the product design program, faculty are developing personal design projects in order to stay actively engaged in the rest of the design world. Within the Science departments faculty gain access to software and lab equipment for projects and research.
Faculty Seed Grants
- Background: Faculty with ideas but lacking funding looked to the school for assitant
- Mission: To give faculty access to funding for their projects while helping expand levels of innovation across campus
- Outcome: Grant winning Faculty can be funded with up to $2,500 dollars for their projects every term.
Green Product Design Network
- Background: The Green Product Design Network began with a group of faculty leaders at UO with interests and expertise in green chemistry, product design, business and journalism and community.
- Mission: Take ideas from invention to the marketplace in a way that has a more expedient and lasting impact on society.
- Outcome: Selected as one of five key projects that the UO is supporting and highlighting as a major strategic initiative.
- Background: Conferences are hosted at the Business College to unite faculty in business from around the world. For example, in 2013, the Lunquist College’s biennial Financial Research Conference drew experts from Shanghai, London and New York to meet up in Eugene.
- Mission: Focus on institutional investors and the asset management industry to benefit presenters and audience members in complementary ways. Belief that research is a collaborative process so there is a strong emphasis on collaboration where researchers can present and discuss their work with peers in face to face interactions
Actively supporting the university technology transfer function
Innovation Partnership Services
- Background: Innovation Partnership Services ( formerly known as Technology Transfer), is a part of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. IPS partners with UO innovators, the public and industry to accelerate the adoption of innovations derived from UO research and education
- Mission: as a fundamental extension of UO’s teaching and public benefits missions, IPS strives to employ a diversity of innovation management pathways to connect University research to societal benefit.
- What they do: moves innovation into public use by identifying and creating channels for relationships between university innovators and industry, for investment and for development of user communities. Services include: patent filing, confidentiality/material transfer agreements, and helping UO innovators navigate federal and state policy.
Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration
The example below highlights how Oregon puts efforts on interdisciplinary research and teaching and always tries to create deep relationships and partnerships with important key players in education and research.
- Background: The UO entered a groundbreaking research and training partnership with African nation, Gabon
- The agreement will result in the creation of the Gabon-Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environmental Development
- Headquartered in Eugene, OR and Libreville, Gabon
- The center represents a new partnership that will enable developed and developing countries to benefit equally from shared research and two way training of students from each nation
- Mission: Effort to put priority on interdisciplinary research and teaching. Need to reinforce training programs and establish strong and deep partnerships mimicking those created at Oregon.
- Leaders: UO-led, five-campus Oregon African Studies Consortium: Oregon State University, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland State University, Willamette University and partner with Gabonese Government to fulfill its vision of turning the country into a laboratory for a new model of development for Africa.
Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts
The example below highlights how University of Oregon likes to work closely with other Oregon universities in order to help the greater community of Oregon reach its potential. Initiatives are very interdisciplinary and collaborative.
- Background: Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN) connects government, academic and industry resources in the community. There is both a RAIN Eugene and a RAIN@UO branch.
- Mission: advance the formation, growth, and retention of tech-based startups in the South valley in order to triple the current rate of new tech business formation and job creation
- Goal: Address five key ingredients that transform innovative ideas into viable thriving business for the state of Oregon
- Market opportunities
- High quality ideas
- Management teams
- Access to investment capital
- Strong community connections
- Outcome: By funding RAIN, Oregon (as a state) will enable these key ingredients by mobilizing and expanding the assets of the South Valley region: nearly $400M of combined research activity at Oregon State, University of Oregon and linked regional economic development initiatives. This will grow the ecosystem of entrepreneurial talent and tech based companies
• Offers a 12 week accelerator program for new businesses and also part of the RAIN innovation network.
• Allows for students and faculty to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in the community.
Background: Fertilab Thinkubator is an incubator for start-ups, a co-working space and a place for events held for those interested in entrepreneurship and innovation in town. There is a location in Eugene and in Springfield.
- Mission: Promote entrepreneurship and innovation as a way to develop the economy and the workforce.
- Goal: Build the next generation of businesses in Eugene.
- Outcome: Promoting entrepreneurship in Eugene and enhancing the collaboration in the start-up community.
University of Oregon
University Innovation Fellows