Programs Across Duke Celebrate Entrepreneurship Week

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Entrepreneurship Week 2016

Eweek 2016 featured events that spanned a wide range of Duke schools and programs, including Duke I&E, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Law, the Fuqua School of Business and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI.) Events included the Duke Startup Challenge Grand Finale, pitch competitions, two showcases and a panel discussion.

Solving Problems through Entrepreneurship

To kick off Entrepreneurship Week 2016, Duke I&E hosted a panel with Nobel prize winner Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, Brian Hare, Duke professor and co-founder of Dognition, and Alex Dehgan, ’91, co-founder of ConservationXLabs, and an inaugural Rubenstein Fellow and Chanler Innovator in Residence at Duke.

The panelists discussed the successes and challenges they found in developing their companies. Dr. Lefkowitz, admitted that he had to be dragged “kicking and screaming” into entrepreneurship, but now thinks it’s an essential component to the academic community. His discoveries were used to found the biopharmaceutical company Trevena with a group of his post-doctoral students.

Hare developed a new model to study the personality of dogs through science-based games. Howie Rhee and Kip Frey, both with Duke I&E, helped him develop his pitch and his company, Dognition. “Who would have thought that an evolutionary anthropologist would found a company?” he said.

Alex Dehgan, recently served as Chief Scientist for USAID and is now co-founder of ConservationXLabs. Dehgan described the challenges of managing tremendous growth at his company.
“We started with an investment and revenue – now we’re building the plane after pushing it off and jumping in,” he said.
Dehgan called Duke I&E “an extraordinary resource” that he wished he had as an undergraduate.

Hare said he was grateful to Duke for getting excited about his “kooky idea.” “Duke made it seem possible,” he said. “We’re going to continue to build a culture where the unthinkable is thinkable.”

Here is the video of the full panel discussion.

EvolveLaw Showcase at Duke Law
Originally published by Duke Law news

Duke Law grad Matt Schneller presents on TM TKO, a trademark search and clearance tool.

Duke Law grad Matt Schneller presents on TM TKO, a trademark search and clearance tool.

Duke Law’s Start-Up Ventures Clinic hosted the EvolveLaw Showcase, a forum for legal technology innovators, at Duke Law School. Event attendees heard presentations on the latest legal technology and five-minute Darwin Talks about the new ideas most likely to change the legal profession.

The event is part of Duke’s Entrepreneurship Week, which highlights entrepreneurship around campus, as well the university’s connections within North Carolina’s Research Triangle, a hotbed for entrepreneurial activity and innovative thinking.

Start-Up Ventures Clinic Director Jeff Ward said that working with the legal tech entrepreneurship organization is a natural fit for his clinic and Duke Law School. “Working with EvolveLaw makes perfect sense for us, as it merges two of Duke Law’s existing strengths: thought leadership on the future of legal technology and a creative and a vigorous entrepreneurial community,” said Ward, a clinical professor of law.

This merger will continue with the upcoming launch of Duke Law Tech Lab. The lab, which was announced at the showcase, will be a pre-accelerator for legal technologies.

Duke Law’s event saw the best attendance of any first-time EvolveLaw host. The event also gave students the opportunity to network with local legal technology innovators, browse demo tables and hear presentations about topics including new tools for marketing and social media, secure videoconferencing and trademark researching.

E-Fair at Pratt School of Engineering

Originally published by the Pratt School of Engineering

Duke student Eliana Lauder speaks about her company, CataList, during E-Fair.

Duke student Eliana Lauder speaks about her company, CataList, during E-Fair.

More than 25 teams showed off their ventures, ideas and resources at the first-ever E-Fair—a special event showcasing the continuum from design to entrepreneurship, as well as the Duke Engineering community’s shared passion for creation.

This fun and informative event included demonstrations of rapid prototyping technologies and other resources available to makers on campus through the Pratt Student ShopThe Foundry and Innovation Co-Lab; cool e-bikes, cars and other projects coming out of the Duke Smart Home and other Pratt student groups; start-ups taking shape through the DUhatch student business incubator, and even faculty start-ups such as MEMS chair Ken Gall’s Vertera Spine.

Thanks to all who came out, and especially to the E-Fair co-sponsors, Duke Engineering Student Government, Pratt’s Office of Entrepreneurial Ventures and Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

As Bill Walker, the Mattson Family Director of Entrepreneurial Ventures at Pratt, said, “What makes engineering special is that we create — we make things, we translate ideas into innovations that will help people and ultimately change the world. It’s exciting to see our engineering community making these ideas into reality here at Duke.”

Innovation Jam at Duke Institute for Health Innovation

By Krista Whalen, DIHI

Suresh Balu, director of Duke Institute for Health Innovation, kicks off the second Innovation Jam.

Suresh Balu, director of Duke Institute for Health Innovation, kicks off the second Innovation Jam.

Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) hosted the 2nd Innovation Jam. Duke South Clinic Amphitheater was filled with leadership, faculty, staff and students from across Duke to hear the top six finalists pitch their health ideas to Duke investors. Teams are now in the process of meeting with potential Duke investors to finalize a memorandum of understanding for investment.

17th Annual Duke Startup Challenge Grand Finale is covered in a separate story here.

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