During this past March 4th and 5th, professors José E. Lugo, Mari Zapata, Ubaldo Córdova and Lourdes Medina were at VentureWell’s Open 2016 Conference. The conference gathers professors and university students from all disciplines to allow them to share their experiences, begin collaborations and learn about the best practices within the field of technology entrepreneurship education. Throughout this conference, VentureWell aims to foster the emerging generation of inventors and entrepreneurs driven to improve life for people and the planet. [VentureWell.org/open]
Throughout this conference, the professors participated in a series of events dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Professors José E. Lugo and Mari Zapata presented The Weekend Design Challenge. Also, professor Lourdes Medina presented a poster featuring her study of the medical device development process and its implementation in the classroom for engineering students.
Talking about the experience Prof. Ubaldo Córdova said:
“The Open Conference was a valuable experience because it helped us calibrate our current efforts at UPRM. Through seminars, workshops, and panels we learned best practices from other universities on how to promote the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem among students and faculty. A clear denominator from the activities was the need to incorporate authentic learning in our classrooms as an incentive to creative thinking and therefore, the need to try new things. Open also provided a great platform to share our own experiences with other universities going through similar transformations. Overall, in spite of challenges ahead, it energized us to continue our plan thanks to the program Pathways to Innovation.”
Prof. Lourdes Medina also said:
“From Venturewell’s Open Conference I received an overdose of inspiration and empowerment to impact my future endeavors as an academician and advocate of UPRM’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Eco-System. This stimulus involved reinforcing my knowledge about game-based learning, design thinking, e-portfolios, business model canvas, start-up/design challenges and maker spaces. With this in mind, I am compromised to teach about innovation in innovative ways through experiential learning. As a researcher I am motivated to study and create new design methodologies to improve design decisions in engineering and applied systems (as the name of my research group – IDDEAS). This gave me the opportunity to network with potential collaborators working with an entrepreneurial mindset in the Bioengineering field. More than a conference, it was an experience I will never forget. I am ready to make the difference! You are next!”
Prof. José E. Lugo also said:
“The presentation of the Weekend Design Challenge was very rewarding. We were able to share the results of our program with other members of the I&E community and validate that we are on the right track. From the conference I got feedback on how to improve the Weekend Design Challenge and the New Venture Design Experience program.”
From the above commentary we can definitely say that the conference was much more than a learning experience as it was a means of motivation for professors to continue their efforts and endeavors in growing the entrepreneurship and innovation network within our University.