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Innovation on display at largest-​​ever NEXPO

Innovation on display at largest-​​ever NEXPO

The founders of Indie Ambas­sador had already cre­ated their first product, a web inter­face dubbed PressKit​.to, when they decided to team up with IDEA, Northeastern’s student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator.

“Becoming part of IDEA made us do our home­work,” said Chris Cave, a 2008 grad­uate of Northeastern’s music industry pro­gram and one of the founders of Indie Ambas­sador, a start-​​up founded by alumni of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and the Berklee Col­lege of Music. “We’ve been in the industry for a few years now and built our product; now we’re able to take a step back and really look at the busi­ness side.”

Indie Ambas­sador — whose PressKit​.to web inter­face is quickly becoming pop­ular among musi­cians in local acts and national bands like Karmin — was one of about 40 stu­dent and alumni busi­nesses at NEXPO, a bian­nual entre­pre­neur­ship expo­si­tion hosted by IDEA. Having out­grown event space in the Curry Stu­dent Center, it was hosted for the first time on Wednesday evening in the Cabot fieldhouse.

The event was part of Boston Region Entre­pre­neur­ship Week and drew more than 500 stu­dents, fac­ulty, entre­pre­neurs and com­mu­nity mem­bers, according to Chris Wolfel, IDEA’s CEO and a senior in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness.

“All the ven­tures brought their A game and really showed amazing progress — they are real busi­nesses,” Wolfel said. “Their hard work paid off and those who attended that weren’t part of IDEA noticed. People were blown away with where the ven­tures were.

IDEA helps stu­dents and alumni create, develop and accel­erate new busi­nesses through coaching, men­toring and funding. Last week, IDEA awarded $24,000 to three ven­tures: Narvii Inc., Cobar Sys­tems and Biolom LLC.

Biolom, part of Northeastern’s Lab to Ven­tures ini­tia­tive, started as a grant-​​funded research project to develop better ways to detect the bio­markers of dis­eases in very low con­cen­tra­tion, according to Jaydev Upponi, the company’s co-​​founder and chief tech­nical officer.

Upponi, who ear­lier this year got his doc­torate in phar­ma­ceu­tical sci­ences from North­eastern, noted that working with IDEA has helped trans­late sci­en­tific knowl­edge into busi­ness savvy.

“Near the end of our research, we real­ized this product had a lot of value, not just from a com­mer­cial point of view but from a health­care point of view,” Upponi said. “We are trained in sci­ence, not in busi­ness, so working with IDEA has taken us to a com­pletely dif­ferent level.”

Dan Gre­gory, IDEA’s fac­ulty advisor, said NEXPO gives fledg­ling entre­pre­neurs a chance to net­work and develop their busi­ness pitch.

“They learn how to present them­selves in as suc­cinct a way as pos­sible,” Gre­gory said. “We have investors here, we have alumni here, and they all want to know what these ven­tures are about. And NEXPO is an oppor­tu­nity to learn how to explain that without making someone’s eyes glaze over.”

Sean Casto is the founder of PreApps, which con­nects app devel­opers with early adopters who pro­vide feed­back before a product’s offi­cial release. He said the event gave him the oppor­tu­nity to show­case his com­pany, which is preparing for its offi­cial launch.

“IDEA has given us great resources, espe­cially in terms of men­tor­ship and PR,” Casto said. “And any event like this, where we can talk about what we’re doing and what makes us unique, is a great opportunity.”

From news @ Northeastern
October 19, 2012 by Read original article


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