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January 09, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News | High Point University has recruited some impressive mentors

Two Kentucky higher education institutions have been selected to run the 2024 "Summer Start-up" editions of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs.

From High Point University:

Talk about some impressive mentors in the University’s Access to Innovators program. It starts with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, who serves as High Point University’s (HPU) Innovator-in-Residence. The latest addition is Teena Piccione, Global Transformation and Operations executive at Google, who has joined the growing list of industry leaders who mentor students. Others include:

  • Netflix Founder Marc Randolph (HPU’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence);
  • Dallas Mavericks Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cynt Marshall (Sports Executive-in-Residence);
  • Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner (Corporate Executive-in-Residence);
  • Dee Ann Turner, former Vice President at Chick-fil-A (Talent Acquisition Expert-in-Residence);
  • Former U.S. Ambassador and Federal Communications Commission Chairman William “Bill” Kennard (Global Leader-in-Residence);
  • Sean Suggs, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina President (Technology Executive-in-Residence);
  • Dr. Ellen Zane, former CEO of Tufts Medical Center (Health Care Executive-in-Residence);
  • ABC News’ “Nightline” Anchor Byron Pitts (Journalist-in-Residence); and
  • American Actor and Television Producer Dean Cain (Actor-in-Residence).

From the Georgia Institute of Technology:

Researchers at the institution have created the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene, a single sheet of carbon atoms held together by the strongest bonds known. Semiconductors, which are materials that conduct electricity under specific conditions, are foundational components of electronic devices. The team’s breakthrough throws open the door to a new way of doing electronics.

Their discovery comes at a time when silicon, the material from which nearly all modern electronics are made, is reaching its limit in the face of increasingly faster computing and smaller electronic devices. Walter de Heer, Regents’ Professor of Physics, led a team of researchers based in Atlanta and Tianjin, China, to produce a graphene semiconductor that is compatible with conventional microelectronics processing methods — a necessity for any viable alternative to silicon.

From the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

Two Kentucky higher education institutions – the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics and Thomas Moore University, a private Catholic institution in Crestview Hills – have been selected to run the 2024 “Summer Start-up” editions of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE). The goal of the program is to identify and empower Kentucky high school students to become the Commonwealth’s next generation of entrepreneurs through a three-week, on-campus residential experience.

The free program will welcome participants from across the Commonwealth and will equip them with the skills and opportunities necessary to build business plans and develop product and service prototypes. To accomplish this, the high school students will be introduced to Kentucky’s most successful entrepreneurs and fastest-growing businesses, furnished with the tools to create and build their own businesses, and matched with complementary skilled peers.

The intensive annual “GSE Summer Start-up” program culminates in a pitch competition attended by a large audience and live-streamed. As a direct result of participation in GSE, millions of dollars in scholarship opportunities are offered by Kentucky colleges and universities specifically to students who have completed the program. More than 900 student entrepreneurs have graduated from the summer program since its inception in 2013.

From the University of South Florida:

Tampa Bay Inno reports that the National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.6 million to a research project from Tampa virtual reality company Immertec and the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS).

According to the article, the two-year study is looking for ways to improve medical training access to healthcare professionals in rural areas, and the money comes from a Small Business Innovation Research award. The study seeks to close gaps in healthcare access by sharing high standards of medical training — as well as instruction with mentorship — through Immertec’s virtual reality platform.

CAMLS is one of the world’s largest, free-standing simulation facilities exclusively dedicated to training healthcare professionals. Opened in 2012, it is a 90,000-square-foot, three-story facility that provides a state-of-the-art, high-fidelity clinical environment with 60,000 square feet dedicated to surgical skills labs, operating trauma suites, and patient exam rooms, plus more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. CAMLS specializes in providing a realistic training environment for healthcare providers and can replicate nearly any clinical/medical environment, including the use of virtual and human’‘patients’ (standardized patients) as well as testing resources.

From Kansas State University:

Two Kansas State 105 partners — NetWork Kansas and K-State Research and Extension — are collaborating to bring the “Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge” (KEC) to new heights as one of the leading youth entrepreneurship competitions in the state of Kansas.

A first-of-its-kind commitment from K-State Research and Extension and Kansas 4-H will fully fund the KEC, which is a program of the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E)-Community Partnership. The contribution involves nearly $100,000 in program support for KEC per year for three consecutive years, beginning with the current 2023-24 competition year.

The Challenge is the culmination of a sequence of community-based entrepreneurship competitions for students in grades 6-12, known as the “Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge” (YEC) series. During the most recent 2022-23 competition year, the YEC series held 56 local-level competitions featuring 1,136 high school and middle school students from across Kansas. More than $90,000 in prize money was awarded to winners across the state. First place winners of local YEC events, plus 15 wild-card entries, advanced to KEC, which occurred at K-State in spring 2023.

From Taylor University:

Thanks to a $30 million grant from the Lilly Endowment as part of its College and Community Collaboration initiative, the Upland, IN private university will  be able to enhance it Main Street Mile Initiative that will include creating dining, retail and start-up space in the downtown area and expanding the town library. On the campus side of town, the initiative will build a residential development for those 55 and older, a college inn, and additional long-term visitor housing. The Main Street connecting campus and downtown will be repaved and will feature expanded sidewalks and enhanced lighting. The grant will also extend local trails and launch three related academic programs at the university: Construction Management, Entrepreneurship and Community Development, and Hospitality.


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