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Meet the Sherman Center Event Engages Future Engineering Entrepreneurs

December 1, 2017

The Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education, whose focus is on arming young engineers with the skills and tools to commercialize their innovations, recently hosted “Meet the Sherman Center,” an informational event geared toward first-year engineering students with an interest in entrepreneurship.

During the event students had the opportunity to meet and speak with Sherman Center community members.  “We had an overwhelming response and the Generate program in particular intrigued a maximum number of students,” says Briana Jones, a second year mechanical engineering student and communications associate of the Sherman Center. Students also learned about the programs offered as well as the many events held throughout the year. 

Programs

  • Generate is a student-run product development studio focused on completing real product development work for real clients through the build studio, which is made up of highly skilled Northeastern engineering students.  Additionally, Generate Labs is a new program for freshmen engineering students to get a taste of the product development cycle, Generate, and entrepreneurship as a whole. Labs functions as a startup within Generate—with brainstorming, prototyping and building an internal idea instead of consulting on a client project.
  • Resource for Engineering Ventures, or REV, is a mentoring program that guides entrepreneurial engineers toward venture creation by leveraging the wealth of experience possessed by our engineering alumni.
  • The Co-op program offered by the Sherman Center allows entrepreneurial engineers the opportunity to focus solely on building their own ventures for a six-month co-op period. The co-op financially supports the student’s innovation for the stipulated period of time.
  • The Entrepreneurial Engineering minor, available as an option for students during their undergraduate study, is specifically designed for the technology-minded entrepreneur who seeks to understand disciplinary fundamentals, assess market needs, create technologies, and determine how to manufacture solutions sustainably and economically.
  • The Sherman Events series brings its community together through speaker engagements, industry networking events, and large-scale events like Tech Rebels, which brought high-profile speaker Bilal Zuberi, partner of venture capitalist firm Lux Capital, to campus last February.

Product-Centric Approach to Entrepreneurship

The Sherman Center, since its inception in 2014, has challenged engineers to take a product-centric approach to entrepreneurship; that is, to identify a problem first and design a solution around it.  The center has gained a reputation of having minds with excellent intellectual capacity and has successfully honed the innovation and entrepreneurial skills of these minds.

Carlos Fuentes, a fifth year combined mechanical engineering and physics major, agrees. A previous Generate project lead, Fuentes says, "The experiences you get as [a Generate] project lead are relevant to so many aspects of engineering as well as project management. Having managed two multidisciplinary design-for-manufacturing projects has taught me how to approach problems from different fields in critical and open-minded ways. Generate has also allowed me to learn my leadership style and develop my management ideologies, while working on projects that are meaningful to industry and academia. These projects—independent of skills gained—have been tremendously useful experiences to have under my belt when seeking employment and meeting engineers from different communities."