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Commercializing Technology

The University of Dayton is piloting a class this semester that brings together entrepreneurship and engineering students to commercialize Air Force technology.

“The premise of the class is there are all these technologies that have been developed for military applications,” said Vincent Lewis, director of the Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “How can we get these technologies into students’ hands to see if they can create something?”

The pilot is a partnership between the University of Dayton schools of business and engineering, the Air Force Research Lab and the Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton. It is led by Lewis; Rebecca Blust, director of the Innovation Center at the University of Dayton; and Jordan Roe, technology acceleration project manager at the Entrepreneurs Center.

The class will culminate with a chance for the 14 students to pitch their business plans to angel fund investors, venture capitalists and AFRL leadership.

“It’s a very unique opportunity,” Audrey Laurash, a senior from Kettering studying industrial engineering technology, said of the class. “It helps engineers with their business skills, and business students with their technical skills. This class gives you contacts, support and advice.”

Laurash and her team will pitch a business they’ve named Jard Nanotech. Their idea applies patented Air Force technology to the label-making industry to keep adhesives off machinery. The advance in technology could help businesses save time and money. The technology could also be used in ski wax to allow competitors to reach greater speeds.

Another team will pitch Inoculate, which adapts Air Force software designed to fight cybercrime for use in the business world.

“We’re not just making up hypotheticals,” said James Foster, a senior from Dayton studying entrepreneurship and leadership. “We’re using technology that’s already been developed for the military. We’re using specific numbers. We’re able to contact key experts in the industry. This is definitely real world.”

Students will be encouraged to continue working on their business after the class ends this semester.


News and Communications Staff