innovators-in-residence program

Win school credit by participating Market Discovery Challenges? It is possible! (Written by MJ Zhang; Edited by Christy Song; Photos by Hui Yang and MJ Zhang)

Professor Mohammed Islam notified his students at the University of Michigan that they may earn credit for course EECS 499, Directed Study, by participating in The SearchLite’s Market Discovery Challenges.

UM EECS 406 class

Scott Phillips (left) and Professor Mohammed Islam (right) in EECS 406 class at the University of Michigan.

Most graduate Innovators-in-Residence join The SearchLite in their senior years looking for exposure to the industry and business sector, which enhances their resume and benefits their careers.

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Innovators-in-Residence Program comes to McMaster University

mcmasterThe SearchLite had the privilege of being invited to McMaster University to conduct an Innovators-in-Residence Workshop on March 3rd, 2016.   The invitation was extended by the Graduate Student Life Team, part of the School of Graduate Studies.   This event was made possible by a connection between Scott Phillips from The SearchLite and Catherine Maybrey from McMaster University back in 2014 when Catherine hosted a “CV to Resume Webinar” on behalf of The SearchLite.

maybreyCatherine began her career with dreams of the tenure track, and along the way discovered something much better – the ability to take the best of what she loves about academia and to apply it in practice helping others. Her approach to career development is grounded in labour market research, hiring practices, and innovative use of technology to make service available to all graduate students on their timetable.  She previously served as the Alumni Career Coach, where she advanced services for graduate students including workshops and videos on Transforming Your CV to a Resume, The Academic Job Search, The Non-Academic Job Search, Transferable Skills, and Graduate Student Boot Camp.

IMG_0984The Innovators-in Residence (IIR) program is a community-based learning platform. The IIR program provides a unique opportunity for Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all academic disciplines to gain experience in innovation commercialization, acquire insights into market risk assessment and build relationships with leaders in industry while trying to solve real-world problems.

ThIMG_0987e McMaster University Graduate Students who participated in the workshop learned about the principles of Product-Market Fit and Value Proposition Design through live engagement in case studies which represent real Market Discovery Challenges recently completed by The SearchLite. Value Proposition Design is one of the 2016-03-03 10.41.01most critical skill sets needed to be a successful inventor or entrepreneur and a key element of the Lean Startup Process and Business Model Generation. Understanding Value Proposition Design will also be a valuable skill for academics in transition to industry with interest in various aspects of Corporate R&D, Engineering, Product Management or Marketing.

IMG_0988Students broke down into teams and were assigned a case study. Their assignment was to  identify the best -Product-Market Fit given the Value Proposition for a particular invention.  Inventions included (1) Portable Ammonemia Detector (Stanford University) – A low cost, portable, simple-to-use device designed to rapidly detect elevated ammonia in a drop of blood; (2) Rapid Decoupling & 2016-03-03 11.04.39Isolation (Oakland University) – Concept with ability to sense a sudden event and rapidly decouple load-bearing, structural joints in order to isolate occupants from the shock of the event; (3) Mobile Power Generation (Diversified Solar) – Hybrid solar system for mobile stand alone and grid-tied solar-based power generation and other inventions.

The teams all did an amazing job.  With no background on the principles of lean startup and only one hour to study their inventions, they all presented to a mock group of venture capitalists at the conclusion.  It was amazing how they were all able leverage the individual strengths, skills and experiences of their individual team members.  After the presentations, Scott had a chance to have lunch and visit with the students to learn more about their future plans and answer questions about The SearchLite and the Innovators-in-Residence Program.













Engineers, get out of the building!

Are you an academic in transition? Would you like to try an experience that may broaden your career?

The SearchLite recently shared some of our projects with graduate students at Michigan State University’s School of Engineering. Several of our Innovators-in-Residence are from MSU, so we wanted to share our knowledge from our Market Discovery Challenges with fellow Spartans and hoped to expand our community at MSU.

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MSU’s Annual Engineering Graduate Research Symposium

IMG_0376Michigan State University’s School of Engineering hosted its annual buy Lyrica online Engineering Graduate Research Symposium this past Thursday on April 9th and it was a great success!   Scott Phillips TSL’s CEO and Founder of The SearchLite participated as a poster judge in the event and had the opportunity of seeing many amazing project presentations.


22b3bf7Katy Luchini Colbry, Ph.D., Director for Graduate Initiatives, College of Engineering at Michigan State University was responsible for coordination of the event and did a fantastic job of organizing a wonderful lineup of events which also included an opportunity for students to interact with representatives from industry.  The SearchLite had the opportunity to speak with several students about the follow url Innovators-in-Residence Program.


IMG_0384More than 300 graduate students were featured in the event coming from a vast array of different engineering backgrounds including mechanical, civil, biosystems, computer science, electrical, environmental, materials science, and chemical. Departmental nominees for the Fitch Beach Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Research presented their projects before a panel of judges. And awards were based on a review of the student’s academic and professional records and on the oral presentation given on their research. Awardees were honored with a stipend, certificate, and medal that will be worn at graduation.

IMG_0385First place winner was Nariman Mansouri for his presentation on Design Considerations and Estimate On-Vehicle Performance for a Compression Couple-Based Thermoelectric Generator.




Second place winner was Uchechi Okeke for her presentation on Tensile, Creep, and Fatige Analysis of Friction Stir Weldeded Al 2139-T8 Alloy.


Speakers included Dr. Karen L. Klomparens, the Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education at Michigan State University, and Dr. Brian M. Kent, an internationally recognized expert in radar technology and 1980 grad of MSU engineering.

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