Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OPEN Forum from American Express: 12 Ways To Recharge Your Business In 2012

12 Ways To Recharge Your Business In 2012

Barry Moltz, Small Business  Speaker, Consultant, and Author, Barry Moltz
The holidays are always a good time to step back and make sure your business is on track. Here are some tips.

Read More:

This article is from OPEN Forum. Powering small business success.

Monday, November 21, 2011

SIU debuts its Saluki Innovation Lab

Just in case you missed it!

By Codell Rodriguez, The Southern | Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:00 am
buy this photo Paul Newton

Paul Newton / The Southern Moderator Bill Rowe speaks about the differences between licensing your product and producing it yourself in a University �Spin-Out� panel discussion during the SIUC Innovation and Technology Expo on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Dunn-Richmond Center.


CARBONDALE - The SIU Technology and Innovation Expo put the research of faculty and students on center stage Friday at the Dunn-Richmond Center.

The event included speeches by faculty innovators, Chancellor Rita Cheng and Phil Pfeffer, president and CEO of Treemont Capital Inc.

Faculty members also were awarded for innovations, and a student was announced as the winner of a poster contest. The event also included the ribbon cutting of the Saluki Innovation Lab.

The Innovation Lab contains lab equipment for startup businesses such as an ultra low freezer, reach-in incubator and a table-top autoclave. Kyle Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park, said the facility will offer equipment for local startups that do not have access to such equipment.

The USDA Rural Devel-opment helped fund the lab. Area Director Rusty Wanstreet said it is the mission of the group to create business and jobs for local communities. The lab was also funded by Delta Regional Authority and the Southern Illinois Research Park.

In addition to celebrating the new lab, the event also honored the faculty and students who push research forward at SIU. Ahmed Soueidan, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, won the student poster contest for his design of a fanless aircraft engine to make airplanes safer from collisions with birds.

Paul Chugh, professor in the Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering, received the Inventor of the Year award.

His inventions include a water spray system that reduces dust exposure in coal mines.

Bakul Dave, associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry, received the award for University Startup of the Year. He has developed startups Nano-aqueonics, a technology for surface coatings, and Enki Technology Inc., which works on solar panel technology.

Geology professor Ken Anderson, who started feedstock company The-rmaquatica, received the award for Innovator of the Year. Anderson said it was very gratifying to get the award and he owes a lot of success to his team.

"There's more than me involved, and I'm happy to share the credit," Ander-son said.

Anderson said the research park at the Dunn-Richmond Center is an excellent investment in the future of the region because it nurtures local inventors and businesses.

"The work being done here will eventually return a lot of benefits to Southern Illinois," Ander-son said.

Read more:

SIU alum makes medical breakthrough

BY CODELL RODRIGUEZ, THE SOUTHERN Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011 1:00 am

Paul Newton / The Southern SIU alum Matt Reavill of Plainfield recently won
an award for inventing a medical device that reduces the risk of infection
for patients who need a central line catheter.


    After his 60-year-old father died from an infection from a central line catheter
    after heart surgery in 1994, Matt Reavill of Plainfield knew there had to be a better way.

  • Reavill, an SIU Carbondale alum, created the ReavillMED CV. Instead of catheterizing the heart through a surgical procedure through the neck, his device operates through an IV and enters through the arm without a need for any kind of surgery. By going through the IV tube, the catheter also stays in a sterile evironment, cutting down the risk of infection.

    "It's just that stupidly simple," Reavill said.

    Reavill attended SIU from 1984 to 1988, receiving an education in engineering. At the time of his father's death, he was selling medical devices. That's when he realized there may be an easier way to monitor the heart. He later lost his job, but he saw it as a new opportunity.

    "Now I had to do it," Reavill said. "Blessings appear in very odd form."

    Reavill admits it's surprising no one has thought of doing this before, but now that his idea is out there, others are taking notice. His method, which has been approved by the FDA, recently won first place at the Health Pitch Battlefield in London. He will develop the ReavillMED CV out of the Illinois Small Business Development Center in the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at SIU Carbondale.

    "That's where my loyalties lie," Reavill said.

    Reavill said he also plans to hire disabled veterans for the business because "it's only right the money goes back to the soldiers who gave everything they have."

    It's not just loyalty to the university that brings Reavill here. He also has a fondness for Carbondale. He said his father-in-law, Bob Brewer, served as a school board member for 38 years and his mother-in-law, Betsy, founded the Apple Tree gift shop.

    Emily Carter, director of Entrepreneurship and Business Development at SIU, said being able to assist Reavill is a great opportunity.

    "The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU is really excited about helping a creative alum like Matt," Carter said. "His desire to launch this innovate venture in our region could lead to not only new jobs, but showcase to others that Southern Illinois is a great place to be an entrepreneur."

    Read more:

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Nine completing Operation Mousetrap this week

    Saluki Times

    November 15, 2011

    By Christi Mathis 11/15/2011 14:00:04

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Operation Mousetrap, a program helping Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty, staff and students learn about commercializing their research and innovation technologies, will wrap up a 12-week session with a ceremony recognizing those successfully completing the intensive series this fall.

    The program concludes at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, as participants present "elevator pitches," short explanations designed to elicit funding contributions in no more time than an elevator ride requires.  Following the presentations at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale, there will be a 2:15 p.m. ceremony where participants will receive certificates signifying their completion of the program.

    Media Advisory

    Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the Operation Mousetrap entrepreneurial technology transfer program achievement ceremony at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, in Room 241 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.  John Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, will present certificates of achievement to those completing the program.  Several of the participants will also be on hand to discuss their research and technology innovations following the ceremony.

    "This is our third cohort of faculty researchers and scientists participating in Operation Mousetrap since the program began in January 2010," said Kyle L. Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park.  "We also have several students with technology-based businesses in this group and are extremely excited about the potential for commercializing the participants' research and technology into Southern Illinois businesses."

    The fall 2011 Operation Mousetrap series has included workshops and discussions highlighting entrepreneurship, marketing research and analysis, identifying funding sources and working with investors, protecting businesses and intellectual property in the legal realm, defining the target market, testing business concepts, enhancing investor presentations, building and compensating the organizational team and much more.  Presenters have included entrepreneurs, lawyers, business founders and owners, accountants, consultants and various other experts.

    The program's goal is assisting technology and life science researchers in bringing their innovations from the concept stage to the marketplace.  Ultimately, Operation Mousetrap seeks to increase the University's commercialization successes through licensing opportunities and creation of technology-based startup companies in the region.

    "Inventors at SIU have been increasingly successful in taking their research ideas from the desk and bench top to the market and with today's economy, perhaps as at no other time in recent history, is this more important.  I believe that the culture on campus has advanced to where inventors have more information and are much better prepared to do so, with Operation Mousetrap being a great example of what we now offer to provide assistance," said John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean.

    Operation Mousetrap uses FastTrac TechVenture, a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation entrepreneurship and business program, and those who complete the program are eligible for three months of free rent at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center through the Small Business Incubator Program, which also offers additional business and technical assistance.

    Those completing Operation Mousetrap this month include:

                •  Samir Aouadi, professor, physics

                •  Yoginder "Paul" Chugh, professor, mining and mineral resources

                •  Manoj Mohanty, professor, mining and mineral resources

                •  Tod Policondriotes, assistant scientist, Center for Advanced Friction Studies

                •  Lichang Wang, professor, chemistry and biochemistry

                •  Mike Philip, CEO, Rover Enterprises

                •  Michael Rzeznik, a senior majoring in information systems technologies and chief technology officer of Rover Enterprises

                •  D'arcy Stone, doctoral candidate in applied physics, working with Samir Aouadi

                •  Benjamin Wasson, MBA student and CEO of OrderAce

    Those partnering to offer the SIU Carbondale program include the Illinois Small Business Development Center, Small Business Incubator Program and the Southern Illinois Research Park.  Coaching and providing assistance for the fall session were:  Harfst; Lynn Andersen Lindberg, director of business innovation and research; Katie Dzugan, master's student in mass communication and media arts; Hannah Rummel, senior marketing major; Brandon Soltwisch, business administration doctoral student; and Toni Whitfield, MBA student.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Article: Five steps toward commercialization for university researchers

    Idea to Product Regional March 2-3 at Saint Louis Univ: Call for Ideas

    Greetings from Saint Louis University:

    As previously communicated the Idea to Product (I2P) competition is a unique academic competition that is designed to examine the feasibility of more complex, broad sweeping, high impact or technology innovations in the post ideation, yet pre-business plan phase.  

    For the past six years universities from Missouri and Illinois have sent up to five student teams to compete in the regional.   New this year is the addition of the 20 KEEN engineering entrepreneurship schools (re: to the competition.  According to SLU's KEEN Fellow Dr. Sridhar Condoor  "We are truly excited to expand I2P to include teams from the KEEN schools as the students learn so much about the commercialization process, receive invaluable feedback from the expert judges and are eligible for thousands of dollars in prize money." 

    Once again students submit their entry in a two page format (re: on or before January 30, 2012 to  Semi-finalists are then selected from all the schools' submissions and invited to present to a panel of entrepreneurial experts on Friday afternoon March 2nd.  The finals are on held Saturday morning March 3rd with the winners announced that day around 1PM.  For more information please contact Kevin Schulte at or 314.484.4860 or go to or
    Thank you for your previous interest and we look forward to your students participating this year. 
    Kevin A. Schulte
    Entrepreneur in Residence
    SLU Parks School of Engineering

    1 Message from MarketLaunchers: St. Louis manufacturer looking for new products

    Dear Inventor --


    Market Launchers has just contracted with a plastics manufacturer here in St. Louis that is looking to acquire additional consumer products to sell in retail stores. We are looking for products that are "Little, portable affordable items that make your life better." Here are the details:


    • Products do not have to be retail-ready, because the company is a plastics manufacturer and can manufacture them. It should be pretty far along in the development stage, though.
    • The company will take care of the packaging so that each product has the same feel as the rest of their line.
    • The company prefers products that are patented or patent-pending, but they might sign an NDA in some cases.
    • PRICE POINTS: Product must be able to be manufactured for around $2.50 or less, and it should retail for $10 or less. If you're unsure, just ask me.
    • If you are already selling it in retail stores, your website or on TV, that is OK.

    The company is a new client of mine, and they have their own product line and are looking to expand it. If you think your product(s) meets the above criteria, then please send an e-mail to me (Paul Niemann) at with either of the following info:


    1.  Your web site address, and your contact info.


    2.  A description, including pictures, and your contact info. If you have a picture of the packaging, please include that, too. 


    Here's what you will get from me within 48 hours of your product submission, via e-mail:

    Either an "I'm going to submit this to my client."


    an "I'm sorry, but it's not what we're looking for."


    Either way, you will hear back from me within 48 hours. Thanks!
    Best Regards,
    Paul Niemann
    Office: 636-477-8000
    Cell: 217-653-7058

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Innovation Week features variety of activities

    The Saluki Times
    October 13, 2011
    By Christi Mathis
    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is celebrating Innovation Week with five days of special events highlighting the innovative spirit, technological innovation and entrepreneurship found at the University and throughout the region. The events, set for Oct. 24-28, include workshops, guest speakers, a technology and innovation expo and more.

    “Innovation is the cornerstone of American economic progress, and perhaps never more crucial than right now. Regional innovation requires new ideas, research and a culture of entrepreneurship that is supported by the community, the University and a mindset to achieve it. The events during Innovation Week demonstrate our commitment to maximizing our positive economic impacts on the region, and run a wide gamut of efforts from workshops, to descriptions of new inventions, and panel discussions by emerging entrepreneurs. These efforts are sure to contribute to a culture and success for innovation all across Southern Illinois,” said John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean.


    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Study details SIUC’s widespread economic impact

    The Saluki TimesSeptember 01, 2011
    By Tom Woolf 09/01/2011 16:03:56
    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- $2.3 billion.

    That’s how much Southern Illinois University Carbondale contributes in economic activity annually to the Illinois economy, according to a study released today (Sept. 1) by the University.

    Authors of “The Economic Impact of Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the Region and the State of Illinois” are Subhash C. Sharma, professor and chair of the Department of Economics; Aboubacar Diaby, a graduate student in the economics department; and Kyle Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park. The last study of the University’s economic impact was 18 years ago.

    “The authors have created a reliable and incredibly valuable resource, and I appreciate the amount of work that went into this study,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said, noting that many people across the Carbondale campus and at the School of Medicine in Springfield provided key data and information. “It documents the significant and lasting contributions that our faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees make not only in southern and central Illinois, but throughout the state.”

    The full report is available at .

    The study examines SIUC’s annual, or short-term impact, long-term impact and overall impact on the Illinois economy. It also estimates the annual impact in 23 counties in Southern Illinois and nine counties in central Illinois, for the period July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

    Southern Illinois counties included in the study are: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Saline, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson.

    Central Illinois counties included in the study are: Adams, Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan and Sangamon.

    SIUC’s annual, or short-term contributions to the state and regional economies reflect employees’ spending, students’ spending, University purchases and operating expenses, capital/permanent improvement projects, research grants and the impact of visitors to the region.

    Among short-term impacts:

    • Both directly and indirectly, SIUC supports nearly 24,000 jobs in the state and nearly $1.2 billion in personal income (a component of the state output).

    • For every $1 appropriated by the state to SIUC, it generates roughly $7.72 of economic activity annually in Illinois.

    • For every $1 appropriated by the state to the University, 41 cents are returned to the state and local governments in annual tax revenues.

    Long-term contributions reflect SIUC graduates who work in Illinois and contribute to the state economy for the next 40 years of their work life.

    The authors note that a doctoral degree will gain $2.9 million more than a high school degree over a typical 40 years of work life. For professional, master’s and bachelor’s degrees, the incremental gains are $4.3 million, $1.95 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

    Long-term impacts include:

    • SIUC contributes approximately $8.14 billion in increased expected work life earnings for its graduates each year. Since 50 percent of SIUC graduates remain in Illinois, $4.07 billion is circulated in the state’s economy.

    • That $4.07 billion in impact creates an additional $7.4 billion in economic activity in the state, meaning each year’s SIUC graduates create about $11.4 billion in economic activity (in 2010 dollar value) in the long run.

    • Each $1 appropriated by the state to the University generates approximately $38.60 of economic activity in the long run in the state.

    • Fiscal year 2010 graduates will pay at least $458.8 million in state and local taxes (in 2010 dollar value) in their work life. When compared to the $296.2 million state appropriation to SIUC in fiscal 2010, there is a net gain of $162.6 million to the state.

    And, overall impacts include:

    • Ultimately (in the long- and short-run), each $1 appropriated by the state to SIUC will return $2 in the form of state and local taxes, and will generate $46 of economic activity in the state.

    • Of nearly 210,000 alumni, at least 104,600 live in Illinois, including 44,752 living in southern and central Illinois, and 37,000 living in the 23-county region of Southern Illinois. Also, 2,436 SIUC annuitants live in Illinois. SIUC alumni and annuitants annual contribute $17.4 billion in economic activity in the state, and generate directly and indirectly $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. Their contribution is in addition to the short- and long-term contributions.

    In terms of the impact on the economy of southern and central Illinois, SIUC’s activities contribute approximately $1.4 billion, 17,707 jobs (directly and indirectly) and nearly $838 million in personal income to the economy of the 32 counties.

    In Southern Illinois, SIUC contributes $859 million of total economic activity, directly and indirectly supports 12,402 jobs and generates approximately $551.5 million in personal income.

    During fiscal year 2010, the School of Medicine in Springfield contributed nearly $332 million in total economic activities in a 10-county region. A total of 3,801 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) were created as a result of the School of Medicine, and its activities generated $14.5 million in direct and indirect taxes to the state.

    As a research institution, SIUC attracts significant external funding. During the last five years (fiscal years 2006-2010), the University generated $357.5 million in research grants. In terms of 2010 dollars, the report reveals that the research grants generated $1.12 billion in the 32 counties of central and Southern Illinois, and directly and indirectly supported 8,550 jobs and $548 million in personal income. In addition, over the five-year period, these grant activities also generated $41.7 million in direct and indirect state and local taxes.

    The authors also point out that SIUC provides extensive community service to the region and the state in the areas of economic development, health and social services, culture and volunteerism. In fiscal 2010, SIUC’s Office of Economic and Regional Development assisted 51 businesses in Southern Illinois start and expand; in terms of volunteer contributions, more than 3,600 students provided 50,965 hours of service to not-for-profit agencies.

    Additionally, the School of Medicine (SOM) provides a significant amount of community service through specialty and primary care at 100 outreach sites in nearly 50 communities. The school also offers public education programs at various locations concerning a variety of illnesses and injuries.

    The report states that “the most important impact of SIUC, which cannot be quantified, is the effect on the community through social and voluntary services provided by SIUC and SOM employees and students, and the SIUC graduates overall being responsible citizens.”

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    SIU Carbondale spin-out company receives $4.6 million venture capital investment

    CONTACT: Jeff Myers,, (618) 453-4511

    Carbondale, Illinois, August 23, 2011 – Enki Technology, Inc., a Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC)-based start-up company developing advanced materials to substantially improve the light absorption capabilities and performance of solar panels, recently announced the closing of a substantial round of venture capital funding totaling $4.6 million.

    This round of financing includes investors Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc., and Rockport Capital Partners. Applied Materials is based in Silicon Valley, CA, and is the leading manufacturer of equipment for the semiconductor, solar and display industries worldwide. RockPort Capital Partners is a leading cleantech investor with offices in Boston and Silicon Valley.

    Enki Technology was incorporated in March 2009 and houses its research and development operations at the Dunn-Richmond Business Development Center in Carbondale, Illinois. Dr. Bakul Dave, professor in SIUC's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is a co-founder and Enki's Chief Technology Officer. Enki Technology's business will expand on inventions that Dr. Dave developed and patented at SIUC.

    Brenor Brophy, Enki co-founder and CEO, said, "We're grateful for the support of the university and our investors and look forward to bringing this great technology to market." Enki is active in its commercialization efforts, working closely with industry partners and customers to fine tune its products.

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale fosters technology-based innovation and business development through the efforts of the Technology Transfer Program and the Southern Illinois Research Park. In the past year alone, this partnership assisted in the creation of three new SIU research-based businesses securing several million dollars in funding.


    Friday, June 10, 2011

    $40,000 contest open to student entrepreneurs

    Source: The Saluki Times
    June 8, 2011
    By Christi Mathis 06/08/2011 14:01:58

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is launching its first student entrepreneurship competition, offering winners a share of $40,000 in cash to help them start businesses in Southern Illinois.

    Collegiate CampCEO 2011-Saluki Operation Bootstrap is a unique event bringing together the inaugural entrepreneurship contest with a new college incarnation of the popular CampCEO and the Operation Bootstrap entrepreneurship experience. This unique experience offers University students the opportunity to brainstorm, innovate, study and plan real-world businesses and present their proposals for business experts to judge. Then, through the infusion of seed capital and technical support, the program empowers students to launch their business ventures in Southern Illinois.

    “This is a great opportunity for our students to jump-start successful careers in business,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “When you combine their talents and creativity with the mentoring provided by our professional staff and local entrepreneurs, the outcome can only be positive for our students and our region’s economy.”

    The eligibility criteria to participate in Collegiate Camp CEO 2011-Saluki Operation Bootstrap are simple. You must be an SIUC student, enrolled for the fall 2011 semester. You must be a U.S. citizen and must plan to start and operate a business in one of the 16 Delta Region counties of Southern Illinois. And, you must be available to participate in the entrepreneurship training and graduation/awards ceremony, set for Aug. 15-19 and Aug. 23, respectively.

    Essentially, the program works like this. The application period opens June 13 and students can apply to participate until 5 p.m. on July 22 by submitting an application online at For more information, call 618/453-3805 or email Plans call for selection of up to 25 participants and selection and notification of successful applicants will occur no later than Aug. 5.

    Then, the professional staff of the SIUC Entrepreneurship and Business Development Unit will lead participants in a weeklong entrepreneurship training Aug. 15-19 on the SIUC campus. Each morning from 9 a.m. to noon there will be training with a specialized curriculum. Then, following the lunch break, there will be intense coaching sessions from 1 to 4 p.m., bringing together the students with the entrepreneurship staff and regional business mentors.

    Camp participants will show what they’ve learned on Aug. 19. That afternoon they will make “pitch” presentations highlighting their business proposals for a group of entrepreneurs from the region. A graduation and awards ceremony for program participants will wrap things up on Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. That evening, $40,000 in cash awards and nearly $5,000 in professional consulting services are at stake.

    The first-place winner will claim a $7,500 cash award to leverage in securing additional start-up monies. The overall winner will also receive $2,500 in software, books and professional consulting services, bringing the value of their grand prize to $10,000.

    Second place nets a $5,000 cash prize along with $1,500 in software, books and professional consulting. In addition, nine program graduates will each win $3,000. All student entrepreneurs who successfully complete the program will receive certificates along with a package of business planning software and entrepreneurship books valued at more than $100.

    That’s not all, though. The entrepreneurship and business development staff at SIUC is offering continuing services to program graduates, including free consulting, evaluation, networking opportunities, and professional development assistance throughout the launch and operation of their business ventures.

    “SIUC is joining the ranks of prestigious universities by hosting an entrepreneurship contest for students and we can actually award them seed capital funds to start their business or to leverage into a more substantial loan or investment capital. We are working to help stop the ‘brain drain’ and keep young, bright, talented graduates right here in Southern Illinois so they can have a positive impact on our regional economy,” said Emily Carter, director of entrepreneurship and business development for SIUC.

    This new program adapts for SIUC students two popular and successful programs. In the past decade CampCEO has drawn scores of youths from a wide region for its intensive, nationally recognized youth entrepreneurship experience and this new program for SIUC students incorporates business development, training, financial advice, marketing concepts and other components of the program.

    Collegiate CampCEO 2011-Saluki Operation Bootstrap also brings in the principles of the successful Operation Bootstrap, an entrepreneurship partnership between SIUC and the Delta Regional Authority. The Delta region includes Alexander, Pulaski, Massac, Pope, Johnson, Hardin, Union, Jackson, Williamson, Randolph, Perry, Franklin, Hamilton, White, Gallatin and Saline counties.

    “Starting a business and earning a degree wasn’t easy. I used every bit of advice I could get, including all of the help available at the Small Business Development Center. A student entrepreneurship training program would have been invaluable at the time when I went through all the steps necessary to launch my company. Saluki Operation Bootstrap greatly enhances a college education, especially if you possess the entrepreneurial spirit,” said Ben Weinberger, SIUC alumnus and CEO of Digitalsmiths, a multi-million dollar digital media business that began in Weinberger’s college residence hall room with help from other Salukis.

    The Delta Regional Authority, through grants, is funding Collegiate CampCEO 2011-Saluki Operation Bootstrap in keeping with the organization’s mission of enhancing economic development and improving the quality of life for Southern Illinoisans.

    For additional information, contact SIUC Entrepreneurship and Business Development by calling 618/453-3805 or send an email to

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Saluki Concept Fund will benefit researchers

    Saluki Times
    March 16, 2011
    By Tim Crosby
    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Making the leap from the drawing board to the marketplace is sometimes the toughest hurdle for new technologies. A new program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale aims to help researchers meet that challenge.

    The Saluki Concept Fund will provide up to $20,000 to SIUC researchers to help them nurture new technologies through the sometimes-difficult early stages. The funding will support short-term, concept-proving research that reveals the invention’s potential, helping clear the way for commercialization.

    The Saluki Concept Fund is a cooperative effort between the SIUC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the University’s Technology Transfer Program. John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and dean of the SIUC graduate school, said the fund will help the University carry out its missions as a research institution, as well as support the economy.

    “Research universities are often called economic engines, in part because some of the research done by the faculty and students can result in new businesses and jobs based on the innovations of that research,” Koropchak said. “However, the process of converting an innovation to a business is almost always resource-limited, making this transition very challenging and often frustrating.”

    Koropchak said such an approach has succeeded at other institutions and that he believes it will yield results at SIUC, as well.

    “This proof-of-concept program, that has been shown to work at prominent institutions nationwide, is intended to assist this difficult stage and increase the probability that a successful business results,” he said.

    SIUC faculty and staff are eligible for the funding, which can last up to one year. To apply, inventors must be listed as an inventor on the associated invention disclosure. A review committee headed by the associate vice chancellor for research and with representatives from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Office of Economic and Regional Development and the Technology Transfer Program will make recommendations for awards based on scientific and business factors. Final decisions are made by the vice chancellor for research.

    Grant-seekers can submit applications anytime during the year.

    The funding will bridge the area left by a dearth of government funding, which usually does not cover early, “concept-proving” work on new inventions. But funding new technologies at that point can often make a critical difference in their ultimate development, said Jeff Myers, senior technology transfer specialist at SIUC.

    “It can be common that technologies need an incremental step to become licensed or commercialized, but can’t get funding from traditional funding sources -- the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes for Health or agencies like that,” Myers said. “Programs like these fill that gap, and they’re growing in popularity.”

    For more information, visit or call or contact Myers at or by calling618-453-4511.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    Firm picked for elite entrepreneurial program

    The Saluki Times
    February 25, 2011
    By Christi Mathis 02/25/2011 15:08:18
    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A business conceived by Southern Illinois University Carbondale students and launched with help from the University’s Office of Economic and Regional Development is the only downstate company selected recently as one of 11 new participants in the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s CAP 20 program.

    Rover Enterprises, LLC, is a mobile marketing company based in Carbondale. The business is among an elite group chosen for the Chicago Chamber of Commerce’s CEC premier mentoring program. CAP 20 is a component of the Cluster Acceleration Program that fosters growth in emerging companies by connecting them with resources statewide via educational conferences, networking forums and individualized advisory services.

    Cap 20 businesses receive resources and mentorship to help them achieve exceptional growth during a five-year period, with the ultimate goal of stimulating job growth in Illinois. Selection for the program is competitive, and during the next 24 months participants will get mentoring and planning assistance as well as unique business exposure opportunities. According to the CAP 20 website (, companies must have the potential to reach $10 million in annual revenues during the next five years in order to qualify for the program. Rover is the only company south of Peoria selected for the program.

    Rover Enterprises, which launched in 2009, offers RoverCard, a unique business discount card. Participating businesses pay nothing when featured on the card, which resembles a credit card. Purchasers pay $20 for the membership card, giving them exclusive access to money-saving deals from dozens of businesses in the region. Included is a “deal of the day” they learn about via a text message. The featured business gets a banner ad on the Rover website and a special RoverCard 18-foot inflatable balloon to draw attention to their business that day. College students are the primary card buyers.

    “Everything Rover does is designed to create a mutually beneficial relationship between college students and small business. We believe that mobile technology is the best way to accomplish this,” said Michael Rzeznik, chief technology officer for Rover Enterprises.

    The company founders were all SIUC students when the company began in 2009. They include Rantoul natives Brad Miller, a management alumnus, finance major Joshua Freeman and Mike Philip, an information systems technologies major from Wheaton. Instrumental in helping the fledgling company get its footing was the classroom instruction at SIUC, as well as assistance from the Office of Economic and Regional Development (OERD) and the College of Business’ Center for Innovation.

    “The Small Business Development Center, Small Business Incubator and the Center for Innovation at SIUC have been an integral part of developing Rover Enterprises to what it is today and will continue to be a great resource to Rover in the years to come,” said Maryon King, director of the Center for Innovation and associate professor of marketing in the College of Business.

    Philip graduated in December 2009 from Operation Bootstrap, a collaborative program from the OERD and the Delta Regional Authority to help new or potential businesses. The company even won $3,000 in start-up funding after successfully completing the program. And that’s just part of the valuable assistance from SIUC.

    “During the inception of Rover Enterprises, the Small Business Development Center helped with initial market research, business strategies, growth development and more. The Center for Innovation has been instrumental in recruiting and sponsoring interns for Rover Enterprises,” King said.

    Rover Enterprises is currently a tenant in the Small Business Incubator at SIUC, located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 207, in Carbondale. In addition to continuing expansion into other university markets, Rover just launched its new college marketing service, RoverDawg. RoverDawg is actually a free mobile phone application allowing users to log onto from their mobile phones, select an online coupon and simply display it at a participating merchant to get the special deal.

    “RoverDawg is the culmination of everything we have learned over the past year and a half. It is something we are truly proud of and we encourage everyone to give it a try,” said Mike Philip, chief executive officer for Rover Enterprises.

    And as Rover Enterprises continues to grow, it is looking for more help to make it all happen.

    “A company is only as strong as the people it employs. We are continuing to see more of the brightest minds at SIUC as we build our management team to help us compete in the global market. We are seeking talented business, marketing, graphic design, programming and journalism students to help with Rover’s rapid expansion as they gain valuable experience,” Philip said.

    For more information about Rover Enterprises or to seek a spot on the company’s management team, e-mail or call 630/847-8378. Additional information is also online at

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Free seminar to focus on equity-based licensing

    Saluki Times

    February 14, 2011
    By Christi Mathis 02/14/2011 14:35:20
    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Registration is now ongoing for the free seminar “Equity-Based Licensing for Technology Start-up Companies” at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Friday, Feb. 18.

    The seminar kicks off with a box lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Featured topics include an overview of equity, percent ownership and dilution and implementing agreements.

    David L. Gulley, assistant vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois-Chicago, will be the speaker. He has more than 20 years of experience in innovation-based economic development and holds various positions on industry association leadership committees and in organizations at the university, in Chicago, and at the state and national levels. He also has international experience as an adviser for governments, non-profit organizations and universities in France, Israel, Canada, Chile, Poland, Japan, Denmark and other countries. He is very involved with academic-industry collaborative efforts, research, science initiatives and technology transfer and will share his expertise during the seminar.

    Gulley is a double alumnus of SIUC, earning his doctorate in higher education and his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University. He also holds a master’s degree in education from Virginia Tech.

    There is no charge to attend the seminar but seating is limited and you must pre-register. To sign up, call 618/453-3427 or e-mail

    Sponsors for the seminar are the University’s Small Business Incubator, the SIUC Vice Chancellor for Research/Technology Transfer Program, the Southern Illinois Research Park and the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIUC.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Jackson Growth Alliance Announces Small Business Loan Program

    Jackson Growth Alliance
    News Release
    February 9, 2011

    A low interest loan program for Jackson County businesses is being offered through Jackson Growth Alliance. For the first time, Jackson County businesses have access to the USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) designed to assist new and existing businesses in rural areas.

    Jackson Growth Alliance has partnered with the Southern Illinois Coal Belt Champion Community Corporation (SICBCC) to expand the Rural Development loan program into Jackson County. Through this partnership, over $1 million in loan funds are now available to Jackson County businesses.

    The IRP program offers loans to qualified businesses with a maximum of $150,000 and a maximum of 75% of the project cost. The interest rate is 5% and the term varies depending upon the activity financed, with the maximum being 15 years. All loans will be fully secured with traditional forms of collateral.

    Eligible uses of the IRP loan proceeds include real estate acquisition, construction, machinery and equipment, working capital and inventory. Businesses participating in the program will be required to demonstrate their ability to create or retain one full time equivalent employee per $15,000 of loan funds within the first two years of the loan.

    "The Rural Development loan program has been a missing economic development tool in Jackson County," said Jeff Doherty, Executive Director of Jackson Growth Alliance. "Jackson County businesses now have the opportunity to benefit from the low interest loan program to help their businesses grow."

    Parties interested in learning more about the Rural Development IRP Loan Program may contact Jeff Doherty, Executive Director, Jackson Growth Alliance at 618-713-9210 or

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    New Saluki Concept Fund for scale-up research projects

    The following appeared in the SIUC Technology Transfer December 2010 Newsletter. To read the newsletter and to subscribe for future issues, visit Or, visit the Saluki Concept Fund webpage.
    A new fund will help Southern Illinois University Carbondale researchers and inventors make the leap from idea to commercialization.

    The Saluki Concept Fund, a new venture of SIUC’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Technology Transfer Program of the Office of Research Development and Administration will offer individual awards of up to $20,000 to support short-term projects designed to show that an invention has potential for commercialization licensing or as the basis for a start-up company. These projects – called proof-of-concept studies – are often needed to show potential licensees or investors that an invention, idea or technology will work in an applied setting.

    Studies of this kind are normally not funded by federal, state or other traditional funding sources. The Saluki Concept Fund will fill in the gap, supporting projects of up to one year that aim to “scale-up” research or show marketing and licensing viabilities.

    “Research universities like SIUC are counted on to be economic engines, in part from new companies that spin off from the patents invented there,” John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, explained. “Getting from a patent to a business has many challenges including finding the means to construct a prototype or conduct market research. This program is intended to bridge that gap and increase the likelihood that the best ideas can be successfully developed to create new jobs in southern Illinois.”

    Jeff Myers, senior technology transfer specialist at SIUC said similar programs have been successfully implemented at other research institutions, and SIUC’s program has been under consideration for some time.

    “The timing is right for this program,” Myers said. “We have an increasing number of innovations that could benefit right away from this new fund.”

    All SIUC faculty and staff are eligible for proof-of-concept funding, provided the applicant is listed as the inventor on the required invention disclosure. All awards are subject to the availability of funds.

    Information on the fund is available from the University’s Technology Transfer Program at (618) 453-4511 or online at

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    New SIUC Startup Activity

    From the SIUC Technology Transfer Success Stories Wegpage
    SIUC's Dr. Ken Anderson and colleagues have established Thermaquatica, Inc, a start-up company based upon their research in the Department of Geology, College of Science. Thermaquatica is working to commercialize green technology for the production of chemical feedstocks from coal and other organics. The company recently obtained the rights from the University to develop the technology. The research was funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Coal Institute. For more information contact him directly at or via SIUC Tech Transfer at