Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset are keys to any engineer's success individually and to their contributions to technological and social progress. The Entrepreneur in Residence in the College, who reports directly to the Dean, is charged with working collegially with all faculty, administrators, and students to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The College is actively expanding the number of programs and activities to help achieve these goals.

EIE Events & Programs




The Entrepreneurial Senior Design (ESD) Option

The goal of the ESD program is to give engineering students the option to propose their own projects or work on projects proposed by Senior Design instructors that not only provide interesting and challenging engineering design problems but also include a focus on developing a product with commercial potential. This entrepreneurial option has grown and been a great success over the past 4 years. For example, this past year 3 of the 4 Senior Design projects receiving awards on 2019 Design Day were entrepreneurial projects:

  • Best Overall: Aquasist-Assistive Device for Paraplegic Scuba Divers
  • Best Innovation in Design: Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling
  • Best Poster: NewWalk-Improved Design of Mobility Devices

In addition to these engineering design awards, many of the ESD projects have won awards ($’s) in various business pitch competitions. Just a few examples of recent ESD projects are:

  • FRP Recycling (2018-19): InNOLEvation Challenge Most Innovative ($4,000) and Engineering Shark Tank Most Innovative ($600)
  • Aquasist (2018-19): InNOLEvation Challenge Most Viable ($4,000) and Engineering Shark Tank People’s Choice ($400)
  • Emergency Text Radio (2018-19): Engineering Shark Tank Most Impactful ($800) and InNOLEvation Challenge finalist.
  • DriGo-Rain Protection for Wheelchairs (2017-18): InNOLEvation Challenge Best Overall ($10,000)
  • Smart Street Lights (2015-16): Engineering Shark Tank 1st Place ($1,250); InNOLEvation Challenge (Spring 2017) 1st Place ($10,000); represented FSU in ACC Inventure Prize; and won state-wide MuniMod competition ($10,000).

Because the costs of ESD projects are paid for with unrestricted funds from the Dean of Engineering’s Office, intellectual property may be owned by the students. Also, funds from the College of Engineering and Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship may pay for patent searches and provisional patents in order to assist teams in taking the next steps to a commercial product.

If you have an idea for an Entrepreneurial Senior Design project send a description to the Senior Design Instructor in your department. Include the problem/need, technical idea for solving the problem or meeting the need, important background, why you think it might have commercial value, and other factors to explain/justify your suggestion.

You should also discuss your idea with your Senior Design instructor or other faculty members in your department.



WEDNESDAY, 5:30-8:00 PM, 3 Credit Hours: Open to both undergraduate and graduate students
Offered every semester (as long as demand exists)
Undergrad: FSU EIN 4445, FAMU EIN 4150
Graduate: FSU EIN 5445C, FAMU EIN 5930-3

Although this course is offered primarily to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of students in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, it is open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines. Being offered for the 19th time, the course teaches the process of creating and analyzing commercialization plans for technology-based products or services. Students form teams, propose technology-based ideas/opportunities and then analyze the business potential of the idea.

The course includes lectures, guest speakers and class discussions on such topics:

  • technology entrepreneurship
  • lean startup concepts
  • design thinking/innovation by design
  • patent and copyright law
  • customer discovery
  • conducting market studies
  • sources of financing for start-up companies
  • the business model canvas
  • planning the steps and costs to launch
  • lessons from successful entrepreneurs, etc.

Student Comments from SPCI Evaluations, F2014, S2015 and S2019:

Very applicable to real life situations. Motivated me to look into pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Great professor and course. Really enjoyed this course and I definitely learned a lot.

Communicated in very clear fashion…provided each student useful feedback…made course fun!


FacultyTBA, Entrepreneur in Residence and Professor, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.


For Undergraduate Engineering Students: Consult your advisor as to how this course may (or may not) count towards your degree requirements to be sure because of differing circumstances. Generally, it counts as follows:

  • IME: advanced IME elective
  • ChBE: non-ChE technical elective
  • ECE: non-ECE technical elective
  • ME: non-ME technical elective
  • CEE: an approved Engineering elective

EIE News



Entrepreneur in Residence & Professor

The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering reports to the Dean of Engineering and works collegially with administrators, faculty and students in Engineering and across both the FSU and FAMU campuses. The goal is to promote a culture of entrepreneurship that will enhance engineering students' education and their career options, while also boosting the commercialization of inventions from the college's research. The following are examples of EIR responsibility and activity:

  • Teach a course for engineering students, but open to students from all disciplines, on technology-based entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. The Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization class helps students understand the process of creating and analyzing business plans for new technology-based products or services.
  • Create an Entrepreneurial Option in Engineering Senior Design Projects. The EIR will work with each department to give students the option to select entrepreneurial projects which focus on developing a commercially viable product or process for their Senior Design Project.
  • Organize workshops, seminars and other special events on technology entrepreneurship. These are coordinated and planned with faculty in other academic units across the FSU and FAMU campuses.
  • Promote and help organize the participation of engineering students in commercialization/business plan competitions locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Encourage and assist faculty in commercializing their inventions, including helping prepare GAP, SBIR/STTR, etc. grant proposals to boost activity and improve success rates.
  • Lead the effort to establish an engineering technology commercialization lab and business incubator that could be used by faculty and students to develop prototypes of their commercial ideas and serve as an incubator for early-stage businesses.



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