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Loyola University’s College of Business MBA Program Assists Homeland Security Technology Commercialization

By Loyola University on Thu, 01/27/2022 - 10:36

NEW ORLEANS (January 27, 2021) – Loyola University New Orleans College of Business proudly announces a new partnership with FedTech, a company that contracts with government labs to commercialize their technology, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T).
 
This spring, MBA students in the program’s Lean Launchpad course will have the unique opportunity to be part of FedTech’s Homeland Security Startup Studio, working as consultants to teams of entrepreneurs exploring ways to commercialize DHS technology. 
 
“The Lean LaunchPad MBA course gives students innovation consulting skills, as well as knowledge to support companies looking to launch new products and startups looking to launch entirely new businesses,” said Barbara “Bara” Watts, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola. 

“Our students ‘learn by doing.’  Through trend analysis, in-depth multi-market research and comprehensive competitor evaluation, our students will support the commercialization of real-world technologies. These are invaluable skills for startup founders, corporate changemakers and leaders of innovation, no matter what they do.” 

A DHS S&T program, the Homeland Security Startup Studio is designed to accelerate and deliver commercial and government applications of federally funded technologies that meet homeland security needs.  

This innovative program has Loyola students working hand-in-hand with lab scientists and inventors, to solve the real-world homeland security problems of government and commercial customers.

The students will identify new market opportunities and propose strategies for a given technology from a U.S. laboratory or research center, then develop in-depth market and competitor analysis that will serve as the foundation for the entrepreneurs’ commercialization and startup efforts.  This semester, 15 students will participate, working on 10 DHS technologies. 

Founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank, Lean LaunchPad is an internationally recognized entrepreneurship methodology used by the National Science Foundation and top universities such as Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, and Columbia University. The process focuses on validating market demand for the technologies by gathering substantial consumer feedback before introducing a product to the marketplace. 

The market research will provide direction for the customer research and interviews which both the students and entrepreneurs will conduct during the program.   It is expected that up to 100 potential customers will be interviewed.
 
The Lean LaunchPad MBA course is part of a deeply experiential and nationally competitive entrepreneurship program at Loyola.  Previous mentors for the Lean LaunchPad course include: Foster Duncan of Bernhardt Capital, Rick Babb of the Louisiana Fund, Chris Reade of LookFar, Aimee Quirk of innovationOchsner, Kris Khalil of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, and Adele Tiblier of StoryBlock Media, among many others. 

Since its start in 2016, students have worked with NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on commercializing pieces of technology created by Stennis engineers, and with DHS’s Technology Transfer Program, bringing new technologies to market.