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Spring 2016 Newsletter

The Latest News and Information from UNHInnovation

Spring is finally here, and we are pleased to share news of the innovative commercialization and entrepreneurial activity we've been privileged to be a part of over the long winter months.

We are very excited to announce UNH's recent $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site, which will be hosted by UNHInnovation and will help foster entrepreneurship on campus and support ideas developed at UNH from idea generation to commercialization. Only a limited number of universities are awarded an I-Corps Site Grant so it really validates UNH as a place where commercialization of big ideas is supported and encouraged. We've already held some I-Corps Grant related activity and have big plans for the next three years.

As always, thank you for your interest and support of UNHI. Please read on to learn more about the latest activity from the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center, and find out how UNHI is continuing to foster and develop new university/industry partnership opportunities.


Marc Sedam
Associate Vice Provost of Innovation and New Ventures
and Managing Director, UNHInnovation
In this Issue:
$300,000 I-Corp NSF Grant
Summer Seed Grant
Lotte Jacobi Gallery at UNHI
UNHI Hosts Brewers Night
IOL Verizon Foundation Grant
Comings and Goings

UNH Receives $300,000 I-Corps NSF Grant to Stimulate Entrepreneurship

UNHInnovation is excited to share the news that the University of New Hampshire has received a three-year, $300,000 Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to foster entrepreneurship on campus and support ideas developed at UNH from idea generation to commercialization. Only a limited number of universities are awarded an I-Corps Site Grant and UNH joins just 45 other U.S. institutions to receive the designation.
With its well-established role in entrepreneurial co-curricular activities and technology commercialization at UNH, UNHInnovation (UNHI) will host the I-Corps site. UNH has an existing commercialization infrastructure that is highly coordinated to increase the likelihood that research can be quickly exposed to the I-Corps program. Through the award, at least 30 potential I-Corps Teams, comprised of at least a business partner, a scientist, and someone from the university, will be trained each year. Trainees can jump into the bi-annual program cycle at any point to explore the commercial potential of their discoveries through:

(1) Exposure to a four-week Lean LaunchPad course focusing on the principles of customer discovery and value proposition;

(2) A 10-week Lean LaunchPad course with exposure to the business model canvas, a tool that helps outline the position that ideas fit within a market, highlighted by regular interviews with potential customers;

(3) A demo day to showcase ideas; and

(4) Twice-yearly Sandpits, where multiple subject matter experts are invited to an open discussion on a general topic to promote interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary conversations. UNH hosted its second Sandpit, Data Day, on April 6th, with over 110 registrants interested in commercializing data-driven concepts.

Execution of this program means more than simply providing resources to the current innovation ecosystem. It also means a redesign of the ecosystem, which will increase interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaboration throughout UNH’s $110MM research portfolio and connect researchers to resources that will help them reach the economic and social potential of their discoveries. The goal is to see more UNH ideas in the marketplace and more UNH start-ups every year. The I-Corps award validates UNH as a place where commercialization of big ideas is supported and encouraged and we are excited to see what the next three years have in store.

Chelsey DiGiuseppe
Marketing Manager

ECenter's Second Annual
Summer Seed Grant a Success

“I want to work on my start-up idea this summer, but my parents say I need to get a job. Did Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have this conversation with their parents? I am so frustrated!”

Versions of this frustration have been heard throughout campus at UNH for years. That is how the Summer Seed Grant was born in 2015 at the UNH Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (otherwise known as the ECenter).

Now in its second year, the Summer Seed Grant is bigger and better than ever! The competition was announced in early March through a series of targeted marketing efforts aimed at reaching as many students as possible across campus. Winners were just recently announced at the beginning of April. A total of $10,500 was up for grabs to the best team or teams who had the most promising ideas to develop and nurture over a nine-week span during the summer. Depending on the applications and the judges’ decisions, winners could be three one-person teams, one three-person team, or something in between. Each grant winner receives $3,500, meant to emulate total wages from a typical summer job so students can focus on the start-up idea.

On top of the grant money, the Summer Seed Grant winners each get a mentor coach to help them through their challenges and roadblocks. Weekly meetings in the Alpha Loft at the ECenter will include one-on-one coaching by Mark Kaplan, CEO of Alpha Loft, and coordinated networking with the right people for each early stage idea. The winners also have access to help with marketing strategies and production from Raka, a digital marketing agency in Portsmouth.

This year’s winners include:

RAIDX (András Fekete)
RAIDX is the development of an expandable storage device for home and business use that automatically manages redundancy of data, such that a single hardware failure does not cause loss of data.
Project OASIS (Siddharth (Sid) Nigam, Paige Balcom, and Ethan Pirie)
Project OASIS' idea is to develop energy efficient, small-scale aquaponic systems that have the potential to grow food in any geographical location, year-round, in any climate, with zero chemicals, and with 90% less water than conventional agriculture.
They are utilizing computational fluid dynamics software to increase the energy efficiency of aquaponic designs. Sid, Paige, and Ethan are creating a business model to make the systems economically viable in developing nations, as well as in the U.S.

As director of the ECenter, I am available as an additional resource throughout the summer and into the next school year to help the winning students continue the momentum of what they accomplished. I am excited about the growing number of entrepreneurial opportunities on campus, and while other start-up competitions like the Holloway Competition and the Social Venture Innovation Challenge offer funds to entrepreneurial students, the Summer Seed Grant is unique in its intentional design to support and encourage very early-phase ideas through to more established concepts. Few dollars are traditionally available for ideas in that stage. The Summer Seed Grant is only made possible thanks to the generosity of the sponsors: the Wildcatalysts Network (UNH alumni with a passion for all things entrepreneurial), the ECenter, Raka Digital Agency, Alpha Loft at the ECenter, and Kennebunk Savings, who all recognize the need to support entrepreneurial-minded students and the long-term benefits it will drive for economic development in the state and beyond.

Ian Grant
Director, Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center

UNHI Creates Lotte Jacobi Gallery in
New Space

Just this past January, UNHInnovation (UNHI) made an exciting move to the recently constructed Madbury Commons, a mixed-use development located at 21 Madbury Road in the heart of downtown Durham and UNH. UNHI occupies the ground floor of the development along with the InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL), the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter), and the Connectivity Research Center (CRC).  Moving to a brand new location provided UNHI with a unique opportunity to design and decorate its new office space, which is programmed with intent to promote collaboration and multiple working styles, with a design like something you’d see in San Francisco or Boston. The space features industrial style exposed ceilings, architectural features like large x-bracings, long glass facades, and bold colors, but maybe the most unique design element is the gallery of large black and white photographs by Lotte Jacobi that decorate the hallways, offices, and common spaces throughout.
Who is Lotte Jacobi you might ask, and why did UNHI decide to showcase her work so prominently?
Lotte Jacobi was a Jewish woman who is an important figure in the history of photography. Descended from a long line of talented photographers, it was almost destined that she would become a photographer herself. Jacobi had a long and prestigious career, capturing images over an almost 80-year period from 1908 to 1986 throughout various parts of the world including Berlin, the Soviet Union, New York City, and the state of New Hampshire. She is famous for her black and white theater and dance images and portraits of prominent 20th century figures, and her photographs are notable for their intimacy and for the personal qualities that she reveals in the faces of her subjects. She also pioneered an abstract photo form called "photogenics," a cameraless photography in which she exposed photosensitive paper to light to create abstract images. Jacobi spent the last 30 years of her life residing in Deering, N.H. where she opened a new studio, continuing her own work and displaying works by other artists. UNH awarded Jacobi an honorary doctorate of fine arts in 1973.
Jacobi died on May 6, 1990, at the age of 93 and bequeathed 47,000 negatives, several hundred study and exhibition prints, three portfolios, letters, catalogues, documents, and other printed material to UNH. These materials are housed in Photographic Services and Special Collections at the University of New Hampshire's Dimond Library. 
As the unit of UNH responsible for commercializing the universities intellectual assets, UNHI works closely with archivists to license a number of these images for use in domestic and foreign documentaries, books, and art shows throughout the world. The revenue received from these licenses supports the maintenance and digitalization of the collection and helps to preserve these extremely important images. The new space in Madbury Commons provided UNHI with the perfect venue to highlight its role in protecting the collection and to showcase some of Jacobi’s most famous images, including portraits of W.E.B. DuBois, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Billie Holliday, and J.D. Salinger, along with scenic views of New York City in the 1930s. Visitors are welcome to stop by UNHI to check out the gallery and learn more about all the innovative and exciting activity happening in the new space.
For information about licensing the Lotte Jacobi images or for general questions about the collection, please contact

Mary Cate Flaherty
Marketing Intern

UNHI Hosts UNH Brewers Night

This February, UNH announced the exciting news that in response to the rapidly growing beer industry in the Granite State, the university is developing a number of new opportunities, including a brewing minor, an analytical testing lab, a professional development certificate program, and a pilot brewing plant, to help meet the needs of students and brewers throughout New Hampshire.
To ensure that the needs of the brewing community are at the forefront of the development of these new programs and resources, UNHInnovation (UNHI) recently invited brewers from around the state to visit UNH for an evening of networking, beer tasting, and an opportunity to discuss the progress and future expansion of the brewing curriculum and initiatives. The evening brought more than 30 attendees from 16 different breweries to join in on the conversation, many of whom brought samples of their best brews to share with the room. After an initial introduction from UNHI managing director Marc Sedam, attendees listened to presentations from Jon Wraith, dean of COLSA, who discussed the academic composition of the brewing minor and Chris Labelle, director of Professional Development & Training, who announced the first professional development course “The Business of Craft Brewing.” The final presentation was from Shawn Banker, director of the University Instrumentation Center (UIC) who provided more details about the planned analytical testing lab, which will be housed at the UIC and will join only a handful of laboratories around the country that provide testing services to the beer industry.
After each presentation, attendees were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts on the current plans. The subsequent conversations provided valuable feedback that will help the university as it continues to refine the programs and services.

For UNHI, whose many roles include promoting the intellectual and business resources and facilities at UNH, the new brewing initiatives represent the perfect opportunity to connect the brewing industry with those resources and build new strategic business partnerships. As the brewing industry in New Hampshire continues to develop, UNHI hopes that the university's offerings will become valuable assets to the entire field, filling a need for skilled employees and helping to drive New Hampshire beer tourism and the state's larger economy.

For more information contact Ellen Christo at (603) 862-5446 or

Ellen Christo
Director of Strategic Partnerships

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UNH-IOL Receives Donation from the Verizon Foundation

The UNH InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), a third-party laboratory dedicated to broad-based testing and standards conformance services for networking industries, has received a generous donation from the Verizon Foundation Grant. The Verizon Foundation Grant is dedicated to solving critical social issues in the areas of education, healthcare and energy management, particularly in underserved communities. This donation is specifically for growing the UNH-IOL Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach throughout New Hampshire.

The Verizon Foundation Grant will allow the UNH-IOL to expand its efforts and thereby impact a greater number of students. Outreach will primarily include engaging with young women who are greatly underserved in the STEM world. Every year in March, the UNH-IOL provides workshops for the Girls Technology Day event at NHTI in Concord, NH. This year the event has branched out to The University of New Hampshire, Durham Campus and Manchester Community College. “We are thrilled that we will be able to host activities for all three locations,” says Suzanne Snow, STEM Outreach and Development Manager for the UNH-IOL. “This event is tailored to high school girls in grades 9 and 10 and gives them the opportunity to explore careers in STEM through hands-on activities.” The UNH-IOL STEM team also plans to conduct outreach in schools that do not have programs and activities to engage girls in technology or innovation.

Stephanie Lee, Verizon regional director of government affairs, echoes the UNH-IOL’s STEM goals, she states, “at Verizon, we believe good ideas combined with powerful technology can help solve the world’s biggest problems.  That’s why we are proud to support the UNH-IOL outreach efforts to engage more girls in experiential STEM learning.  The UNH-IOL is empowering a new generation of innovators, who will not only be prepared for future jobs but will lead the next phase of technology innovation.”

The culmination of the UNH-IOL STEM efforts is the UNH-IOL High School Summer Internship. This six-week, paid internship program is for high school students entering their junior year with an interest in pursuing a career in technology. The internship allows students to work in a variety of technology focused areas to create solutions to real world problems, work hands-on with IOL staff and equipment and gain additional exposure working with industry professionals. Students who complete the internship develop advanced technical and leadership skills as well as a high level of confidence in their future.

The UNH-IOL has a solid reputation for providing undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience, which is funded by industry. The grant from Verizon Foundation will enable the UNH-IOL to create additional paths for success for middle and high school students who previously may not have thought about careers in technology.

For more information on STEM programs for students click here. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Suzanne Snow.

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Comings and Goings

UNHI/NHIRC Presentations

UNH Sponsored Programs Administration
Creative Commons
January 28, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel

UNH Department of Theatre and Dance
February 4, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: 
UNHInnovation and Intellectual Asset Management

UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice
February 9, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: UNHInnovation and Intellectual Asset Management

CEPS Administrator Meeting
February 26, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: 
UNH Trademark Licensing Program

UNH Law LIP 802: Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Global Development
March 4, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: 
Tech Transfer and Global Development

DRED Business Introduction
March 9, 2016
Presenter: Ellen Christo
Presentation: Make Us Your Business Partner

Alpha Loft Launch Series (Manchester)
March 15, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: Licensing

Office of Research Lunch and Learn
March 16, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: 
So You Want to Be a Center

Alpha Loft Launch Series (Portsmouth)
March 22, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: Licensing

AUTM Webinar
March 22, 2016
Presenter: Marc Sedam
Presentation Title: 
How to Learn Tech Transfer Without a Science or Legal Background

CHEM 698: Seminar
March 25, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel
Presentation Title: Chemistry Alumni Panel

Graduate School Seminar
March 31, 2016
Presenter: Maria Emanuel and Ian Grant
Presentation Title: 
Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship, and You

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UNHI/NHIRC Committee Participation

Live Free and Start Advisory Council
Marc Sedam

Live Free and Start Capital Access Subcommittee
Marc Sedam

AUTM Online Professional Development
Marc Sedam

Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) Advisory Board
Marc Sedam

Customer Journey Process Mapping Working Group
Maria Emanuel

Seacoast School of Technology Biotechnology Advisory Committee
Maria Emanuel

Alpha Loft Board
Marc Sedam

CEMS Working Group
Maria Emanuel

Policy Working Group
Maria Emanuel

Madbury Commons Site Planning Committee
Paige Smith

UNH Communicator's Network
Chelsey DiGiuseppe

Innovation Economic Prosperity Steering Committee
Maria Emanuel, Marc Sedam

Innovation Economic Prosperity Core Implementation Committee
Maria Emanuel

Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise Steering Committee
Ian Grant

Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) Organizing Committee
Ian Grant

Makerspace at the ECenter Leadership Committee (advisor)
Ian Grant

Entrepreneurial Minor Task Force Committee
Ian Grant

Placement Employer Development Working Committee
Ellen Christo

CRM Guiding Principals Group
Ellen Christo

UNH Corporate Advisory Group
Ellen Christo, Marc Sedam

UNHI Attended Conferences and Events

TechWomen Power Breakfast
January 13, 2016
Attendee: Maria Emanuel

Pathways Grant In-Person Meetings in Phoenix, AZ
January 15, 2016
Attendee: Marc Sedam

CrowdFunding Webinar (AUTM)
January 20, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant

Fill the STEM Pipeline Reception
January 21, 2016
Attendees: Maria Emanuel, Ian Grant, Ellen Christo
AUTM Board Meeting – New Orleans
January 26-29, 2016
Attendees: Marc Sedam

Hoopla Networking
Alpha Loft
January 27, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant

UNH Foundation Board Meeting
January 28, 2016
Attendee: Paige Smith, Ian Grant

AUTM Annual Meeting- San Diego
February 13-18, 2016
Attendee: Marc Sedam, Maria Emanuel

The New Social Entrepreneurs:  From Passionate Activists to High Impact Social Change Agents
CSIE Lecture Series
February 15, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant

Investing in NH Forum
Live Free & Start
February 17, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant

Pathways Grant OPEN Conference – Portland, OR
March 3-6, 2016
Attendee: Marc Sedam

Academic Makerspace 101: Successfully get from Concept to Steady-State
March 6, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant

AUTM Asia Conference - Thailand
March 11-20, 2016
Attendee: Marc Sedam

Alpha Loft Durham
March 31, 2016
Attendee: Ian Grant, Ellen Christo

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UNHI Sponsored Seminars and Events

Event: Catalyst Seminar
January 28, 2016
Presenter: David Kaye, Elaine St. Jean, Jonathan Kipp
Presentation Title: Innovations in…Interactive Performance for Leadership Training and Development

Event: NHBR Outstanding Women in Business Awards
February 9, 2016
Presenter: UNHI

Event: Catalyst Seminar
February 25, 2016
Presenter: Andrew Earle, Ian Grant
Presentation Title: Innovations in…Entrepreneurship at UNH

Event: Rudman Public Forum Series
March 24, 2016
Presenter: Ellen Christo
Presentation Title: How can the Import-Export Bank help local, small and medium businesses?

Event: UNH Brewers Night
March 28, 2016


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