Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Introduced

DALLAS, TX /PRNewswire/ -- Capitalizing on its 2008 theme of creativity, the NCIIA will host its annual March Madness for the Mind at the Nasher Sculpture Center—a museum gallery situated in the Dallas Arts District—on Friday, March 21. The event, to be held from 6:30–9:30 p.m. CDT, is an opportunity for a select group of the nation's top Excellence and Entrepreneurship Teams (E-Teams)—collaborating groups of college students, faculty and industry mentors who have received NCIIA grants—to showcase their inventions. More than a dozen E-Teams will display their state-of-the-art innovations during this private exhibition for conference guests.

"We are excited about helping these students bring their ideas from concept to commercialization," said Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA. "It is an honor to be part of the evolution of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs."

The NCIIA works with top universities and colleges to assist E-teams through the design and engineering process to develop useful products and establish profitable businesses. Many E-Team innovations have resulted in successful enterprises that positively impact society such as Corum Medical, which has developed a non-invasive, anemia diagnostic tool.

Some of the innovations to be highlighted at this year's March Madness for the Mind include Greensulate, an environmentally-friendly, biodegradable home insulation material made from mushrooms (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Flexible Prosthetic Vein Valve, a flexible, biocompatible and inexpensive valve that does not form blood clots and may help the more than seven million Americans suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency (Georgia Institute of Technology); Intelligent Ground and Structural Monitoring System, a sensor technology that can assess multiple factors simultaneously to monitor the condition of load-bearing structures such as bridges, tunnels, earthen dams and levees (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); and The Coconuts, using renewable resources harvested from coconut husks and shells to produce low-cost building materials for coastal communities within twenty degrees latitude of the equator (Baylor University).

March Madness for the Mind takes place in conjunction with the NCIIA's Twelfth Annual Meeting, bringing engineering, science and business faculty together for three Days (March 20-22) of workshops, events and featured speakers including creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson and leading international development visionary and author Paul Polak.

About the NCIIA
The NCIIA is an initiative of the Lemelson Foundation and provides support through grants, training and other resources to higher education institutions across the country to encourage invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. The NCIIA's membership includes nearly 200 colleges and universities in all regions of the United States and engages more than 5,000 students each year in taking their ideas to market.

About the Lemelson Foundation
The Lemelson Foundation uses its resources to inspire, encourage and recognize inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs to support invention-led economic, social and environmentally sustainable development. It has donated or committed more than $140 million in support of its mission to improve lives through invention in the U.S. and developing countries.

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