University Economic Development Association

Awards Session: Talent

America’s SBDC New Jersey (NJSBDC) – NJSBDC: The Pandemic & The Pivot

Speakers:  Kelly Brozyna – America’s SBDC New Jersey (NJSBDC)

Early 2020, the NJ Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) planned to continue servicing New Jersey’s small and mid-sized businesses with comprehensive training, expert business technical assistance, and consulting. Then on March 4, 2020, NJ found itself in the epicenter of a global pandemic that literally threatened the life of every single person, and by extension, every single business.

It was clear that we were in a dilemma with no foreseeable direction nor end. And the NJSBDC was the prime resource to be able to bring help to the business community. But if we were to be useful, we’d need to pivot and shift into full gear to help get information and support to each business owner that we could, do it fast, do it from wherever we were, and make it last.

Within days, we coordinated formal messaging with our stakeholders, aligned a strategic remote working transition for all 33 team members, assessed current and prospective needs, and worked on helping businesses survive and thrive despite the pandemic. As a result, the NJSBDC network partnered with various stakeholders and helped 11,311 businesses stay in business, 7,870 businesses create or retain jobs, and helped the state generate $47,901,999 in tax revenue.

Learn more about this project here.

California State University, Northridge – The AIMS^2 Program at CSUN

Speakers: Julia Potter – Retired, California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is one of the most significant facilitators of social mobility in the country with a well-earned reputation for equitable and inclusive education and an exceptional faculty and staff who lead robust academic and research programs. The mission of the AIMS2 program is to increase the enrollment and graduation of Hispanic and minoritized students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUN, close achievement gaps between traditionally underserved and better served students, and improve student success. This collaborative multi-institutional program led by diverse faculty and staff from CSUN and partner community colleges has been funded by two consecutive Title III USDE HSI grants ($11.75 M). It uses a cohort-based model and high impact practices such as faculty and peer mentoring, tutoring, and student research participation to improve retention, graduation, and student success.

Beginning with transfer students from Glendale Community College and College of the Canyons and first time transfer students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at CSUN in 2011, the program presently in its tenth year has expanded to serve multiple cohorts of students at two more community colleges (Moorpark and Los Angeles Pierce College), and CSUN freshmen. An external advisory committee of experts and alumni supports students in the program helping advance their academic and career goals. Recognized as the 2019 Example of Excelencia, AIMS2 has improved academic achievement, transfer success, degree completion, career preparation, and research skills of Hispanic and minoritized students in the college, including many first generation students.

Learn more about this project here.

WiSys / UW System – The University as a Talent Engine: Fostering Entrepreneurial Skills & Talent

Speakers: Arjun Sanga – President, WiSys

By focusing on students, WiSys is facilitating award-winning undergraduate research programs, developing and commercializing discoveries through a shared-services model, and fostering a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking at the University of Wisconsin’s regional universities.

Traditional university research and intellectual property development focuses on supporting faculty, working to commercialize their inventions and discoveries. For WiSys, a nonprofit university technology transfer foundation, and the University of Wisconsin’s regional universities, engaging undergraduate students in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship is a primary focus. This has helped to energize commercialization of student-inspired inventions and to accelerate the transfer and development of human potential from the university to industry.

WiSys provides a shared service delivery model of research, innovation and entrepreneurship support for the 11 public, comprehensive and primarily undergraduate University of Wisconsin System universities. Spread across the widely diverse economic and geographic regions of Wisconsin, these campuses serve more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff who benefit from WiSys’ expertise without having to individually shoulder the cost of these services.

Prioritizing students as the primary constituency is a key reason why WiSys and the campuses it serves rank second in the nation among smaller research institutions in a major report on the innovation impact of U.S. universities. This student focus is also why the WiSys collaborative technology transfer model has been recognized for two years in a row for its innovative structure and its success in driving positive outcomes by the world’s largest university-industry association based in Amsterdam.

Learn more about this project here.

September 20 @ 15:15
15:15 — 16:30 (1h 15′)