Tech students come up with entrepreneurial ideas

Photo courtesy of AdobeStockReading Time: 2 minutes

Most students don’t think a general education course will change their lives, but students taking Technology 1010 have a different perspective.

According to the course catalogue’s description of Tech 1010, students “develop an appreciation for how technology changes and what possible new and exciting technologies are on the horizon.”

Midway through the semester, assistant professor Pauli Alinchallenges students to innovate.

“First, we discussed the internet of things. Then, I split up the class into groups,” Alin said. “Each group was tasked with developing a concept for improving the way students interact with campus.”

In the age of groundbreaking technological advances, people can purchase a dead-bolt lock that can be controlled through a computer, tablet or smartphone. Most things can be connected through the internet.

“Some of their ideas were pretty remarkable,” Alin said.

A student in Alin’s class, Garrett Hamelin, helped design a campus-focused mobile application he named “Route Me.”

“The idea is to use ceiling mounted routers and local Wi-Fi to give students turn-by-turn navigation while on campus,” said Hamelin. “Students would either project directional arrows from their cell phones or an arrow would appear on their screen.”

Students develop ideas daily. Ideas like Hamelin’s “RouteMe,” could be used to benefit the campus community.

According to a March 14 press release, UVU students have spoken with representatives of Salt Lake City-based aerial lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr USA, about implementing ski lift technology to improve traffic on campus.

“If students could actually begin building our ideas in a central location on campus, UVU would really get that engaged learning,” said Hamelin. “I just need the resources and the time. It would be the best if I could get this from the [university].”

UVU does offer students some opportunities to fully develop their ideas. If students want to sell their ideas, they should contact the director of technology commercialization Kent Millington or Fed White, the associate vice president in the office of engaged learning. Requirement students must have in order to propose their idea is an administrative “champion.”

“Any faculty member can support students’ proposals,” said Linda Makin, vice president of planning, budget and human resources. “We, as a university, are open to both campus improvement and commercialization.”

Despite expansion of the school’s main campus and the new developments in the Vineyard campus, an innovation lab, a dedicated space where students can create, build or elaborate their ideas, is not currently in the plans.