ECE Innovator Program

  Bookmark and Share

ECE Innovator Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan has launched the ECE Innovator Program, which is aimed at inspiring and facilitating the commercialization of research conducted in ECE. The program will provide financial support to a team of entrepreneurs with both technical and product management skills.

The program acknowledges ECE as a hub of top-notch research and  innovation that has led to significant commercialization of the intellectual property generated by its faculty and students. 

The ECE Innovator Program is made possible through a donation by ECE alumnus and serial entrepreneur Rick Bolander, Managing Director and co-founder of Gabriel Venture Partners and eLab Ventures. ECE has matched Bolander's donation to launch the program.

2018 Award Presentation

September 21, 2018
3:00 - 6:00 PM
Johnson Rooms
(3rd floor of Lurie Engineering Center (1221 Beal Ave, Ann Arbor, MI)

Refreshments will be served

Please come and hear presentations by ECE researcher teams who are considering moving their technology to commercialization. Three teams will give more extended presentations of their technology and answer questions. A panel of experts will select the winner, which will be announced at the event.

The team named the 2018 ECE Innovator will receive $75K in seed funding.

The three finalist projects and proposing teams are:

Self-Powered IoT for Smart Manufacturing and Transportation (ActiveMEMS)
     Dr. Ethem Erkan Aktakka

Advanced Wireless Technology
     Ms. Avish Kosari, Dr. Armin Jam, Professor David Wentzloff

Large-Scale Ultra-thin Doped Silver Film for Flexible Transparent Electrodes
     Mr. Yongbum Park, Mr. Chengang Ji, Professor Jay Guo

In addition, one of the nine proposers will present a short summary of their commercialization plan:

Small Precision Affordable Rotation Sensors (SPARS)
     Dr. Jae Yoong Cho, Prof. Khalil Najafi


3:00pm: Introductions and Information about the program
3:15pm: Presentations by Finalist teams showcasing their groundbreaking technology
4:30pm: Closed Judges Panel Meeting to select the 2018 ECE Innovator
5:00pm: Announcement of 2018 ECE Innovator, and Reception

Panel of Experts:

  • Rick Bolander, Managing Director and co-founder of Gabriel Venture Partners and eLab Ventures
  • David Brophy, Professor and Director, Office for the Study of Private Equity Finance, Ross Business School, University of Michigan
  • Jonathan Fay, Dixon and Carol Doll Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan
  • Joseph A. Heanue, President and CEO, Triple Ring Technologies
  • Mingyan Liu, Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Khalil Najafi, Schlumberger Professor of Engineering, ECE, University of Michigan
  • Bryce Pilz, Director of Licensing, U-M Office of Tech Transfer, University of Michigan