Title: Professional inventor,
corporate rebel, small business advocate, University of Maine
Research focus: Entrepreneurship and invention
Years at UMaine: Four as an undergraduate majoring in
Milestones: Master Marketing Inventor with Procter & Gamble;
founder of Eureka! Ranch, which has been named America's No. 1 Idea
Team by Inc. magazine,
A&E Top 10 and CIO magazine; panelist on ABC TV's American Inventor
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Question: How do you view the new Student
Innovation Center that opened this past fall on campus?
Answer: This is a place where ideas and
entrepreneurship come together, where education fuels dreams and where
creativity will intersect with capitalism. It's a place where optimistic
radicals and revolutionaries — bold and brave thinkers — will gather to
solve the world's problems. The purpose of the center is to facilitate
ideas, insights and inspiration to support these revolutionaries who
will invent meaningful solutions to the challenges before us — from
global warming to our dependence on oil, from diabetes and obesity to
our falling to 16th in the world in the levels of new scientists and
Question: You helped conceptualize the Innovation Engineering
Program and the Student Innovation Center. What will be your ongoing
Answer: I and my Eureka! Ranch team will
provide mentoring, testing and research, workshops and seminars. The
Student Innovation Center will be the best in the world, offering
invention team support, business incubation, mentoring and even a
living/learning community in a residence hall. Anyone with an idea,
primarily students, as well as faculty and members of the community, can
come to get insights and inspiration to turn their dreams into reality.
Question: How does the philosophy behind the Student Innovation
Center dovetail into the innovation engineering initiative at UMaine?
Answer: Innovation engineering began in 2005
as an interdisciplinary studies course, designed to help students
develop a systematic engineering approach to inventing, evaluating and
selling innovative ideas with commercial viability. Innovation
engineering is now trademarked as a branded educational program of the
University of Maine. My dream is that people from around the world will
come to the center, home of the Innovation Engineering Program, to
learn, become certified and trained.
Question: Why are student innovation and entrepreneurship so
Answer: What drives creativity is education.
But in today's world, it's not enough to just have knowledge; you've got
to be able to apply it. Patents are given to entrepreneurs who have the
power and courage to break the rules and make a difference in the world.
Change is good. What we must do is give ideas, insight and inspiration
to the change agents — the optimistic revolutionaries — with the courage
to transform problems into opportunities to make a better university,
state, nation and planet.