Student entrepreneurs are building their own startups

A university in Potsdam, New York is teaching student entrepreneurs how to use science and technology to develop inventions and grow a business in today’s marketplace.


One university in Potsdam, New York, is taking steps to educate student entrepreneurs on how to use science and technology to develop inventions and grow a business in today's marketplace.

Here's the story.

Our job is to find inventions and ideas and help to drive the market feasibility of those ideas, identify a business model, get through the technological and feasibility side, build the prototype, get through proof of concept.

In 2010, Clarkson University started the Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators program.

Student business owners exchange equity in their company for tuition at Clarkson University.

Every student starts a business in their freshman year.

Students learn how to use science and technology to develop their ideas, then receive training and assistance in rapid prototyping, feasibility, marketing, Web and app development, and branding -- all those things that are traditionally leaded in a startup, tailored to each individual student and idea.

My name is Bryce Brandish.

I'm 19 years old, and I'm from southern Vermont.

I go here to Clarkson University.

I'm a junior chemistry major with a business minor.

And today I'm gonna talk to you about the black-ice melter, also known as the ISL System.

Growing up in southern Vermont, I dealt a lot with snowy, wintery roads, and my first accident was in the middle of winter, and I slid on black ice.

And I said, 'Now, how could I have stopped this?

What makes this stop?'

And everybody was like, 'Well, studded snow tires,' and I had those, and it just doesn't help you.

And I said, 'Well, what if it was just like driving on the racetrack again?'

And I said, 'Let's get rid of the snow, let's get rid of the ice, and let's sublimate it.'

And that's where the sublimating microwaves came in, and I designed a product that would sublimate all of the ice, snow, slush, and rain in front of your tires, creating a dry driving experience, no matter the day, no matter the weather.

Blue Sphere Industries is controlled-environment agriculture, so what that means is an enclosed building where you control the entire environment around the agriculture system.

It's closed off to the outside, as well as controlling all the lighting, watering, nutrient conditions, and the growth profile of the plants.

The pie-in-the-sky dream -- to have several full-scale farms filled with these, as well as selling equipment and trying to help feed the needy, the poor, feed the world when we run out of arable land to feed the population.

I am the co-founder of Renoun Ski Company, and we design and build a ski that is instantly adaptable for the conditions present, that changes its stiffness based on how you're riding and what you are riding on.

We are incorporating a new material in our ski, a material that's never been seen before in the industry.

And by doing this, it allows us to make a ski that can change its characteristics, its stiffness profile instantly, while you ride on the snow, without using any electronics and completely passive process.

So they have a hands-on opportunity to deal with sourcing issues and financing issues and even things like supply chain and managing their inventory right here while they're on campus to give them a chance to make decisions, to take risks in a more controlled environment.

These days, you can't build an economy around one village or one town.

We're not competing against Buffalo or the Mid-Hudson region.

We're competing against the world.

If you're gonna compete at that level, you have to have a cohesive, connected team, and this approach has given us that opportunity.

Entrepreneurship and small-business creation is absolutely essential to create jobs.

The creation of jobs is what enables a community to be sustainable, both economically and in terms of the quality of life for the citizens who will stay in a community.