Hello Innovation Pioneers,
Recall - recently we announced that $4.1 Billion worth of innovations had been created, communicated and defined in Innovation Engineering Labs as part of Innovation Engineering projects. We don't know if this is a good number or a bad number as we have nothing to compare it agains. However we are deeply humbled and yes proud of how fast the movement is growing.
Today I have more news on the growing momentum of Innovation Engineering. In this case it's about how students from the University of Maine taught by the Innovation Engineering faculty at the Foster Center for Student Innovation are making a difference.
This latest news is about the the University of Maine's Innovation Engineering Intern Program.
This past summer, the Innovate for Maine program placed student interns with companies to help them innovate using the Innovation Engineering system of tools and training. The Innovate for Maine initiative is funded by Blackstone Accelerates Growth, a $3 million, three-year initiative designed to provide Maine entrepreneurs leading start-up and existing companies the coaching and training they need to accelerate growth. The project is funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation through its five-year Entrepreneurship Initiative, which is dedicated to fostering innovation that leads to significant economic and job growth.
THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! - to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for your leadership, vision and support of Innovation in Maine!
Here's what the STUDENTS had to say about their experience
"There is so much about the summer that was good! Being able to work on multiple projects with more than one company was really exciting. I really love the diversity of tasks that were assigned in any given week. On Monday you may begin with some basic market research, be on the phones surveying on Tuesday and writing up a Business plan by Friday. The fast paced cycle through the concept packet really drives productivity.""I made a difference in people's lives. I was able to be creative and problem solve."
"My experience with the Blackstone Internship was extremely positive. I was given the tools necessary to be useful, confident, and successful. The company I worked for was respectful, helpful, and most importantly open minded. I was able to help a local Maine company to think differently and be innovative. I made a difference this summer to Maine and it's people."
"The Innovate for Maine internship was the greatest experience of my college career so far. It didn't only change my life for the time that I was in it. It has continued to change my life decisions and thought process well after completing it. I have a new perspective on all things innovation. I constantly look for new and exciting stimuli to aid me in coming up with new meaningfully unique ideas that apply to so many things in my life. I would not simply recommend this internship, I would urge any college student to take this opportunity! Trust me, it will change your life!"
"Internships are vital for the development of students at the university level. Not just any internships though, the right internships. The Innovation for Maine internships are definitely the right ones."
"I didn't have to freedom of Innovation at my last internship. I would be given a task, similar to one I may do at the internship, but as soon as that was done I would be assigned a new one. The beauty of the Innovate for Maine internship is that it allows the intern to act in a Fail Fast, Fail Cheap manner. Throughout their research they have to be constantly asking themselves, is this the fastest and cheapest way to solve this problem. Yes they will make mistakes but over all I think its way better for both the company and the intern."
"I was ACTUALLY used and given real problems and work to do. I have have other experiences at large companies where this was not at all the case. I learned more, did more and just had an overall better time at this internship."
"I may consider a career with the company I interned with and I wasn't sure that this opportunity was available in Maine."
In response to, How often did you use your Innovation Engineering training? "Haha I was hoping this question would come. I tried to use it every single day. Whenever I was stuck in a rut or had hit a wall, I would go back to the concept packet. It helped so much to have in front of me along with the list of common death threats. If there is anything that I would change it is forcing more use of the concept packets because they totally work."
Here's What the COMPANIES had to say
"A wonderful experience. Eye opening to see some of the things going on in this state that I didnt know about, and a lot of very valuable experience was gained, and valuable connections as well."
"Victoria was truly amazing. I'm sure she'd be an asset to any company. We've told her to contact us if she wants a job when she graduates."
"They provided a great service in putting interns together with companies. I did not have much insight into intern training (beyond knowing that it existed) but the interns all seemed very knowledgeable and capable which I suspect is a result of training."
"Will definitely recommend the intern program to others (already have done this)."
"Haven't used other interns but deeply appreciate the ability to speak a common language and to have interns who already know how to create Fail Fast Fail Cheap projects and collect data in support of actionable decisions, without needing me to spend time educating them about process. They keep me on track too!"
"The Innovate Maine intern that I worked with was able to design and complete a critical market analysis project without a lot of coaching. The quality of the data was key to making a decision to proceed with a new product. I would whole-heartedly recommend the Innovate Maine Interns to any company and look forward to using them again in the future."
IMPORTANT - Act Now to Hire an Expert: If you are looking to hire a real expert at innovation full time - the University of Maine has 6 students graduating with the Innovation Engineering minor this spring. To learn more about them contact the U Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation directly at 207.581.1454. Or call me at the Eureka! Ranch 513.271.9911.