For the 2019 Start-Up Lab, you will be tasked with solving one of the most tedious energy problems of the 21st century: how do I keep my phone from dying while I’m on the go? Your mission will be to create an innovative portable charging product that can re-charge itself using renewable technology. You’ll work with a small team in one of three exciting divisions to develop your product. And at the end of the summer you’ll show off your final product and compete at the E&E Start-Up Competition.
The Business division will be in charge of creating the vision for the product that the engineering and design divisions will construct. You’ll brainstorm on product ideas, conduct market and user research, and use what you learn to develop a concise strategy and business plan. At the end of the summer, you’ll pitch your team’s business idea at the E&E Start-Up Competition.
The Design division will be responsible for figuring out how people might use this product and creating a design to match that. You’ll conduct user interviews, build and test product prototypes, and use what you learn to develop the final design for your team. Once your design is complete, you’ll collaborate with your team’s engineers to build a final product that looks and feels the best way possible.
The Engineering division will be in charge of building all of the technical features for this product and making sure everything works. You’ll begin with an interactive lab where you’ll learn how to build a working solar-powered phone charger from scratch. After mastering the basics, you’ll learn how to implement some more advanced features: such as a real-time energy meter and a Bluetooth chip that lets you control your circuit from your phone. Finally, you’ll work with your team’s designers to build a final product that works like a charm.
At the end of the summer, each team will present their business plan to a panel of judges at the E&E Startup Competition. You’ll work with your team to craft a persuasive pitch, rush to get your product in the best shape possible, and select two team members to rehearse and present your vision. Our judges will evaluate products based on originality, functionality, and market viability, and the winners will receive a grand prize that will be announced on the first day of the seminar.
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