Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Science of Santa: Understanding the Technology of Shipping & Logistics

The Science of Santa: Understanding the Technology of Shipping & Logistics
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season - What do they have in common? Shipping, logistics, and a whole lot of science to make it happen.
Join us at Science Cafe during our Year of the SmartState as we take you behind the scenes of how the world's biggest shippers use incredible math, science, and technology to deliver over 125 million gifts in 5 days
Advanced registration is always encouraged to save your space at each event.

We've partnered with the South Carolina's SmartState Program (S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence) to bring the top experts in state, region, and nation in their field. Head over to learn more about this month's speaker and venue.

Get excited, get your questions - And join us!

PS - We may even have some warm drink specials! Cider anyone?
Dr. Scott Mason,  Endowed Chair
Supply Chain Optimization and Logistics

With its deep-water port in Charleston, five major interstates and rail system, South Carolina has a well-established transportation system that has attracted major companies like and Target. Yet the supply chain and logistics industry is highly competitive. To remain a top destination for distribution centers, South Carolina must continue to enhance its transportation infrastructure.
Dr. Scott Mason, an expert in large-scale supply systems modeling, optimization and algorithms, is theFluor Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Optimization. He brings to the South Carolina and private industry partners, extensive experience in his field, particularly in the area of capital project supply chains.

Learn more about Dr. Mason's background and register at
When and Where

The Science of Santa: The Tech of Shipping & Logistics

Featuring Dr. Scott Mason

Flour Smartstate Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Optimization and Logistics
Clemson University

711 Saluda Ave. Columbia, SC 29205

Tuesday, December 11 - 6:00pm-7:30pm
Register Button

Monday, September 17, 2012

12 "Must-Watch" TED Talks for Entrepreneurs

By Mark Hayes
TED is a circuit of highly popular conferences that present "Ideas Worth Spreading" - which have quickly grown to become some of the most well known conferences around the world. TED has attracted presenters such as Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Larry Page, and a large handful of Nobel Prize Winners.  Many of the presentations, known as TED Talks, present ideas that are particularly valuable to entrepreneurs. I put together a collection of TED Talks that all entrepreneurs should find interesting and worthwhile.
Entrepreneurs can learn a lot by studying behavioral economics. Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather (one of the biggest marketing/advertising agencies in the world), makes the assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value. The idea that intangible value can strongly influence opinion (and purchase decision) is evidenced in Sutherland's humorous and deeply insightful presentation that every entrepreneur - certainly every marketer - should watch.
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simon Sinek is an author, motivational speaker, and strategic communications professor at Columbia University. Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership that starts with his famous "golden circle of motivation" and the question "Why?" 
The decisions we make are not only inevitable, but they're also extremely predictable. Dan Ariely is a behavioural economist, professor, and author. He uses his own shocking research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions. 
Be remarkable. Safe is risky. Being very good is one of the worst things you can do. Everyone has heard the expression "The best thing since sliced bread" but did you know that for 15 years after sliced bread was invented it wasn't popular? The success of sliced bread, like the success of anything, was less about the product and more about whether or not you could get your idea to spread or not.
Marketing guru and author Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. Godin has published almost a dozen best-selling books, some of the most popular being: "Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable,"  "All Marketers Are Liars,"  "Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?"  and "Poke The Box."
The food industry used to determine what people want to eat by asking them - as you may have seen in the focus groups portrayed on Mad Men. Fact is, people don't know what they want. Ask people what kind of coffee they like and they'll say a "dark, rich, hearty roast" - in fact, most people actually want milky weak coffee.
Malcolm Gladwell, author, journalist, thinker, gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce, and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness. 

Unilever (they own 400 brands, including: Dove, Lipton, Becel, and more) hired some of the most brilliant engineers in the world to design the perfect nozzle to squirt out laundry detergent. No one could get it right. So they used trial and error instead. They created ten random variations of a nozzle, and kept the one that worked best. Then they created ten variations on that one, and kept the one that worked best, and so on. After 45 generations Unilever developed a perfect laundry detergent nozzle with absolutely no idea why it works.
In this TED talk, economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. He asks entrepreneurs to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes. Check out Tim Harford's books "Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure" and "The Undercover Economist."

Entrepreneurs often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. Steven Johnson doesn't think it's that simple and shows us how history tells a different story. Steven Johnson is a best-selling author of seven books all on the intersection of science and technology woven together by personal experience. Johnson's book, "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation" digs deep on the topic introduced in his TED Talk above. Also check out his most recent book which is only available for pre-order "Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age."
Cameron Herold thinks weekly allowances teach kids the wrong habits - by nature, they teach kids to expect a regular paycheque, something to which entrepreneurs usually don't get. Herold's two kids don't get an allowance. He's taught them to walk around the yard looking for stuff that needs to get done, then they negotiate a price. In his TED Talk above, Herold makes the case for a new type of parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish.
Cameron Herold is an entrepreneur through and through. He's been building businesses since he was born - moved on to create 1-800-GOT-JUNK, now he coaches CEOs all around the world. His book "Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less" came out last year, and is a step-by-step guide to grow your business.
Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley (one of Google's marketing directors) is passionate about both. Using Newton's second law of motion, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method, and the second law of thermodynamics, Cobley explains the fundamental theories of branding.

The office isn't a good place to work, meetings are toxic, and ASAP is poison. In Jason Fried's TED Talk, he lays out the problems with "work" and offers three suggestions to fix a broken office. 
Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37signals, a company that builds web-based productivity tools. Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson wrote the book REWORK, which is about new ways to conceptualize working and creating. 

Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Sometimes using money as motivation does more harm than good - and people perform far worse when motivated with cash. Daniel Pink is a best-selling author, journalist, and the former chief speechwriter for US Vice President Al Gore. If you enjoy Pink's TED Talk, check out two of my favorite books by Daniel Pink, "Drive: The Surprising Truth Abou What Motivates Us" and "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need."
Why do people succeed? Is it because they are smart? Or are they just lucky? The answer is neither. Success Analyst, speaker, and author Richard St. John asked over 500 extraordinarily successful people what helped them succeed. He analyzed their answers and discovered eight traits successful people have in common. His book "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great" goes into further detail on each of the traits that are briefly outlined in his TED Talk above. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

EngenuitySC Coordinated with the Governor's School for Science and Math to Host the First "Columbia Experience"

EngenuitySC recently partnered with the Governor's School for Science and Math to host the first "Columbia  Experience Day" for 60 talented juniors and seniors.  This day was part of a  program organized by GSSM in order to highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, and Lake City.  The objective was for each student to develop an appreciation for the innovative and progressive spirit that is alive and well at home in South Carolina, and to inspire them to stay here after college.

Students who visited Columbia were given a tour of the city that included a stop at the Midlands IT-oLogy facility.  At IT-oLogy the group heard presentations from local leaders and entrepreneurs about why our community is so special.  Highlights of the day included: a visit from Mayor Benjamin, a presentation from the Executive Director of EngenuitySC, Neil McLean, a presentation from the creators of 52 Apps, and a special viewing of the Ignite! promo video.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fuel Cell Challenge - What can we do for you?

What's the Fuel Cell Challenge?
Simply put, the Fuel Cell Challenge is a chance for you to win up to $75,000 in research funding. Interested in learning more? Keep reading...

The Fuel Cell Challenge, in it’s fifth year, is a competition for USC students aimed at showcasing fuel cell and business expertise right here in Columbia. To do this, we have developed two separate competitions that you can participate in:

1. The Industry Challenge

Starting in June, we began talking to fuel cell companies around the country and around the world, and we discovered that they all had unique R&D issues that the smart folks at USC could help solve. So, we began looking into ways to connect those companies and their problems to experts in Columbia, and that’s how the Industry Challenge evolved.

Through the Industry Challenge, we will fund student teams at USC to solve real world technical and business challenges companies face in developing and deploying hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Whether it's work on the next catalyst for a fuel cell, mapping their regional hydrogen and fuel cell value chain, or marketing their product, the Industry Challenge is here to help. Industries submitted their challenges to us, and now we’re letting you read them and compete to solve your favorites.

2. The Innovation Challenge

Think you’ve got a big idea, but need a little cash flow to get it off the ground? That’s what the Innovation Challenge is here to do. We will provide seed money to help your team develop a prototype or investigate and prove the concept for a unique technology. The end product will be a business plan featuring your product or concept - presented to potential investors. Because we love entrepreneurship around here, we wanted to give students the ability to compete for funding without the specificity of the submitted Industry Challenges. Thus, the Innovation Challenge was established, and it could be the big break you’ve been searching for!

Who should apply?

Any team of USC students (undergraduate or graduate) can compete. All you need is a faculty advisor and the right teammates from various disciplines to collaborate and participate.

If your team has the brains and talent to solve challenging problems faced by companies engaged fuel cell market, apply to the Industry Challenge.

If your team is ahead of the curve with a next-generation fuel cell product no one's thought of yet, then apply to the Innovation Challenge.

Either way, get involved and apply for a piece of our $75,000 grant to make your ideas reality.

Want more information? Have questions?

We really want you to participate, and while we think a chance at $75,000 is pretty nice, we aim to impress. So get this...
  • We know applying for money can be time consuming and tricky, especially when you're a full-time student working in labs, reading 150 pages each night, trying to meet deadlines for your professors, and attempting to squeeze 5 minutes into your day just to relax and breathe. So we've limited the application to ONLY a few pages. Totally doable. 
  • We’ve also got a thorough website with an awesome FAQ page that will answer all of your questions on eligibility, selection and judging criteria, what to submit, how funding works, what your team should look like, deadlines, etc. 
  • Finally, we’ve posted this little blog to help answer any specific questions you have. If our website didn’t answer your question, we'll take it here, or via email at

Here's what you do:

  1. Submit your question as a “comment” at the bottom of this blog post. 
  2. We'll receive notices that you left a question. We'll take it back to our Management Team and get an answer back to you on this blog ASAP. 
  3. We'll post the question and answer up here in a running list for everyone to see. 
  4. If we don’t respond fast enough, or if you prefer the non-public route, email us directly at
How's that for customer service during a grant application?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

VIDEO: Get Your Knowledge Economy Fix

At EngenuitySC, we do economic development a little bit differently. With the help of member companies from our cluster companies, we use innovation and imagination to connect business, academia, and the public sector to grow the knowledge economy in the Midlands of South Carolina.

But what is an economic cluster? How does it affect me? Why do they matter? Great questions! We want everyone to know just exactly what it is that we do at EngenuitySC, how we do it, and how our member companies contribute to the growth of them. 

So we’re going back to the basics and partnering with CityTV to launch our new video series “Knowledge Economy 101”. In each episode, we’ll hear from executives from member institutions of each cluster to get their answers to those questions. Learn how we’re leverage world-class research, building the world’s most talented workforce, cultivating an entrepreneurial environment, and enhancing Columbia’s competitive advantage (sound familiar?) to cultivate our region’s prosperity and job growth opportunities. 

Ready to dive in? We kicked off the first segment of our series, featuring Steve Byrne, Chief Operating Officer at SCE&G and Co-Chair for NuHub, an initiative by EngenuitySC to build on the Midlands' nuclear rennaissaince, and Dr. Barrie Kirk, Vice President for Continuing Education & Economic Development at Midlands Technical College. They’ll talk job growth and opportunities in nuclear energy in the Midlands of South Carolina, tell you about EngenuitySC’s latest initiative NuHub, and share a bit about how each of their organizations are driving initiatives of the nuclear renaissance in South Carolina.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Help Make "The Gamecock Mixtape" Happen

Remember those guys from last fall who made that Spurrier Rap video? Then the videos for our Ignite 2011 celebration with our co-chairs (President Pastides and Mayor Steve Benjamin)? Oh right, and then the South Carolina Rap?

They're back again.

Dinobrite Productions is asking for donations to their latest project the "The Gamecock Mixtape." Help make this album happen by donating to their Kickstarter now! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Intellectual Property Law Bulletin

The Venture Capitalist Said "Protectable IP"
By Michael A Mann

He wanted protectable  intellectual property.  The venture capitalist didn't say protected  IP or protective IP, just protectable IP.  Was that sarcasm or was he distinguishing among types of intellectual property?:  protectable versus unprotectable.   “Unprotectable” sounds like the title of a movie starring Charles Bronson. 
Maybe he was suggesting that he wanted patentable inventions so he could apply for exclusive rights from a government, rather than, say, know-how.  There are no “know-how patents” (although governments do grant rights for some types of know-how, such as non-exclusive licenses for the practice of law or for cutting hair). 
Still, I stumbled over “protectable” not only with intellectual property but with any property including tangible personal property and real estate.  When I go to a clothing store, I don’t ask to buy a protectable tie (but my clothier will gladly spray my ties with SCOTCHGARD brand grease and oil repellant).  When I bought a house, I didn’t think to ask for a protectable one.  I did require one with clear title but not protection against eminent domain, foreclosure or a tornado.
Furthermore, my home security service will not protect my home, it will only tell me that my house has been broken into or is on fire.  It won’t stop the burglars or render my house fire-proof.  My security service will not even tell the burglars through an intercom to “please leave the premises now!” or “please sit on the front porch quietly until the police arrive!”...
Read the full article at Nexsen Pruet. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meet Our Newest Executive Committee Member Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti

A Video Podcast with Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina, VP Research

Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, VP of Research at the University of South Carolina, has set an ambitious goal of increasing the level of research at the university from $225M to over $300M a year. What economic impact would achieving this goal have on the local economy? What strategies do you put in place to attract more research dollars?

Friday, June 22, 2012

From Mathematics to Materials to Fuel Cells

From Mathematics to Materials to Fuel Cells
By Steven Powell, Science and Technologies Correspondent, University of South Carolina

                             Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider receives award from University first lady Patricia Moore-Pastides. 

Ken Reifsnider's bachelor's degree in mathematics has helped drive the course of a professional career that began with a doctorate from Johns Hopkins in metallurgy and solid mechanics.

"For some years, I was heavier into the mechanical side of things," he said. "One reason is that I was looking for mathematical rigor, and to be completely frank, for thirty years after I graduated there wasn't a great deal of it in the materials community. It was all about what kind of magic dust you could find this week, and what it could do."

With the development of better analytical methods, Reifsnider broadened his research beyond mechanics by preparing fuel cells for NASA in 1989. In 2008 he came to USC to create the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell program.

In just those four-and-a-half years, he's brought in more than $25 million in outside funding as a principal or co-principal investigator. Publishing more than 25 research articles in the same period helped garner the 2012 Russell Research Award in Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

Established by Judge Donald S. Russell in 1957 to recognize faculty for outstanding research and scholarship, the Russell Research Award was given annually to one scholar from 1957 to 1965, and to two scholars since 1966 (one for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, and one for Humanities and Social Sciences). Reifsnider received a $3,000 prize and was recognized at a ceremony in the Hollings library on April 25.

But a mathematics background notwithstanding, it's not just about the numbers for him. "I like very much to build things, and I care very much about young faculty members," Reifsnider said.

"The opportunity I was given was probably unique in the United States. I find it remarkable that the university is still maintaining an initiative that involves adding faculty members, building buildings, and creating new research groups across the university."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Telemedicine and Strokes: Saving South Carolinians Through Innovation in Technology Featuring Dr. Souvik Sen

Science Cafe celebrates Stroke Awareness Month with neurologist, SmartState Endowed Chair, and head of the Palmetto Health's Stroke Center as he shares his work with telestroke emergency services.
Telemedicine and Strokes:Saving South Carolinians Through Innovation in Technology
Featuring Dr. Souvik Sen

Tuesday, June 12 - 6:00-7:30 pm
Capital City Club, 1201 Main St.
Registration, Directions, and Parking available at  

Join us as we celebrate National Stroke Awareness Month. We're bringing you Dr. Souvik Sen from Palmetto Health Richland and South Carolina CoEE Endowed Chairin Stroke Neurology at the University of South Carolina. Sen will share his work on telestroke, an innovative method of connecting doctors to stroke victims in rural or isolated communities, preventing tens of hundreds of deaths. 
Advanced registration is strongly encouraged for this month's topic in order to start earning points towards our new loyalty program which will be unveiled in the fall. 

What is a stroke? How can we protect ourselves?

Astroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is characterized by rapid loss of brain functions due to a disturbance of blood supply to the brain.  This can be caused by lack of blood flow or the leakage of blood within the brain.

As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function which may cause the inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, the inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see from one side of the visual field. Strokes are a medical emergency that can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and even death.

Strokes are the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death world wide. However, there is a silver lining. Up to eighty percent of all strokes can be prevented.

Dr. Sen and his staff at Palmetto Health are utilizing cutting-edge technology to reduce fatalities, particularly to those in isolated regions.

Who is Dr. Sen? 
Dr. Souvik Sen is an internationally renowned neurologist, the head of Palmetto Health's Stroke Center, and the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Sen joined the Palmetto Health team to help develop a stroke center to serve the Midlands of South Carolina, where there was previously a significant gap in stroke care. He is currently working with the Center of Economic Excellence in Stroke through South Carolina's SmartState program as an endowed chair to set up a clinical and research team to provide advanced stroke care for the people of the Midlands. He is working to establish a certified stroke center in the region which will include national and international research.

Come learn what the intersection of technology and medicine has to offer...

Tuesday, June 12 600-7:30pm
Capital City Club, 1201 Main St.
Registration, Directions, and Parking available at

Copyright © 2012 EngenuitySC, All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May 2012 - EngenuitySC Goes Global

EngenuitySC Goes Global with Fuel Cell Collaborative heading to Toronto, the Cola Metropolitan Airport leading international freight, and Palmetto-Richland Hospital savings lives with its unique stroke care methods.
May 2012 - EngenuitySC Goes Global
This month, EngenuitySC takes a look at Columbia's stories with global impact on the world at large, including Intellectial property, international cargo at our metropolitan airport, and Columbia's fuel cell economy on the international stage. Like what you hear or think we're missing something? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Moore School and College of Engineering Take on Corporate IP 
The Darla Moore School of Business and the College of Engineering and Computing have joined forces with the National IP Taskforce to host an international executive briefing on the Effects of IP on Corporate Performance.  Featured speakers include Bill Coughlin, President of Ford Global Technologies, and Steve Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.  Speakers will discuss strategies corporate management can use to protect intangible assets and dramatically increase financial returns and overall sustained, defensible value of an enterprise.
Effects of IP on Corporate Performance
June 14-15, 2012
Wild Dunes
Isle Of Palms, Charleson

The Fuel Cell Collaborative Challenges Global Fuel Cell Industry

The USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative travels to Toronto June 3-7 for the 19th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, one of the largest global conferences for hydrogen and fuel cell professionals visiting North America. The Collaborative will kick-off the latest installment of its signature competition, the Fuel Cell Challenge, a competition design to partner the University of South Carolina's innovation with the growing hydrogen and fuel cell economy. If you're attending the conference, join the Collaborative as we launch the Challenge Tuesday, June 5th at the 10am Networking Break. Details and news to come Tuesday, June 5th.

WHEC 2012
June 3-7, 2012
Sheraton, Downtown Toronto
Booth #512
Fuel Cell Challenge Launch - Tuesday, May 5 - 10am

Knowledge Economy Events

Business at SunriseMay 24 7:30-9:00am, Pure Power Technologies
The SC-Israeli Experience: How the Midlands Can Benefit:June 7, 12pm-2pm, Columbia Marriott Hotel
2012 Enterprise Computing Community Conference: June 11-12, IT-oLogy
Science Cafe: June 12 6:00-7:30pm, Capital City Club
Tech Ater Five #122June 13 5:30-7:30pm, Carolina Ale House
Girls in Science Day: June 14 12:00-4:00pm, South Carolina State Museum
SC Google Technology Users GroupJune 19 6:00pm, IT-oLogy

3rd Annual Nuclear Power Upgrade Conference

Nuclear Energy Insider hosts the 3rd Annual Nuclear Power Uprate Conference June 20-21 at the Hilton Charlotte Executive Park, NC. EngenuitySC and NuHub subscribers can Registerusing the codeNUHUB300 to save $300 off registration. Space and discounts are limited for one of the world's leading conference series. 
Cargo Business Taking Off at Region's Airports

The air cargo business appears to be on the upswing as most major airports across the Southeast report increases in the amount of freight handled for March and the first quarter.
Cargo traffic often offers a fairly accurate measure of how the economy is doing, said Dan Mann, executive director of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina.

“Cargo is usually a leading indicator,” Mann said. “I think, regionally, cargo is doing very, very well.”

All but one of the region’s major airports surveyed for this report posted increases in freight traffic for the first three months of 2012.

Read the full story

SBA Honors Columbia Firm for Innovation

Columbia-based Sensor Electronic Technology, or SETi, has been cited by the U.S. Small Business Administration for its role in research and development for the federal government, driving innovation and creating new jobs.

The company received the Tibbetts Award Tuesday for participating in the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program during a White House ceremony.

“Creating an economy built to last requires redoubling our commitment to supporting innovative entrepreneurs like those we honor with Tibbetts Awards,” said Karen Mills, SBA administrator.

SETi, which launched as a startup in 2002, is a leading maker of ultraviolet light emitting diodes.

Read the full story at   
Save the Date

Next Science Cafe Columbia
June 12, 2012
Capital City Club 

A representative fromPalmetto Health will join us to speak at the next     about strokes as Americans close out National Stroke Awarness Month (May).  This is a Cafe that you wont want to miss! Register online before the event to qualify for our loyalty rewards program! We'll be unveiling details on the program this fall, but you can start earning credit today.

Science Cafe Columbia is South Carolina's onlyofficially registered gathering. We encourage all in the community, particularly the curious and the entrepreneurially-driven, to join us each month as we unveil the latest innovation form deep within the labs at the University of South Carolina.
Copyright © 2012 EngenuitySC, All rights reserved.
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