PITA Fiscal Year 2010 Projects - Information and Systems Technology

Project Olympus

Principal Investigators: Lenore Blum, Babs Carryer

Project Olympus at Carnegie Mellon University (http://olympus.cs.cmu.edu/) seeks to bridge the gap between world-class research/innovation and economy-promoting commercialization by providing critical entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of the value creation chain. Project Olympus provides start‐up advice, micro‐grants, incubator space, and connections for faculty and students across the CMU campus and with the wider regional, national and global business communities.

A main goal is to create a climate, culture and community to enable talent and ideas to grow in our region. Olympus aims to create a dynamic regional commercialization ecosystem by:

  • Injecting an entrepreneurial culture into earlier stages of the value-creation chain;
  • Assisting students and faculty to explore the commercial potential of their research and great ideas by providing essential resources, education, advice and connections; and
  • Developing connections and collaborations that tap into the expertise and resources of both academia and the economic development sectors.

Since August, 2008, Babs Carryer, Project Olympus Embedded Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, and experienced entrepreneur, has been working with faculty projects to create new technology-based ventures in our region. Since that time, Olympus has been instrumental in creating four new companies, spin-outs from CMU based on faculty technologies, with a current pipeline of seven potential new companies. Olympus is applying for PITA funds to support Ms. Carryer’s efforts as Embedded Entrepreneur for the time period January through June, 2010. Olympus projects for the PITA-funded period include working with three brand new faculty-initiated startup companies, and potentially creating two new startups based on innovations stemming from the research conducted by the professors listed in section 2. The innovations from these faculty are in the industry areas of computer gaming, fluid dynamics, digital image search, cataloguing of email to government sources, machine translation, and other ground-breaking areas where there is market need and business opportunity.