Engineering Entrepreneur in the Spotlight Seminar
– A diverse group of over 60 entrepreneurs, wireless engineers, investors, high tech business executives, students and faculty attended the Engineering
Entrepreneur in the Spotlight seminar and Wireless Engineering Colloquium at Florida Tech on Friday, Jan 21.
The forum began with a tribute to the late Dr. Walter Nunn who dedicated his life to research and teaching of Electromagnetics, Antenna Theory and Wireless
technology at Florida Tech. A Space Coast High Tech Genealogy Tree branch that linked Thomas Edison and RCA to Andy Germano and X-trove, Inc.(via Homer
Denius, Ron Carney and others) was unveiled.
X-trove, Inc. based in Satellite Beach is one of the Space Coast’s newest start-up companies. It is a wireless technology development company delivering
innovative solutions for carrier class networks. X-trove is engaged in Research, Development, Sales and Marketing in emerging, high growth wireless
technologies Business Idea Pitching Competiton Winner Marc Bielak receives the FNBIC Award from Behram Bill Dalal.
including WiFi, WiMAX, UWB, 3G & RFID. “This was a unique forum emphasizing Entrepreneurship and Wireless Engineering – which is one of the core
competencies of the Space Coast area. We need to have more such seminars to make this Space Coast area another “Technopolis” such as San Diego or Silicon
Valley” commented Arun Handa, VP of Product Management at IntelliNet Technologies, Inc. in Melbourne.
“Andy Germano represents an emerging breed of Engineering Entrepreneurs. Research has consistently shown that engineers who manage their careers as
entrepreneurs, enjoy a much higher degree of career success and satisfaction whether in Corporate behemoths such as Verizon, Nortel, Qualcomm or in nimble
start-ups such as Tantivy Communications, WiDeFi Corp. or X-trove, Inc.” according to Dr. Carmo D’Cruz, Associate Professor of Engineering Systems at
Florida Tech. “Entrepreneurially-inclined engineers are more efficient, more resourceful, more versatile, they always see the big picture and are often
fast-tracked to upper management positions.”
“Andy Germano’s experiential talk on how he progressed through a series of part-time jobs, through Electrical Engineering and positions of increasing
responsibility in large and small telecom firms was a valuable lesson and a challenging career path for me to emulate” said Alex Cherian, a graduate
student in Electrical Engineering at Florida Tech.
The panel discussion on “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Emerging Wireless Technologies” featured Dave Kershaw, Deputy Director of the Technological
Research and Development Authority (TRDA), entrepreneur Andy Germano and pioneering Wireless researchers Dr. Madjid Belkerdid of Mnemonics, Inc. and Dr.
Ivica Kostanic of Florida Tech. and was moderated by Behram “Bill” Dalal, former VP of market research giant Gartner Consulting. The panelists discussed
entrepreneur support opportunities available locally and a number of emerging wireless technologies such as Wireless Sensors, Wireless 802.15 standard,
WiMax, Ultra Wide Band (UWB), Gen 4 Cellular, RFID, JTRS and others which aspiring entrepreneurs could pursue as they launch their entrepreneurial careers.
The Business Idea Pitching competition, sponsored by the Florida/NASA Business Incubation Center (FNBIC) was won by Marc Bielak, graduate student in the
Department of Engineering Systems for his C.A.T.A. (Computer-Aided Traffic Assistant) technology and product. He won a 6-month affiliate client status at
the FNBIC in Titusville. “All the student product ideas were very interesting and have a shot at being implemented” commented local investor Jim Thomas,
who chaired the judging panel.
The next Engineering Entrepreneur in the Spotlight session will be on February 25, featuring local inventors Dennis Lobmeyer and Dr. John Brandenburg and
their Plasmonia Technology for converting natural gas into Ammonia and Ammonia into ultra-pure Hydrogen. The panel discussion will be on “Entrepreneurial
Opportunities in the Hydrogen Economy”.