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Skandalaris I-Corps SITE IGNITE Program

Thursday, March 25, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join us by Zoom for this event:

Meeting ID: 914 9070 7160

Passcode: 776967

The IGNITE program is open to everyone with an idea for a new venture and provides an experiential learning opportunity to show how founders build startups. The I-Corps SITE IGNITE program demonstrates entrepreneurial steps to increase opportunities for success and was designed to help anyone seeking to commercialize new technology. This session will focus on Product Market Fit Mapping: sharing customer interview experiences and insights.

You do not have to be in an I-Corps SITE program to attend. This educational program will teach you the foundations for success if you decide to apply for an I-Corps SITE cohort in the future.

Instructors: Mike Seper and Nakia Melecio

About Nakia Melecio:

Nakia helps researchers commercialize their technology in Biotechnology, Energy, Defense, Military Technology, Education, Government Technology, and Aerospace. He also helps them secure investments from a network of federally funded laboratories, universities, and corporations. Throughout his career, he has worked with industry, academia, and government. As a result, Nakia has a unique and deep understanding of the early-stage innovation ecosystem and technology transfer, proven scientific and technical expertise, and decades of operational experience in technology-driven, high-growth companies. He has successfully helped startups and develop businesses worldwide in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, and Ghana.

Nakia’s passion as a business advisor, deep-tech, deep-science mentor, and startup coach inspires and helps entrepreneurs and startups spun out of university research. A seasoned entrepreneur, Nakia allows entrepreneurs to execute on their ideas while guiding them in the total startup journey — from product development and selling to the government, to their go-to-market strategy and customer discovery to scaling a company and getting capital. He has worked with more than 700 startups worldwide, with more than 15,000 hours of classroom time working with entrepreneurs.

Nakia is an active member and mentor of the technology community and a frequent contributor to numerous business organizations, including the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). He is a longtime technology startup mentor, having served in that role at Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Institute of Technology, the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Georgia Tech Create X mentor, MIT Hack Medicine, DOD lab mentor, NSF I-Corps Adjunct Instructor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Hack for Defense Instructor (H4D), Defense Innovation Accelerator Mentor (DIA), and StartMe at Emory University. He also has a deep understanding of SBIR-STTR. He has been intimately involved with many new emerging growth technologies, including government, universities, and corporate innovation. He is a board member for several startups and is involved in two Health-tech Medical Device startups, which are actively funded by SBIR Phase I NIH and SBIR Phase I NSF. Mr. Melecio has a master’s degree in Education, Teaching, Learning, and Educational Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science, and a Doctor of Psychology Educational Psychology, Educational Leadership.

The National Science Foundation I-Corps™ SITE at Washington University in St. Louis is led by the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship and proud to be an affiliate NSF I-Corps Site through the Missouri S&T I-Corps SITE program. The new SITE IGNITE format has been designed by the Skandalaris Center at Washington University to lower the barriers to entry and expand the opportunity for inclusivity of all innovators and entrepreneurs.


Thursday, March 25, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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