About Us: Frequently Asked Questions
Why an Enterprise Center at Calvin?
- The Enterprise Center at Calvin is at the college to leverage the experience of Calvin faculty, staff and alumni with that of the business community for the benefit of students, Calvin, the businesses, and God's kingdom.
Who benefits from the work of the Center?
- The Center was formed primarily to improve educational opportunities for students and provide an expanded development opportunity for faculty.
- However, as we work towards commercialization of ideas with third-party "partners", they benefit from the expertise of the faculty and the work of our talented students.
What is the relationship of the Center to Calvin College?
- The Enterprise Center is independent of any department.
- It is administered by an Executive Director who is appointed by the President and reports to both the Dean of Research and Scholarship and the Director of Financial Services.
- The Center has two advisory boards: The Business Advisory Board (BAB) comprised of entrepreneurs and a Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) comprised of faculty members. These boards advise and recommend courses of action for the Enterprise Center at Calvin. The Director of Financial Services chairs the BAB. The Dean chairs the FAB.
Can anyone use its services?
- Potentially. The Center was founded to facilitate the commercialization of Intellectual Properties (IP) coming out of Calvin College. In addition, by various means, it forms "partnerships" with businesses, alumni, investors or other interested parties to commercialize products and services that are generated internally or brought to the college by third parties.
What Calvin departments are currently involved with the Center?
- Initially the Center is focused on the Science Division which includes the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Nursing and Physics.
- We expect the Business department to become involved in the near future.
- Eventually we envision many of the departments across campus to be involved including the Humanities.
What would the working relationship be between myself and the Center?
- This relationship would be developed on a case by case basis consistent with the goals of the Center.
- We will attempt to clearly define the key relationship issues at the beginning of our work together.
Are there any costs to work with the Center?
- Maybe. The cost of working with us is designed to be effective for our partners. However, as market studies, patent searches, technology development, prototype development and patent applications are required, costs will be incurred by the parties involved.
I have an idea for an invention, how can the Center help me?
- Working together we can initially reduce the invention to practice so it can be protected by a patent.
- We can then pursue the research, development, prototyping and market research phases in preparation for commercialization.
- In many different areas, Calvin faculty has the experience and expertise to work on these phases.
Can you help me get a patent?
- Maybe. The Center has service arrangements with three Michigan patent attorney firms to assist in patent protection filing. If you submit an idea to us, conformity with our goals would have to be determined. At that point you would be contacted to determine a course of action that the originator and the Enterprise Center would follow. That may very well include obtaining a patent. The process of obtaining a patent is time consuming and often costly.
- The Center has a procedure in place to evaluate technology to determine whether it is patent able and worthy to be patented. Also we have a procedure to secure rights while minimizing initial costs.
Can I become a member of the Business Advisory Board?
- Possibly. The BAB is made up of successful entrepreneurs and business people who have a close tie to Calvin. The expertise they bring to the Enterprise Center is critical in its direction and processes. They all have made a substantial financial commitment to the Enterprise Center at Calvin. If you are interested, please contact us at EnterpriseCenter@Calvin.edu.
Can I be on the newsletter email list?
Do you have any literature available describing the Center in more depth?
- As we have decided to keep printed literature to a minimum, most information is on this web site. A brief brochure is available by contacting us at EnterpriseCenter@Calvin.edu.