Camp BizSmart is honored to be sponsored at Stanford by Dr. James L. Sweeney is Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Professor of Management Science and Engineering; Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution; Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He served as chairman of the Stanford Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and chairman of the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research.
Jim, a sponsor of Camp BizSmart since 2010, periodically serves as a consultant or advisor to corporations, governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies, and law firms. He has served as expert witness in energy litigations in natural gas, oil, and electricity industries in the United States and in New Zealand. He hold a B.S. degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Engineering Economic Systems.
Jim, a leading expert on LED lighting, reviewed Camp Bizsmart’s 2014 winning teams’ Revolights product design, and loved the “clean and elegant design that kept the user in mind for simplicity of use”. He commented that the “marketing strategy to introduce the product at family entertainment parks such as Disneyland is a very effective way to give consumers the opportunity to try, comment and provide feedback so the team could hone the product and get it to market most effectively.” Jim was impressed with the effort of the team and wanted us to pass along a big “Good job!”
The winning product design (pictured below) and business case was sponsored by Revolights co-founders, Kent Frankovich, (MSME Stanford and Adam Pettler, MBA UC Davis). Kent and Adam are Kickstarter legends, and on Shark Tank acquired funding well beyond the equity ask, an unheard of accomplishment. These young and cool entrepreneurs are examples of the bright and innovative minds and contagious passion Camp BizSmart brings to provide real world business cases for student teams to solve, while creating a product design, prototype and pitch to investor and business leader judges in competition at Microsoft.
Each year at Camp BizSmart, at least two hot and “in-the news” start-ups who are doing amazing things inspire and energize our aspiring entrepreneurs. In a tip of the hat to our sponsor, Jim Sweeney, every year one of the cases is an energy efficient company like previous case sponsor, Serious Energy and Kevin Surace the founder and CEO at the time. Kevin, also a good friend of Jim, was named Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur with more than 40 patents who continues to share his secrets of success with our students as one of their favorite mentors.
Every year the inventions our students come up “wow” the judges who comment on how these innovative concepts, from fresh young minds are at least one or two years in advance of the marketplace. Aspiring young entrepreneurs at Camp BizSmart are truly creative and can explore the “what if” and “why not” of innovation, giving all of us a vision of the incredible next “new thing” that could be in the future.
Want to learn from successful entrepreneurs how to create products that can change the world? Check us out at Camp Bizsmart. Already have an idea that you think could be the next new thing? We have an experience for you!