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Centre for Enterprise and Law (2010/11)

Published on: Thu, 05/06/2010
Last Modified: Fri, 06/17/2011 - 2:16pm

$160,000 for 5 years

The Intellectual Property Legal Information Network (IPLIN) and the Centre for Business Advancement and Research (CBAR) have collaborated to propose a Center for Enterprise and Law. IPLIN is a community public legal education initiative on matters relating to intellectual property and innovation law. CBAR collaborates with local industry, community, and academia and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. No other university in Canada has blended students from Law and Business. The funding will be used to establish the infrastructure necessary to continue and expand this part of the University’s commitment to learning experiences while promoting strategic community outreach. Further work is being done to develop a framework that will consider institutional issues.

Update: November 30, 2010

Progress to date includes the following initiatives: Personnel - they have hired a coordinator for grant reporting, budgeting, website development and CEL launch. Sessional instructors for course relief in Fall and Winter semesters have also been hired; Programs – The Center has obtained a renewal for their YEP funding for 2010/11 ($75,000); obtained funding from Dobson foundation to assist Prof. Jill Urbanic’s industrial engineering students with commercialization; Tech Town initiative to continue with Wayne State, received the Award for the Most Innovative Course from the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and applied for a grant from the Canadian Bar Association to provide for summer internships for Law students to assist in developing a metric for assessing learning outcomes. With respect to networking and outreach activities, they are attending the USASBE conference in January and have circulated their December newsletter. Expected progress includes completion of the MBA/JD review and implementation for 2011/12; a research workshop in May 2011; a permanent Director in place by May; marketing and launch of CEL by Winter semester; renovations at 360 Sunset will be undertaken in the Winter term. Discussions with Wayne State Business and Wayne State Law will be continued as well as the search for grants and funding opportunities. A detailed budget was provided and anticipated spending to the end of the fiscal year is $160,000. No changes have been made to the initial objectives of the project and no unexpected issues were faced. The CEL has been featured in articles in the Daily News and the Windsor Star. In addition to this, they have received word from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade who fund the YEP indicating that they will be using CEL as a success story for their funding program.

Update: April 30, 2011

Progress has been made in the following areas since the 6 month progress report:

The services on a part-time local intellectual property lawyer to supervise law students in their CEL client-related work have been engaged. The search for the full-time Assistant Director position will commence in the 2011/12 academic year for appointment in July 2012. In the interim, two consultants have been hired on a part-time basis; one for marketing and promotion and the other to supervise the law students. An application for an OCE Experiential Learning Program grant has been submitted and will allow for the development of a second stream in addition to the current small business experiential learning program. The second stream will focus on the “Business of Innovation”– further developing an innovative entrepreneurial culture among our students enrolled in intellectual property intensive programs. Results of the grant will be announced at the end of June. Project Management positions are filled by students from both the Business and Law faculties.

The final round of MEDT grant money for the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) was completed with a successful YEP program during the fall and winter semesters. In the Fall, CEL students researched and presented a series of 3 workshops on the business and legal considerations in starting a business. The workshops attracted more than 40 new entrepreneurs from the local area. A mentoring workshop was also organized, allowing the participating youth entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with eight successful local entrepreneur/mentors. In the Winter term, CEL students worked in teams to provide targeted support to 7 youth entrepreneurs that included developing business plans, marketing strategies, intellectual property clearance, and business organization opinions. In addition, CEL students delivered a workshop at TechTown on Doing Business in Canada and prepared teaching modules for the Golden Future project in South Africa. Further to the Dobson Foundation grant and CEL’s desire to broaden their multi-disciplinarity, there was work done with Dr. Jill Urbanic and two of her students to provide them with business and legal support in relation to their final capstone engineering project. Relationships with other Engineering professors, Music and English Professors are being fostered. A successful Business Plan Competition was organized that received 30 business plan submissions from local entrepreneurs for which The CEL received good exposure and publicity through radio interviews (CBC Radio Morning Show) radio advertisements, the Windsor Star and the Daily News. The competition was held in March at the Caboto Club and prize money was awarded by OPTIC IV (Odette School of Business).

Research and Curriculum Reform:
A very successful workshop was held in May entitled Research and Pedagogical Trends in Entrepreneurial Outreach. A student enrolled in the current MBA/JD program has been hired to conduct the required research to create a report and recommendations on how the combine degree program can be revitalized. It is anticipated that the report will be ready by Fall 2011

Other activities:
A website has been created and is functional. A CEL marketing plan is underway including planning for an Open House in the Fall. There is continued activity in the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group in Entrepreneurship and Law and Francine Schlosser and Myra Tawfik will be attending and presenting at the next meeting of the Special Interest Group at the USASBE Conference in January 2012. The CEL events have been featured in Biz X Magazine, as well as the Windsor Star, and there is continued promotion of the CEL programs through these venues. The summer session of CEL has begun with five MBA and five BComm students, as well as two full-time salaried law interns. 18 projects range from providing a feasibility analysis for TechTown to producing a proposal for Ontario Power Generation to developing a business model for an open access law journal.