Photo Left to right – Program Manager Thomas Monaco, 2018 – 2019 Chair Samantha Snabes, IEEE 2014 President Roberto de Marca, 2015 Chair Ken Stauffer, Program Director Randi Sumner
By Thomas Monaco
On Saturday, 27 November 2018, at the IEEE meeting series in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada IEEE Society and Council presidents voted in favor of transitioning the IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative from an Adhoc to a standing committee of the IEEE Technical Activities Board.
In her address during the IEEE TAB meeting, 2018-2019 IEEE Entrepreneurship chair Samantha Snabes noted that IEEE has a rich history of members who have been founders since the organization’s inception, however, until recently programs to provide specific services for engineering driven entrepreneurs were not part of the IEEE strategic plans.
In 2014 then IEEE President Roberto de Marca charted an Adhoc of the IEEE Board chaired by Tom Rowbotham to identify and make recommendations on how IEEE could engage this growing, yet underserved segment of the organization’s membership. By November 2014 the Adhoc reported to TAB with eight recommendations including the suggestion to continue its work in 2015.
Ken Stauffer, Allan Tear, and Samantha Snabes would chair the Adhoc in the subsequent years and work to launch programs that would synthesize IEEE’s wide range of siloed entrepreneurial activities, engage with external organizations such as Alphalab Gear and Hello Tomorrow, launch the IEEE N3XT® Affiliate Event Series and IEEE N3XT® Stars recognition program, as well as deploy the IEEE Founder Office Hours Program which connects engineering driven startups to investors and mentors.
The IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee looks to continue the momentum of the previous 3 years in 2019 with planned coordination of activity with several IEEE entities and conferences as well as 2019 industry events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, Slingshot at Switch, Knowledge 4 Innovation and G-Stic.
In addition, the committee remains committed to providing vital forums that promote the discussion of emerging and disruptive engineering-driven technologies, providing services aimed at increasing the value of IEEE membership to young entrepreneurs and to amplify IEEE’s active landscape of entrepreneurial events and programming.