What to Expect During Your First EIR 1-on-1

  Are you thinking about meeting with one of our entrepreneurs in residence (EIRs)? If so, you might be wondering if there’s anything you need to prepare ahead of your EIR 1-on-1. While each of our EIRs’ meetings take on an individualized approach, there are some steps that each of them have in common. In our newest blog post, our entrepreneurs in residence have created a helpful outline as to what students should generally expect when meeting with an EIR for the very first time.

Bon Voyage Babs: An Interview with Our Newly Retired Director

  In our newest blog post, we sat down with Babs Carryer, our newly retired Director, as she reflects on her time at Pitt and the Big Idea Center and shares her fondest Big Idea Center memories, how the Big Idea Center has changed over the years, what her hope is for the Center moving forward, and what she’s looking forward to during retirement!

6 Ways to Create a Dazzling Customer Experience - John Henne, Fourth-Generation Owner of Henne Jewelers

Photo courtesy of James Knox, Pittsburgh Tribune Review   Henne Jewelers was founded in 1887 by my great-grandfather Rudolf J. Henne, two years before Pitt formed its first collegiate football team. For 134 years the business has grown and evolved, led by three more generations of Henne children, including myself. While remaining in the East End of Pittsburgh, Henne Jewelers changed storefronts three times. It became known as the Pittsburgh destination for engagement rings and wedding bands, and in 1999 it became an Official Rolex Jeweler. Today it continues to be part of the fabric of Pittsburgh, having served tens of thousands of customers from across the region, the nation, and even internationally. Being the fourth-generation and current owner of Henne Jewelers, I believe that our customer care has been the key driver in Henne Jeweler’s legacy, and is the reason for our continued success. When it comes to creating a dazzling customer experience, here’s my advice:

5 Important Characteristics That Your Big Idea Must Have

Big ideas come at the intersection of a problem that people want to have solved and an easy-to-implement solution. The solution is an equal, but often overlooked, element of this intersection. It is important for a solution to really work for the customer, and you need to spend just as much time testing your solution as you did validating your problem. If people want a problem solved, they will find their way to the best solution (and you want that to be yours!).

The Recipe to Building "Sweet" Partnerships - Lauren Townsend, Co-Founder of Millie's Homemade Ice Cream

Lauren Townsend, Co-Founder of Millie's Homemade Ice Cream   At Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, we like to keep it real. Real relationships, real ingredients. Building partnerships is core to our mission to #spreadLove in our community through the simple joy of scratch-made ice cream. Whether we’re supporting a local purveyor, local non-profit, or a local brand collaboration, we’ve always strived to be an asset in our hometown (shoutout: Pittsburgh makes this really easy!).

Making Magic: What My Disney Internship Has Taught Me About Innovation - Spencer Zacher '20

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney For Pitt alum Spencer Zacher (SSOE '20), this quote couldn't be any more accurate as he got to live out his dream of working at Walt Disney World as an Industrial Engineering intern! Follow along as Spencer shares his magical experience of what it was like working at the happiest place on Earth, what Disney has taught him about innovation, and what advice he has for those interested in pursuing innovation and entrepreneurship!

The Joy (and Power) of 3D Printing: The Basics of 3D Printing & What it Means for Entrepreneurs

Hi there, innovators! My name is Joe Slomowitz, but you can call me “Slomo”. I am the creator of slomo’s, a "Platform to Explore 3D Printing Together"!   Picture this…   In the future, you want the newest pair of Nike sneakers. Instead of going to a local retail store to buy them, you go online to Nike’s website, buy a file for the sneakers and then load the file into your 3D printer. Within minutes, your new Nike sneakers are made within the comfort of your home and are ready to be worn!     The example above highlights just one of the potential ways that 3D printers could revolutionize the way in which goods are produced, sold and consumed in the future. But before we go any further…. what in the world is 3D printing??