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NUvention Classes Featured as Best New Courses in Inc. Magazine

The NUvention courses, where students from across Northwestern work together in teams to form businesses, were featured as the best new courses of 2011 in the April issue of Inc. magazine, a monthly magazine for people who run growing companies.

“Most entrepreneurs possess deep knowledge of their industries,” the article says. “So why shouldn't entrepreneurship classes be just as specialized? That's the logic behind NUvention, a group of classes that focuses on three verticals: medical devices, energy, and Internet businesses.”

The first course, NUvention: Medical Innovation, was offered by the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2008. The brainchild of a Northwestern medical student, it brought together 82 graduate and undergraduate students from four schools (McCormick, the Kellogg School of Management, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and the School of Law) to develop medical devices and create business plans for the ideas. The students observed doctors and surgeons to determine where new devices and products were needed and were mentored by professors and industry leaders from across the country. When the course was over, the students had created several innovative medical devices and would eventually file 11 provisional patents.

The Farley Center has introduced two variations on that first course: NUvention: Web, involving the design and launch of online applications, and NUvention: Energy, in which energy research innovations from Northwestern and Argonne National Laboratory are developed into viable businesses

More than 150 students from eight schools at Northwestern participated in a NUvention class in 2011.