The two-and-a-half day workshop, called “The Entrepreneurial Mindset – Maximizing Faculty Impact,” split participating faculty members into teams guided by entrepreneurship educators from across the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to create an innovative solution to a problem. At the end, the groups pitched their project to a panel of judges.
Corbett is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics and associate director of global engagement at the School. Carpenter is an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy. Their individual teams tied for first place among five teams comprising 21 faculty members.
Corbett’s team presented an idea for a mobile app that would help people diagnose sleep apnea at home. Teams were judged on concept, plan and presentation and had to prove that they had properly researched their product’s feasibility and market interest. Product innovation and cohesiveness of the team were also assessed.
“I would absolutely recommend this workshop to anyone else nominated,” Corbett said. “Even if you feel like you’re not innovative, if you have an idea, it’s worth the experience.”
Corbett said she now feels like she has the tools to bring her idea to life, and she has much more interest in actually developing it when the time is right.
The prize is a simple trophy, but the participants said they valued the process. Carpenter said her favorite part of the experience was working with her team in the development stages and that she would recommend the workshop to other faculty members nominated in the future.
“I learned the process for evaluating the viability of a new product and how to pitch the idea to investors,” Carpenter said. “It was a good method to learn about entrepreneurship as I have had no formal training in the area.”
Carpenter’s team presented a virtual reality platform for pediatricians to remotely conduct asthma visits with children while the child is at school.
The workshop, created by Chancellor Emeritus Holden Thorp, Ph.D., and university entrepreneur in residence Buck Goldstein, M.Ed., J.D., has been hosted annually since 2009.