The TCU IdeaFactory is a unit of the College of Science & Engineering dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of TCU students, staff and faculty by providing an environment and resources where an idea can be advanced to a prototype, and potentially, beyond.
Students who engage IdeaFactory are supported as their idea takes form in an interdisciplinary environment: content area, intellectual property, graphic design, web/app programming, preliminary market analysis, manufacturing, and testing.
Most ideas take the form of a tool that can impact education or community health.
Impetus for formalization of the IdeaFactory can be traced to many sources including:
- The creation of the Pangea Mat & Cutter that arose through cross-college collaborations of students, staff and faculty
- The chance introduction of Dr. Simanek and Mr. James, the team that provides the nucleus for these efforts
- The original creative work “Dance of the Continents” developed through similar efforts
- The highly successful senior design program wherein engineering students solve problems brought to them by industries including aerospace, aviation, and energy
- The collaborative environment fostered across colleges and units at TCU by the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center and their Values & Ventures Competition
- The longstanding commitment to the community by TCU and its programmatic efforts including the Andrews Institute of Math and Science
Dr. Eric Simanek, a professor of chemistry was appointed the first director of the program by Dean Demitris Kouris. With the support of Dean Phil Hartman, IdeaFactory has secured space in the new Rees-Jones Hall, a state-of-the-art instructional building opening in 2014.