Temple students and alumni came together this Tuesday for their shared drive to say “What if?” The Temple Made natives showcased their own innovative technologies and businesses as a way to inspire and provide resources for young entrepreneurs.
The What IF Innovation Festival began with a Tower Takeover to give students and alumni in various fields the opportunity to display their innovations. Then, ended with a Lightning Talk ceremony, which included several innovative guest speakers.
Tim Mounsey, a senior Entrepreneurship Major, organized this two-part networking event as a way to break down the barrier between the different colleges within the university. Mounsey wants this event to inspire students with ideas not to be discouraged to venture outside of their academic major.
“What I found was that it was really hard to get students from Tyler or Engineering to come to Fox to talk about entrepreneurship,
said Mousey. “Um, I think this perception around entrepreneurship is only for suit and ties…it’s really not. It’s in any discipline. It’s identifying opportunities in anything and we really wanted to highlight that.”
Two men, Joshua Hopkins and Travis Kniffin were students at Temple’s Tyler School of Art. Both friends were interested in photography. Neither Hopkins nor Kniffin had any experience in engineering, however the two had the idea to create a device that could print digital images in a darkroom setting.
“He’s more into the digital medium and I’m more into the film medium and we were thinking of how to marry the two worlds and not from engineering or an engineering perspective of what’s a pitfall. Just thought this was a curiosity,” said Hopkins.
The event wasn’t just to showcase inventions, but to also show how students are figuring ways to improve already manufactured products.
Students at the School of Engineering have been working to enhance a robotic toy. Since the summer, the students have strengthened its facial recognition and voice control. The school has introduced a new course called Digital World, which is opened to any student interested in this project.
“What college tries to prepare you for and events like this is how all these things are interconnected,” said Hopkins.
The goal of the event is to show students to not be afraid to follow that big idea, even if it is out of their realms. Its message: reach out and find resources to make those ideas into a reality.