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Univesity of Dayton : Innovation + Job News

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Entrepreneurship programs at three Ohio universities ranked among top 25 in the nation

The next generation of Ohio entrepreneurs is in good hands, according to a prestigious ranking of college and university entrepreneurship programs.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine surveyed more than 2,000 entrepreneurship programs, and ranked three Ohio universities among the top 25 undergraduate programs in the U.S. The University of Dayton's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program is ranked no. 12, followed by Miami University's Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership at no. 15, and Xavier University's Sedler Family Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at 25.

The survey covered the 2010-2011 academic year, and ranked schools based on features inside and outside of the classroom. That included academics and requirements, percentage of students enrolled in entrepreneurship programs, and percentage of graduates and faculty had run, started or bought a successful business. The survey also looked at schools' partnerships with other institutions to allow access to the entrepreneurship program, and budgets for clubs and organizations that support entrepreneurship.

The results put the universities in the company of number one-ranked University of Houston, as well as Baylor University, Syracuse University and Brigham Young University.

At the three universities, there are a total of 865 students enrolled in entrepreneurship programs, who have access to 21 entrepreneurship organizations and clubs and 14 mentor programs.

Sources: Debora Del Valle, Director for Public Relations Xavier University; and University of Dayton communications
Writer: Feoshia Henderson

NanoSperse adding jobs, production capacity

Art Fritts says the market for nanomaterials wasn't completely clear when he launched his fledging company in 2004.

Luckily for Fritts and NanoSperse, the value has become crystal clear since then. In July, the Dayton-based firm moved from production space at the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) to an 8,000-square-foot production facility at the National Composite Center in Kettering. Production capacity? A million pounds of material per year.

The move has prompted an increase in payroll, too. The company, which ended 2009 with two employees, now has eight and is expected to at least double that number within the next two years, says Fritts, NanoSperse's president.

NanoSperse has made its way commercializing a unique method of distributing nano-size carbon particles throughout materials to improve durability, reliability and functionality of composites for the defense, aerospace, and industrial marketplaces. The technology was developed at the University of Dayton, and Fritts -- with 30 years in the polymer industry -- started NanoSperse to commercialize it.

Fritz says that material is tailor-made for a desert environment by becoming the actual surface of the part, eliminating the need for more traditional coatings. He adds that the composite can be expected to hold up three to five times longer than traditional coatings. The company is now producing the material for aerospace uses and shipped its first big order in July.

Fritts says the relationship with UDRI was a godsend for the young company because it allowed NanoSperse to fill orders immediately while learning how to scale production to bigger orders -- and to work with cross industry teams as part of the Ohio Third Frontier's Research Commercialization Program.

Source: Art Fritts, NanoSperse
Writer: Gene Monteith

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