Millersville’s SPC Collaborates with Local Entrepreneurs
During the summer of 2012, the Software Productization Center (SPC) at Millersville University is collaborating with two local entrepreneurs for the center’s fifth year of their Seed/Assistance Funding grant program. Each spring, SPC puts out a call for proposals to help local businesses productize an idea to help grow the company through efforts of talented and trained Millersville University students.
Local entrepreneurs Fran Gillott and Ryan Keener, both from Lancaster County, have a vision for a delivery business opportunity in Lancaster and surrounding counties but needed a specific kind of website and mobile application to get the project off the ground. University students and professors from the departments of computer science, art & design, business and communication are working together with the two professionals to develop and launch DeliveryCrowd in fall 2012.
Students are involved in every aspect of the project including research and development, brand design and software infrastructure creation, and case use studies. This year’s student team includes second year SPC veteran Bob Hennessey, Adam Bitner, Logan Peck, Dan Lipson and Bri Piccari. Hennessey notes, “The real benefit is the experience gained from collaborating with such a diverse team. Only a fool would not take the opportunity as often as possible.”
The SPC at Millersville University was initially formed with a three-year infrastructure grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and received a fifth year of funding to continue the program in 2012. The center aims to strengthen the regional economy by assisting a fledgling business with a software produce created through faculty and student expertise. The student role in the SPC is so vital that slightly more than 40 percent of the center’s operating budget is comprised of student salaries.
The term “software productization” refers to the process of turning an underdeveloped software concept or early prototype into a marketable product, and the mission of the SPC is to assist regional entrepreneurs with developing all aspects of their software product from market research to software prototype to branding and physical packaging. The SPC is a cross-disciplinary effort that has involved faculty and students from computer science, graphic design, business/marketing and communication/media. Together, the faculty steering committee of Stephanie Elzer, Nancy Mata and Patrick McCaskey have mentored more than 25 students as they have worked with five different companies including WorkXPress, Cruzstar, MRG Power Labs, Runoff Studios and Hayden Films.
For more information, visit the SPC at Millersville’s website, follow them on Twitter, at SPC@Millersville or “like” them on Facebook.