Lehigh University's Technical Entrepreneurship master's program brings experienced entrepreneurs from numerous industries into the classroom to impart real-world insight and guidance in product and business development. The program's innovative faculty members are experts in the fields of entrepreneurial thinking and product design, teaching students how to create, build, and launch ideas from the ground up.
Before coming to Lehigh, Marc de Vinck was director of product development at MAKE magazine and a member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board. He has written numerous posts on do-it-yourself science and technology on makezine.com, as well as articles and featured builds in the print version of MAKE. He speaks at events across the country. De Vinck previously worked in fields as diverse as traditional metal smith, illustrator, and 3D model maker. He thrives on the process of making and educating, with one of his greatest career accomplishments the implementation of Maker Faire's Learn to Solder program, which taught more than 10,000 people a lifelong skill and hopefully inspired many to realize they are makers. De Vinck’s interests include micro-controllers, open source hardware, interactive art, and anything that uses technology in a unique way. He also enjoys great design, regardless of the medium. When he’s not developing a new product in his studio – a rare occurrence – he’s skiing, playing ice hockey, or out sailing with his family.
One finds Michael Lehman at the intersection of entrepreneurship, science, and higher education. Prior to joining the Lehigh faculty, Lehman developed and grew new entrepreneurship programs at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, part of the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. At Pitt, he served as director of PantherlabWorks, a consulting group designed to catalyze the commercialization of new technologies by supporting innovators and entrepreneurs from a variety of academic backgrounds and professional experiences. As director of student entrepreneurship, he created new academic courses and cross-campus programs to provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students throughout the university. Earlier in his career, Lehman was founding director of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. At Juniata, Lehman grew the team that created and expanded the center’s four distinct areas including the Sill Business Incubator, a student seed capital fund, academic and curricular programs, and community-based economic development initiatives, including a Keystone Innovation Zone. Lehman serves on the advisory board of several technical-based startups and is a regular presenter at national conferences, including the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Lehman holds a B.S. from Juniata College, an M.D. from the Penn State College of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from the Leeds University of Business School in England.
In addition to managing Lehigh University's Wilbur Powerhouse Prototyping Lab and Chandler-Ullmann Wood Shop, Brian Slocum teaches courses in prototyping and metalworking and advises Integrated Product Development teams. Returning to Lehigh (his alma mater '97) after completing the MFA Design program at North Carolina School of the Arts, Slocum has worked in both Lehigh's Theatre Department and Design Arts Program. In addition to his work at the university, Slocum co-founded Isosceles Design Studio, LLC, a design firm specializing in custom furniture and architectural and interior design.
An award-winning innovator in curriculum and program development, John Ochs joined Lehigh University's Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department in 1979 and founded and directed its Computer-Aided Design Labs from 1980 to 1999. From 1985-95 he did extensive industry consulting and was involved in the startup of three companies. Since 1996, he has directed Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program. What started as a pilot in 1994 as a capstone experience for mechanical engineering majors is now cross-listed in engineering, business, and arts with more than 300 students from over 20 majors participating each year. The program won the 1996 American Society of Mechanical Engineers' curriculum innovation award and the 1997 Newcomen Society’s award for the promotion of America’s free-enterprise system. Ochs received the Olympus Innovation Award in 2006 for his success in developing cross-disciplinary technical entrepreneurship curricula. Ochs has directed Lehigh’s Professional Master’s in Technical Entrepreneurship program since its launch in 2012. In 2013, the program won a first-place national award for “Excellence in Talent Development” from the University Economic Development Association (UEDA), which ranked it “best in North America.” In 2014, Ochs was honored with Lehigh University's first faculty achievement award celebrating substantive, long-term contributions to the entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation culture, ecosystem, and curriculum at the university and in the broader community.
Matt Sommerfield is a principal of MTS Ventures, LLC, founded in 2005 to provide comprehensive product design and development services. MTS works with clients to take their product ideas to a higher level of success through optimized design and reduced manufacturing costs using a lean product development process. Sommerfield has experience with contract furniture, ergonomic office products, medical products, task lighting, restaurant equipment, consumer products, and in various electronic devices. He received his B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering Technology in 2000 from Rochester Institute of Technology, is active in the tech and entrepreneurship communities in the Lehigh Valley, including as a hackathon winner, and is named inventor on many design and utility patents.
Attorney Joe Maenner founded Maenner & Associates, LLC in 2011 after practicing in intellectual property boutique firms and general practice firms, as well as serving as in-house counsel for a small high-technology startup company. He has taken the “best practices” from all of those experiences and molded them together to produce his firm. In addition, he has eliminated the “billable hour” and replaced it with a fixed fee that is quoted to and agreed upon by the client prior to each phase of his work. Maenner graduated from the Dickinson School of Law (now part of the Pennsylvania State University) in 1996 and began actively practicing intellectual property law in 1998. His client base has ranged from Fortune 500 companies to large research universities, from small, privately held companies to independent inventors.
Joshua Cohen, a shareholder of intellectual property law firm RatnerPrestia, has practiced intellectual property law since 1992, drawing from his engineering and legal background to help emerging companies and multi-national corporations protect and respect IP rights. Cohen executes strategies that protect product innovations in the U.S. and abroad by securing patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and copyright rights. He also reduces the IP risks associated with new technology and design innovations. Cohen earned his Engineering degree from Lehigh University and his Law degree from Widener University, where he served as editor-in-chief of Widener’s Law Review. Cohen is president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Product Development and Management Association, an organization dedicated to promoting and managing product innovation, and he is an executive committee member of the Tokyo Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, a Tokyo-based organization chartered to promote excellence in professionalism, ethics, and civility in IP law. He lectures internationally about IP strategies and best practices.