CWRU Opens IoT Lab for Engineering Students
Michael Alba posted on September 27, 2016 |
CWRU-born company gives students real-world problems to solve.
Intwine Connect offers a bundle of IoT solutions for businesses and engineers. (Image courtesy of Intwine Connect.)
Intwine Connect offers a bundle of IoT solutions for businesses and engineers. (Image courtesy of Intwine Connect.)

The idea of a university spin-off is nothing new—plenty of businesses have spawned from research conducted on a university campus. But Intwine Connect, an Internet of Things (IoT) solution provider, has taken the idea in a new direction: inward. The “spin-in” from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) maintains a formal link to the school that birthed it, creating real-world learning opportunities for students currently attending CWRU.

Preparing the Engineers of the Future

With its mission to promote engineering education, Intwine is linked with CWRU's Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS), a program that leads initiatives in data science, cybersecurity, networks, embedded systems and other IoT technologies. The partnership between Intwine and ISSACS provides CWRU students with the opportunity to solve real-world IoT problems and gain key IoT engineering skills.

As it fosters potential future employees, Intwine receives ongoing financial support from CaseTechnology Ventures, the university's venture capital fund.The fund's review committee approved Intwine for a phased-in investment of $217,500 earlier this year. Intwine Connect President and CEO Dave Martin extolled the mutual partnership, and credited the university for much of the company's success in the quickly expanding IoT market.

“I can't say enough about the support Ive received from the TTO [Technology Transfer Office of CWRU],” Martin said. “Their creativity and flexibility over the last few years has been integral to Intwine's success.”

The partnership doesn’t end there. The company leases lab space at CWRU in order to develop its IoT services, including hardware, software and data analytics. In addition, six of the companys nine employees are either CWRU alumni or are currently working toward an advanced degree at the university. And with a recent $1 million loan from the Innovation Ohio Loan Fund, Intwine will hire 25 new employees (mostly software engineers) over the next three years—and it’s not hard to guess where many of them will have gotten their degrees.

Time and again we've seen the value of partnerships in the IoT business, and the message to engineers should be clear: work together to get ahead. Whether this means partnering with your alma mater, another IoT company, or even hundreds of other companies, collaboration is a safe bet to help make sure your company doesn't get left behind.

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