The ECenter is the co-curricular heart of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship at UNH. Our goal is to create the next generation of leaders with an entrepreneurial mind-set who can see opportunities and identify creative solutions others have missed, one idea at a time. Although part of UNH, we are independent of any one college.
March 2020 Newsletter
The Latest Happenings from the ECenter
First, we hope you, your family, and colleagues are healthy and safe—no doubt many of you are reading this from your
newly created Work-From-Home Office.

The ECenter is closed for physical visits for the rest of the semester as students shift to online learning. We have adapted as well, leveraging the Zoom technology for all of our meetings and coaching sessions—students' problem solving ideas never rest!

Fortunately, we were by happenstance, able to get most of the impactful aspects of our programming in during the first half of the semester knowing that competitions like Holloway and e-Fest would take up the bulk of time at the end of the semester. As you will read, we had some great events and are appreciative to Bottomline Technologies for taking not just one, but two, of their evenings up to provide a primer in the Agile process.

As of now, our two signature summer programs are moving forward. These programs include ten students (up from six last year) participating in our Paid Student Internship at Start-ups Program and we will soon be reviewing applications for the Pierce Atwood sponsored Summer Seed Grant that pays students (up to four) to work on their ideas over the summer at the ECenter.
We welcome Riverstone to the ECenter family as part of our corporate sponsorship program as a premiere partner. Their support, like others, is critical to us delivering on the ECenter brand promise. Thank you.

Finally, we would like to give an additional shoutout to two ECenter sponsors in these critical times of COVID-19: Bottomline Technologies for their generous community support of $100,000 to local/state food banks, Gather and End 68 Hours of Hunger; and Riverstone for their support to their local Manchester, NH based NH Food Bank. It speaks volumes as to the corporate cultures and community compassion, and we are honored to be associated with them.

We know that many others of our ECenter friends and sponsors are doing what they can to support their neighbors and communities during this difficult time, and we thank you for all that you do.

Stay curious and stay healthy.
Ian Grant
Executive Director, ECenter
Agile Bootcamps Taught by the Experts at Bottomline Technologies
On February 18th and 24th, students had the great opportunity to participate in an interactive Agile Bootcamp sponsored and run by Bottomline Technologies, an ECenter Premier Sponsor. Agile process framework experts from Bottomline taught students the importance of the Agile methodology in business.

Students participated in activities to learn:
  • The twelve Agile principles and processes
  • How the Agile methodology allows businesses to build in an iterative feedback loop
  • The validated learning and Minimum Viable Product methodology
  • The consumer driven product development

Students competed in fun exercises that included the Coin Game, which mimicked the learning that a company’s production of small frequent batches can provide, and the Marshmallow and Spaghetti Challenge, which instilled the importance of feedback driven product development and product vision. As one student commented, “I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did! I certainly learned a lot and it was a valuable experience that I got for free!” Added another student, “The introduction gave me an idea into the changing market and the new ways things are being done."

Both evenings had dozens of students actively engaged in the hands-on experience. The Agile methodology is an important communication aspect in product development, and more frequently seen in companies developing software. Students were able to see the importance of customer feedback and utilizing that feedback throughout development of a product, not just at the end of a project!

Thank you to Bottomline Technologies for sponsoring these events, and for engaging students in these unique experiential learning opportunities! Special shout out to Jim Starrett, Michelle Lee, and Jenna Pitoscia from Bottomline for giving up their evenings to help inspire students.

You can watch the first Agile Bootcamp on our YouTube page .
Another Successful Start-up and
High Growth Career Fair
The UNH Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club) hosted the 2nd annual Start-Up & High-Growth Company Career Fair on Monday, March 9th, in partnership with the UNH Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) and UNH Career and Professional Success (CaPS). All UNH students and all regional start-up or high-growth companies were invited to participate!

Students who engage in innovation, entrepreneurship, and problem solving mingled with start-ups and high-growth companies in a traditional career fair setting, but there was a twist. Just as we did last year, all companies went on stage to give their "1-minute elevator pitch." Students then voted on their favorite pitch. Congrats to the winner: Tanosteel!

Throughout the evening, students chatted about full-time, part-time, and paid internship positions. They also got to hear the unique stories about how the companies, many of them started by UNH alumni, got off the ground.
Thank you to participating companies 128 Technology, addapptation, Anderson Welding LLC, Bedroom Kandi Boutique Parties, Bottomline Technologies, FAT Mongoose, JobGet, JOBTALK, LLC, Loftware, Inc, NextStep HealthTech, Nobl Coffee LLC, NOCA Beverages Inc., Shtudy, SMARTwheel Inc, and Tanosteel Weapon Security LLC.

It was a fun evening with great campus partners, inspiring companies, and passionate students. We're excited to see what's in store for next year!
BU Idea Conference
For the second year in a row, the ECenter and over 50 UNH students attended the IDEA Conference hosted by Boston University’s Innovate@BU Initiative. Everyone piled into a coach bus early in the morning (7:00am on a Saturday!) on February 15th and made their way to Boston. This conference allows for students and professionals to come together to share inspiration for ideas, technology, social impact, arts, and culture.

Throughout the day, attendees listened to speakers from all over, including: the CEO & Founder of Holdette, the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, and the ECenter’s very own Joel Nkounkou, CEO and Co-founder of ecoText, and UNH alum! Between speakers were workshops centered around networking, financing ventures, funding non-profits, creating a perfect pitch, pursuing your passions, and many more.

Students who attended noted that the keynote speaker, Annie Leonard, of Greenpeace USA, was a top highlight of the event. She spoke to her ideas and taking them to impact, hoping to spark inspiration in some of New England’s innovative students.

Marisa Rafal, founder of the New Hampshire Toy Library, and ECenter advocate, said, “I really liked my breakout session ‘Funding Non-profits with Industry Experts,’ as well as the amazing keynote from the Founder and Director of Greenpeace. So many of the speakers were so inspirational and it was really reassuring & motivating to hear them talk about their entrepreneurial journeys.”

The ECenter loves providing this opportunity to students, and we're glad the students love it too. This year, a grant from the UNH Alumni Association helped to offset the cost for students to attend. Thank you, Alumni Association!

Thank you to the Boston University Innovation Lab for inviting us and we hope to continue attending this annual event and learn from industry experts, and even (especially) ECenter alumni!
Senior Retrospective: ECenter Experience Shapes College Career
The spring semester is a bittersweet time at the ECenter, when we catch up with our graduating students for a retrospective of their experience at UNH. This graduating class is the first to have had access to the ECenter for all eight semesters of their time at UNH.

This year, we bid farewell to one of our earliest ECenter student supporters, Nick Stuart, who will be graduating in a few short months with the class of 2020. Nick, a native of Bow, NH and a Finance major in the Paul College of Business and Economics, reflects upon his experience at UNH and his journey throughout the past four years at the ECenter. 

“My engagement with the ECenter has been huge in the overall impact on my career and my academic life,” explains Nick. “I was really
impressed with the ECenter when I first visited it. I thought it was sort of a hidden gem that I was surprised no one knew about yet, and I was happy I was one of the first to start to utilize its many resources.”

Nick’s engagement with the ECenter has spanned just about all we have to offer. He explains, “Right off the bat, I applied for the Paid Student Internship at Start-Ups Program, and I ended up interning at Minim, a three-month-old start-up out of Manchester, NH. My overall experience was fantastic. I got to touch on the marketing side, the finance side, some of the more technological pieces. They basically let me pursue whatever I was interested in, and that really helped me grow not only as a business person, but a well-rounded entrepreneur. That role eventually blossomed into several other internships, and finally led me to my full-time job.”

After his experience in the Paid Student Internship at Start-Ups Program, Nick was eager to stay engaged with the innovative community he found at the ECenter. “I went into my sophomore year applying for the University Innovation Fellows program,” says Nick. “This is an international program that helps students become agents of change and learn about design thinking ideologies. I joined it with three other students, and we went through the whole course learning about design thinking and how we can become change makers within our community. It was a fantastic program and I learned so much from it that I still use today.”

Given his early engagement, it’s no surprise that Nick was a participant in i2 Passport TM from the start. “I joined it at the very earliest stages and helped ideate how some of the program would function,” he says. “That was a great way to get involved with some of the senior leadership at the ECenter and also learn how I can stay involved. I got to meet with the founder of, I got to meet with marketing influencers, and tech influencers, and learn how I can stay involved with other parts of campus beyond the Entrepreneurship Center. It was a really great way to tie in the many foundational resources that can be utilized at UNH.”

The ECenter’s programs and opportunities are made available to students through the generosity of our friends and supporters. “Donor support has been extremely important to me during my time at UNH,” says Nick. “The Patten Family Foundation allowed me to pursue a role at a high-tech start-up, as well as i2 Passport. I thank them so much for their support.”

In closing, we asked Nick what advice he’d share with students just learning about the ECenter. He was quick to respond, “One thing I’d like students to know about the ECenter is that you don’t need to come here with any specific idea or need. You can just come here to learn from others and start to ideate on things that interest you, and that can go in any direction. There’s a great community at the ECenter that’s helped me meet like-minded students who have helped me pursue other entrepreneurial activities. And I still consider them close friends today.”
Nominations Open for the UNH Alumni
Entrepreneur Hall of Fame 2020
Social distancing at home with a lot of time on your hands? It's the perfect time to nominate a UNH alumni (or yourself!) for the 2020 UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame! Applications are being accepted now until June 1st.

In 2018, UNH received a generous gift from an anonymous donor to establish the UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, housed within UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center, to celebrate the innovation and entrepreneurship that has been in the DNA of UNH students and alumni since the beginning.

So far, ten alumni have been inducted into the Hall of Fame over the past two years. Help us add deserving alumni to that distinguished rank by nominating an outstanding UNH entrepreneur!
The 2019 inductees with President Dean and Ian Grant
If you're a UNH alum who would like to be considered for the Hall of Fame, or if you know a UNH alum deserve of recognition, submit the nomination by June 1, 2020. Self nominations are encouraged!

The UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame selection is based upon alumni who (a) have achieved entrepreneurial success with ventures as a founder, co-founder, or owner, and (b) have given back to the community in a meaningful way. The definition of “ventures” includes economic or social value in for-profit and non-profit entities. The 2020 award ceremony and induction will take place on October 2, 2020.* The inductees are also expected to engage with students at the ECenter during a roundtable discussion prior to the ceremony.
Hack for New Hampshire
Innovates Voting in the State
This semester the ECenter joined together with the UNH InterOpability Lab (IOL) for another interdisciplinary hackathon - Hack for New Hampshire. During the 24-hour event, held Feb. 22-23, students from all across campus worked together to solve problems through innovative solutions. In a nod to the New Hampshire primary, this year’s challenge asked students to find ways to help the state become safer or more sustainable while solidifying interest among young voters and gauge creative solutions to improve voting practices. Issues highlighted included the need to solve problems such as low voter turnout, lack of informed voters and voter fraud. Solutions ranged from online voting systems, facial recognition software and a rideshare app.

Even though she’s a computer science major, Mallorie Biron ’20 had never participated in a 24-hour hackathon. But when she signed on for this year’s (the third) Hack NH, she found out that majors don’t matter; the hackathon is open to UNH students from all colleges. “I had participated in a weeklong hackathon at the IOL lab twice before, but a week is a lot longer than 24 hours,” Biron says, reflecting on the fast-paced idea-generation that happens during the Hack NH hackathon. “I got to create something with my friends, and we were able to learn new things from each other. It is also a great experience to work on a project outside of the classroom.”

A total of nine teams participated. A panel of judges consisting of industry members, faculty and staff rated the hackers in the categories of best working product, best business plan and best creative impact. Prize amounts totaled $1,500.

New Hampshire’s Liberty Mutual, Bottomline Technologies (an ECenter Premier Sponsor), and Arista Networks sponsored the event for the second year in a row. More than 30 undergraduate students from freshmen to seniors representing the College of Engineering and Physical Science, Paul College and the College of Health and Human Services participated.

"This was my third year doing the hackathon,” says Spencer Couture, ‘20. “It's a great way to sit down and really explore concepts and frameworks that you've always been wanting to try but have never had the chance. The environment is always very supportive and open, so you don't feel any external pressure to complete a project – other than the pressure you put on yourself. It's a lot of fun, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a weekend to spare."

The Best Overall Package winning team was Jessica Nelson '21 (Paul College) and TJ Evarts '20 (CEPS) with their idea, TruCount. TruCount is a free app designed to eliminate voter fraud by using an in-person check-in system which gives voters a QR code to use at the polls.

All other participating students included:
  • Sean Kohlbrenner, Taylor Roy: Ranked Choice NH, a web app simulation to educate voters on the candidates
  • Caleb Peffer, William Tu, Nick Camara, Benjamin Whitehead: TriVote, a mobile game that encourages and educates voters on issues and candidates
  • Hassan Al-Jewad, Naomi Schneider, Shania Robinson, Jacob Uren: E-Lection, an app designed to increase voting for people ‘too busy to vote’ by using an online system for registered voters
  • Matthew DiBiase, Heidi Simoneau: FacingFraud, facial recognition software to eliminate voter fraud for absentee ballots and false voter registration
  • Nick Kahn, Cornelis Plomp, Sean Smith, Brendan Crowe: Iowa Caucus Software Team, a low- cost software package designed to give ‘smaller’ candidates an idea of how they are favored or recognized in various communities.
  • Spencer Couture, Tommy Cranmer, Daniel Kirichok, Rachel Martinez: Tommy 3.0, an online voter registration website to help streamline the registration process for new voters.
  • Mallorie Biron, Connor Lennox: BallotBus, an idea designed to help with low voter turnout by using a rideshare app, integrated with Google Maps and created using Python, to get people to the polls if they don’t have a ride.
  • Eric Ciarla, Elijah Johnson, Daniel Mattson, Eric Tseng: Team xid, a web extension created using the fakebox API, to check websites and provide a ‘trust factor’ rating to ensure the news you’re reading is real or substantial.

Congratulations to all the students for their innovative and impactful problem-solving to improve voting in New Hampshire! We look forward to a new challenge in Hack for New Hampshire next spring with our friends at the IOL.
New Date Alert! Save the Date
to Support the 603 Challenge
Rise to the Challenge!
The  603 Challenge  has been pushed back to start on May 30th and end on June 3rd. Please mark your calendar to help support the nationally-recognized UNH Entrepreneurship Center! Every dollar helps support our 100% donor-funded programs. You don't have to be a UNH alum to make an impact with your gift of any amount!

The generosity of friends of the ECenter, like you, helps students succeed. As part of the ECenter community, you'll receive an email from us when the 603 Challenge has launched, along with a link to the donation page. If you would like a personal email or text reminder when the 603 Challenge launches, please email Associate Program Manager Allison Bell at .

Thank you!
Premier Level Sponsors
Venture Level Sponsors
Partner Level Sponsor
Supporter Level Sponsors
W.P. Carey Foundation
Goddard Technologies
Fishnet Media
Interested in being a Corporate Sponsor? Learn more here.
Ian Grant
Executive Director
(603) 862-5470
Heather MacNeill
Senior Program Manager
(603) 862-4959
Allison Bell
Associate Program Manager
(603) 862-0349