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Released April 1, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS TO HOST WORKSHOP
FOR INVENTORS, ENTREPRENEURS

HATTIESBURG -- For anyone who has ever wanted to turn a great technological idea into a successful business plan, a two-day workshop at The University of Southern Mississippi could provide the know-how.

"Invention to Venture" is an intensive workshop aimed at students, faculty and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to turn an innovative product idea into a new technology venture. The workshop will be held on the Hattiesburg campus April 23-24.

"Invention to Venture" will teach participants how to evaluate their ideas, perfect a business plan, define their business needs and identify customers. It will also cover legal considerations, licensing, and finding the money to start the venture.

"This is the first step in converting an idea or new invention into a commercial product," said Dr. Lon Mathias, a polymer science professor at Southern Miss.

Not only will participants discover how to turn an idea into a new product venture, they will also connect with the local people and programs that can help them turn their ideas into reality.

Southern Miss polymer science professor Dr. Pollyanne Frantz likened the two-day workshop to a "boot-camp" for entrepreneurs.

"It is crucial for any scientist to understand patents, copyrights and how to protect their inventions and ideas," Frantz said.

Intellectual property experts from the University of Mississippi, which is co-hosting the workshop in Hattiesburg, will discuss patenting and copyrighting issues. The workshop will also include sessions with successful practicing entrepreneurs from Mississippi and other states, as well as business planning experts from Southern Miss.

Experts in marketing, team building and business development from consulting firms including Grayhead Associates, Aileron Partners and Breakthrough Marketing Technology will also be present.

Backed by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, the national "Invention to Venture" series was established to tap the entrepreneurial ambitions of students and faculty on college campuses across the country.

The workshop will be held from 2-8:30 p.m. on April 23 and from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 24. It is free for university students, faculty and staff, and $30 for non-affiliated participants.

To register online for the workshop or for further details, go to www.invention2venture.org. For more information, contact Dr. Pollyanne Frantz at (601) 266-5047 or pollyannefrantz@usm.edu.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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