Oregon Tech welcomed 100 high school and college students to campus Oct. 21 for Ready, Set, Innovate, a daylong innovation clinic to inspire innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. The event brought together high school students from Henley, New Horizon Christian, Klamath Union, Lost River, and Mazama; Klamath Community College students; Oregon Tech students; community mentors; and volunteers to learn creative, team-based approaches to problem-solving.
Ready, Set, Innovate received seed funding from the Lemelson Foundation, and the Oregon Tech President's Office sponsored the event. The Klamath County Economic Development Association, South Central Oregon Economic Development District, and the Klamath Falls Downtown Association participated in the planning committee and were integral to the event's success.
Keynote speeches were given by Jacques Zaneveld, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Lazarus 3D, and Hannah Levine, Captain of Global Development at Ninja Mountain Bike Performance. George Hines, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation and Technology Officer of Lithia Motors & Driveway, helped design and facilitate workshops at the event.
A self-professed professional scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Zaneveld co-founded Lazarus 3D in 2014 after realizing that his 3D printing hobby had the potential to revolutionize medicine. He developed the world's first FDA-cleared platform for practicing surgery on 3D-printed replicas of patients' organs that cut and bleed. Lazarus 3D’s patented preoperative surgical rehearsal (Pre-Sure) technology launched this year at leading hospitals across the U.S.
Providing the opening remarks, Dr. Zaneveld encouraged students not to give up. "You have to start somewhere. Start doing something," he said. "It's easy to say it's impossible, but just do something. It doesn't matter what it is; build a product and get someone to pay you for it. Keep the vision and keep reinventing…if you see a big problem in the world, go after it. And you're going to solve it."
Attendees participated in design-thinking workshops and a community panel presentation, connecting students with the community and enhancing a culture of collaboration. The workshops were facilitated by Hines, who helped prepare the workshops based on his experience in design thinking innovation and global perspective. A group of Oregon Tech students, who have been trained as University Innovation Fellows through Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Designhelped lead the workshops.
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance co-owner Levine closed the event and encouraged attendees to beat the odds and not let statistics get in the way of achieving their goals. Receiving a cancer diagnosis early in her life, Levine said she was given a 50% chance of survival and has statistically beat the odds.
"Rather than focusing on the glass half empty or the 50% chance of survival over a five-year period, I just knew that there's nothing I could read or no way that I could predict the future of what my outcome would be," Levine said. "I'm still here, still kickin', and encouraging students to do that. Some of the hurdles that they may face and can harp on or worry about, they just need to start taking steps in the other direction to get it done."
Levine has helped grow Ninja Mountain Bike Performance into one of the country's largest mountain bike skills instruction businesses.###