During the on-campus summer program, students participating in the Institute interviewed successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and patent lawyers. The entrepreneurs answered questions, offered advice, and told their stories.
Schultz graduated in 1963 with a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to a successful career in the development and manufacture of computer and telecommunications equipment.
He founded and was vice president of engineering at Stratacom, a telecommunications company. The company was involved in the development, manufacture, and standardization of wide area data networking equipment that used the digital telecommunications infrastructure. Cisco Systems purchased Stratacom in 1996.
Jim Logan, Metriguard
Logan grew up in Southern Idaho where his father encouraged him to go to college so that he wouldn’t spend his life working as a laborer at the local sawmill. During his years at WSU, he worked at the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory where he designed electronic devices for testing and measuring wood properties.
He started Metriguard in Pullman in 1972, specializing in equipment for non-destructive testing and grading lumber. It is now a world leader in the design and manufacture of machine stress rating equipment for structural lumber and for sorting veneer for structural laminated veneer lumber (LVL) applications.
Clint Cole, Digilent
Cole (BS CS 1987; MS EE 2000) has contributed to saving perhaps tens of thousands of people as one of a small group to develop the world’s most popular portable defibrillator.
A former paramedic, Cole went to work at engineering firms working on the development of portable defibrillators after his studies at WSU. He and a group of fellow research engineers left in 1992 to found Heartstream.
Bob Conley, LHC2, Inc.
Conley graduated from WSU in 1978 with a BS in electrical engineering. He and his colleague, Skip Crilly, started Vivato with two other partners in 2000, developing a wireless networking system based on phased arrays with much more range and coverage than current systems. Their technology can provide 4 to 10 times the range and 10 to 30 times the coverage of competitive systems based on the popular IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard.
Lewis Lee, Lee & Hayes, pllc
Lee graduated from WSU with degrees in electrical engineering and business administration. He later earned a law degree at George Washington University. He and Dan Hayes (WSU BSEE 1982) started Lee & Hayes in 1994, specializing in intellectual property law for various technology fields.
Michael V. Prentiss, Prentiss Properties
With an affinity for math and a background in working construction, Prentiss decided to pursue engineering when he came to WSU in 1961. He founded Prentiss Properties in 1987. In 1996, it became a publicly-traded company. Today, the company has 540 employees and $3 billion in assets.
Steve Porter, Coughlin Porter Lundeen
It’s hard to believe Steve Porter (BS CE 1985) doesn’t have an MBA. An engineer by training, Porter rattles off business terms so rapid fire that it’s hard to keep up. The words estimator, sample contract, lump sum, and phased fix fee flow out of his mouth in one quick breath. Another breath, and he’s on to hourly billing rates, scoping the project, negotiating the contract, and preparing the fee proposal. With Porter’s frenetic pace, it’s clear why Coughlin Porter Lundeen, the engineering consulting firm that he helped to found eleven years ago, has been so successful.