Projects

You get an exclusive opportunity to serve as a consultant and work directly with the leaders of organizations on real-world business issues. You will build valuable project management, communication and presentation skills.

As a member of an Experiential Learning Center (ELC) team, you will work with a faculty or business professional coach and other NIU graduate and undergraduate students to tackle a challenge faced by a real organization. All majors are encouraged to apply as projects need a cross-functional perspective. 

Serving as a consultant is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and increase your marketability as you search for a job. Leaders of organizations are looking for employees with experience in problem-solving, communication skills, the ability to work in a team setting, and individual accountability. You will learn new skills, strengthen areas of improvement, and work with a team of diverse students from a variety of majors.

Remember Huskies get hired, Huskies who have project experience really get hired!!

Upcoming projects include topics such as marketing strategies, financial strategies, business plan development, data analytics, and new product launch, to name a few. We are working with large companies, small companies, non-profit, domestic, and companies that conduct business internationally.  

  • Join an ELC team and get a vast experience! 
  • Apply now and be sure to designate your three topics of interest.  
  • Interviews have begun.  

For questions, please contact Jason Gorham at jgorham@niu.edu.

Apply Now

Current Projects (Spring 2021)

OpenLoop is a web-platform designed to help match healthcare providers with hospitals and other facilities that require extra staffing assistance. OpenLoop makes the search easy by collecting all the current job needs, centralizing the provider database, and notifying you based on your location and specialty when opportunities arise.  OpenLoop’s mission is to improve community health through accelerated delivery of patient service. Their matching system ensures that more time is spent practicing medicine and saving lives. 

The leadership of OpenLoop would like an ELC team of consultants to help them expand their marketing strategies and market reach. The leaders of OpenLoop are looking for ways to optimize the marketing channels, find new avenues to access, and ways to enter new markets.

Topic

Marketing Strategies | Research | Data Analytics

Meeting Time

Tuesday/Thursday
2-3:15 p.m.

Caterpillar (CAT) is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The company is also a founding corporate sponsor of the BELIEF Program in the College of Business.

Project Topics: Vertical Integration (VI) for Manufacturing Companies with High Capital Intensity

Companies use tools and processes for key business decisions such as Make/Buy decisions, New Product Introduction (NPI) program prioritization, Major investments, etc.CAT would like an ELC team to establish a nucleus of such process/tool (or at least a set of "lenses") to guide the decision whether or not to pursue vertical integration (VI).

The CAT leadership is interested in a literature search of successful and unsuccessful examples of best practices of VI manufacturing which will include a comprehensive literature search of successful as well as unsuccessful examples and best practices of VI manufacturing companies. The data search will help form identify quantifiable business metrics /KPIs/other factors that are most relevant. Areas of focus are cost reduction opportunities, capital intensity, technological complexity relative to known CAT competencies, competitive advantage potential, etc. This process will include a SWOT, decision framework, data analysis, and a financial model template. This team will need to consider the market demand uncertainty in their exploration. 

Topic

Purchasing | Research | Sales | Vertical Integration | Model Development

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

SuperBetter is on a mission to unlock heroic potential around the world and are the leaders in applying game science to improve real lives and solve real problems.  SuperBetter consists of a small but mighty team dedicated to empowering individuals and communities to live epic lives that are full of joy and challenge and powered by strong social relationships, positive emotions and purpose.  SuperBetter strives to positively impact the co-occurring epidemics of mental illness, addiction, and suicide.  The leaders of SuperBetter forge bold alliances with mission-aligned organizations to improve resilience, recovery and mental health in the industries and populations they serve.

Superbetter would like an ELC team of consultants to strengthen their market reach, develop a marketing strategy to position SuperBetter as the primary option to help individuals with mental health challenges.  SuperBetter is interested in finding investors and an evaluation of the best approach to enter the best market.

Topic

Marketing | Data/Research

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Rust-Oleum is known for its trusted quality and powerful solutions since 1921. Founded on the principle of providing innovative products that protect surfaces from the elements, Rust-Oleum is a leading manufacturer of innovative coatings that empower DIYers and professionals alike. Its wide range of products include paints, primers, automotive and concrete coatings, and wood care products for both consumer and industrial markets. Rust-Oleum joined the RPM family in 1994 and is headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL, with 14 distribution facilities across North America.

Rust-Oleum would like an ELC team of consultants to develop an online marketing strategy that will strongly position their Varathane brand of interior wood stain and wood care products. This team will complete a thorough SWOT analysis of Varathane's online presence and shopper journey and compare to key competitors. This team will present both their findings and strategic recommendations on how to enhance Varathane's online presence to be more market competitive and grow market share of the wood care category

Topic

Marketing | Data Analytics

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

In 1955 Ray Kroc, a native Chicagoan, founded McDonald’s System, Inc., and opened the first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, IL.  By 1958 McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.  Ray Kroc wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for providing food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of preparation.  He wanted to serve burgers, fries and beverages that tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama.  He created the slogan “in business for yourself, but not by yourself”. 

McDonald’s would like an ELC team of consultants to help them navigate their internal communications challenges.  With several technological ways for them to communicate, the leaders at McDonald’s wish to streamline the communications system and need recommendations on the most effective way to maintain organizational events, meetings, and other forms of communication across their vast organization.  More will unfold as the team evaluates the organizational landscape.

Topic

Communication Systems | Uniformity in communication approach | Information Systems

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
2-3:15 p.m.

The Rockford Park District (RPD) has been a part of the Rockford and surrounding communities since 1909 and is the third-largest park and recreation system in Illinois.  The RPD began for two main reasons, the need for quality family time to keep the family unit together and keep kids (particularly) young boys out of trouble. Levin Faust, the RPD founder, dreamed of living in a community where residents could enjoy places of beauty. Joseph Lee, the father of the playground movement, believed that play is not a luxury but a necessity and is recreation and the renewal of life for adults while serving to grow and gain life for children.

There are several topics the leadership of RPD would like an ELC consultant team to address;  Areas such as pricing of services and programs, KPI development to help make strategic business-related decisions, human resources, employee engagement, recruitment, and talent management may include analyzing staff ratio to benchmark against other districts. Facilities assessment regarding business plan development.  An overall evaluation of data to help determine the best course of action for many areas pertinent to operating a large park district system.

Topic

Marketing | Communications

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Crest Foods is a third-generation family-owned company founded in 1946.  Beginning with Jay Meiners and continuing with his three sons and their children, Crest Foods remains committed to family owners and family values now and in the future. Crest Foods has spent the last 70 plus years refining its systems and processes in order to bring you the best quality products and services across all three of their divisions.  Their corporate programs and policies help take our business from average to exceptional. 

The leadership of Crest Foods would like an ELC consultant team to evaluate the current landscape of the industry-specific to their partners/vendors specific to ways to connect with their successors.  They would like a communication and marketing strategy to strengthen their relationships in a generational manner.  The leaders of Crest Foods would also like the ELC team to make recommendations specific to product evaluation and market entry.

Topic

Marketing | Communications | Data Analytics | Sales | Millennial connection industry-wide

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Echo Global Logistics is a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. Echo offers freight brokerage and Managed Transportation solutions for all major shipping modes, including truckload, partial truckload, LTL, intermodal, and expedited. Echo maintains a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 50,000 transportation providers to serve 35,000 clients across a wide range of industries and simplify the critical tasks involved in transportation management. Every day they coordinate more than 16,000 shipments while servicing clients from SMBs to the Fortune 500.

Echo connects businesses that need to ship their products with carriers who transport goods quickly, securely and cost-effectively. Established in 2005, Echo Global Logistics has one objective: to simplify transportation management from coast to coast, dock to dock, so that shippers and carriers can focus on what they do best. Headquartered in Chicago with more than 30 offices around the country, Echo employs more than 2,300 team members.

Echo would like a team of consultants to make recommendations on ways to engage, retain, and train the right hires/employees. Echo Global Logistics would like a team of consultants to help develop a better system for collecting, storing, and evaluating data as it pertains to the many employment applications they receive each month. Echo would also like the team to build a better database system that will capture criteria for applicants to help expedite the interview and hiring processes.

Topic

HR strategies | Data Analytics | Database Development | Data Collection

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Current Projects (Fall 2020)

Beyond Sports Foundation provides student-athletes with academic and athletic support to help them become strong candidates for college athletic scholarships. As a result, student-athletes work throughout high school, on and off the field to ready themselves for life after college and beyond sports.

The Beyond Sports Foundation is seeking a team of project consultants in the ELC to create a twelve-month development plan. The project includes fundraising and marketing strategies, and an awareness campaign to maximize the critical support needed for our organization. The consultant team and project plan development will help Beyond Sports Foundation more effectively meet the needs of today's student-athletes.

Topic

Marketing | Data Analysis | Further details to be uncovered by the consultation team

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The company is also a founding corporate sponsor of the Building Ethical Leaders in an Ethics Framework (BELIEF) Program in the College of Business.

Caterpillar would like an ELC team to create solutions on a few topics. To be determined as the project unfolds. The consultant team will be directly involved in the development of the scope of this project with the key individuals from CAT.

Topic

The topic is yet to be determined and more information will be available in the next few weeks.

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Purafil and the Filtration Group are on a mission to make the world safer, healthier and more productive. We are the global leader in gas phase (chemical) filtration technology. Our products and solutions are targeted towards providing superior levels of Indoor Air Quality in a variety of environments including oil and gas; water treatment; heavy manufacturing; electronics and semiconductor manufacturing; data centers; transportation; mining; commercial offices; restaurants and foodservice; galleries, museums, archives and libraries, agriculture – for corrosion protection, odor control, health and preservation applications.

Purafil and the Filtration Group will engage an ELC team of consultants on the launch of our Sphinx-branded product line. This is an exciting platform that uses a patented odor control technology targeted for the Agriculture/Grow-House industry, with direct application in air filtration for both the industrial Grow House and consumer enthusiast North American markets.

The project will involve a review of technical design and platform features, selection and qualification of third party contract manufacturing sources, creation and validation of material supply chain to support manufacturing activities, third party certification testing to ensure compliance in target sales markets, product branding, research on the relevant markets, and platform support for each model upon into each target channel.

The team will see the phases of the product development process via models that are in different stages of our phase-gate launch process, and gain experience managing a novel product platform design from ideation to realization in an emerging industry with high earnings potential.

Topic

Technical Design | Product Branding | New Product Development | Marketing Opportunities | Business Strategies

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

There are 54 million Americans living with a disability. Established in 1980 RAMP is a non-profit, non-residential Center for Independent Living (CIL) that emulates the Independent Living Philosophy. RAMP promotes an accessible society that allows and expects full participation by people with disabilities. RAMP's five core services include, Information and Referral, Peer Support, Independent Living Services, Individual and Systemic Advocacy, and Transition services that help individuals transition into independent living in the community. RAMP provides services in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties.

RAMP would like a team of consultants to make recommendations on ways to strengthen the community message to include marketing strategies and an evaluation of the existing landscape.

Topic

Marketing Strategies | Competitive Landscape | Marketing Opportunities | Data Collection

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Numerator is a data and tech company serving the market research space, and a leading provider of insight into what, why, and how consumers buy. The company blends proprietary data with advanced technology to create unique insights for the market research industry that has been slow to change. The majority of Fortune 100 companies are Numerator clients.

Numerator is looking for a team of consultants to help build out a baseline strategic analysis/data set to include the following: Top-Down Market Sizing, Industry Trends specific to Numerator's industry and their clients' industries, Competitive Analysis (existing and emerging), and Persona Analysis specific to the individuals (titles, interests, etc.) who buy Numerator products.

Topic

Data Analysis | Market Research | Further details will be uncovered as the project begins

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
2:00 p.m.- 3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Heel Strike is a new company with a new product. A prototype of the product is being developed in the Engineering department here at NIU. The product is a sensor that can be placed in a cap that will measure the impact of your movements, such as walking, and other activities, on your brain. Research suggests that Dementia, Alzheimer's, and other diseases of the brain are a result of trauma to the brain on a cumulative level.

Heel Strike would like a team of consultants to build this new company form the ground up. Heel Strike needs many things including a business strategy/plan which includes but is not limited to; a marketing, licensing strategies, competitor analysis, and investor evaluation. Heel Strike is interested in hiring employees from ELC team and ultimately is looking for business minded individuals to take over ownership and up to 49% of the company. More information to come as the project unfolds.

Topic

Business Plan Development | Data Analytics | Marketing Strategies | More to come

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Since 1966, Sinnissippi Centers has provided behavioral health services in Carroll, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside Counties. This quality of care has built a strong reputation for Sinnissippi Centers across the state and nation. It is the mission of Sinnissippi Centers to provide quality, coordinated, and responsive behavioral healthcare services to the individuals, families, and communities we serve. Our vision has been developed since our founding in 1966 and informs us in everything we do each day while guiding us into the future--Together creating the highest level of care, empowering people of all ages to find joy and hope.

Sinnissippi Centers would like an ELC team of consultants to develop a marketing strategy that minimizes the stigma associated with behavioral healthcare, enlightens the population to services provided, and enhances processes to better engage and retain the clients in need of services.

Topic

Consumer Engagement Improvement Initiative | Process evaluation | Marketing strategies | Market research | Competitor analysis | Data collection and analysis

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

The mission of Opportunity DeKalb is to lead and sustain the transformation of the Annie Glidden North neighborhood in collaboration with other community partners. The vision for the Annie Glidden North neighborhood is a highly desirable and economically thriving area for all residents to live, learn, work, and play and a vibrant location for visitors from across the community. Opportunity DeKalb formed to step forward as a 501(c)(3) community development corporation called for in the City of DeKalb's Annie Glidden North Revitalization Plan.

The Annie Glidden North neighborhood extends north and west of NIU's DeKalb campus and includes much of the off-campus housing and apartments for NIU students. Two values very important to Opportunity DeKalb are transparency and inclusivity. The organization desires to be very transparent about what it does and wants to offer many opportunities for students and residents who are not students to be involved in the work of the organization.

Opportunity DeKalb would like an ELC team of consultants to evaluate the current data and demographics of the neighborhood and the larger community and help create an awareness campaign and communication plan for the organization based on our values of transparency and inclusivity. More details of the data, steps, and the overall project will be uncovered by the consultant team.

Topic

Marketing | Data Analysis | Awareness Campaign | Communication Strategy

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Past Projects

Spring 2020

W.W. Grainger, Inc. is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.5 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products in categories such as safety, material handling and metalworking, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries, including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with 1.7 million products stocked in the company's distribution centers (DCs) and branches worldwide. Grainger employs 25,000 team members across the globe.

Grainger would like an ELC team to help enhance its go-to-market strategy for Sustainable products in our offering. We are looking for a team to help us develop a strategy that incorporates key areas such as:

  • Industry Reputation - how do we grow our industry reputation as a leader in Sustainability and who are the additional stakeholders who could benefit from Grainger's sustainability offer?
  • Customers - where are the places where our customers can become more sustainable - who is/are the correct customer segment(s) to focus our efforts on?
  • Suppliers – How can we use our programs to help our suppliers elevate their sustainable offering?
Topic

Growth Business Strategy | Market Research | Supply Chain

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Our goal is to provide nursing home patients with 24/7, immediate access to high quality medical care (particularly for times and locations where access is limited), thus reducing the vast number of unnecessary transfers to the hospital while at the same time improving overall quality of care.

One of the summary documents we used for a trade show had the following description. Do you like any of this language?

Our Business: We leverage telemedicine to retain and recover lost revenue, to enhance current revenue, to decrease costs by offsetting liability through risk management, and to secure new revenue through increased market penetration. We bridge financial management and clinical care for the health care industry. Maxwell Telecare brings value to value-based care.

Our Service: To improve patient care and personal well-being by providing universal access to remote professional services and remote clinical technology, aligned with established provider systems. We are a medical practice leveraging digital technology to optimize and enhance healthcare.

Maxwell Telecare would like a team of consultants to research the current market, the competitive landscape, and help Maxwell Telecare position themselves as the provider of choice for telemedicine services. Maxwell Telecare would like a team of consultants to help plan their growth strategy as well as their financial model.

Topic

Marketing Strategy | Competitive Analysis | Benchmarking | Growth Strategy | Financial Modeling

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

The Northern Illinois Research Foundation (NIRF) is a not-for-profit organization (501(c) (3)) that seeks to contribute to and advance the educational, research, public service and economic development mission of Northern Illinois University.

NIRF would like an ELC team to develop a business plan for a new NIU spin-out company's diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. In addition, market analysis for future paths in the IP portfolio will be needed to move selected inventions with enough growth to sustain the business. If you're interested in entrepreneurship, this is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of how to launch a newly developed product.

Topic

Marketing | Entrepreneurship | Business Plan Development

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

Jason Gorham

Vous (pronounced VO) Vitamin prioritizes your health, starting with a lifestyle survey covering your wellness status and goals. Your vitamin blend has been carefully chosen by two physicians who founded Vous Vitamin in 2014. They created Vous to provide a solution that didn't exist in the market: a custom multivitamin made of the optimal mix of vitamins and nutrients your body needs, without unnecessary ingredients, delivered directly to you each month. With Vous, you are getting quality you can trust.

Vous Vitamins would like a team of consultants to evaluate the ideal corporate wellness-based vitamin program and define the program benefits and features that would add value to the corporate wellness customer. Additionally, Vous Vitamins would like the consultant team to evaluate and recommend a prioritized focus of corporate targets with whom to partner and develop key marketing and messaging points best used to approach the target corporations. Lastly, the consultants will explore the current landscape of benefit programs, evaluate the feasibility given the unit economics and competitive landscape and make recommendations on ways for Vous to maximize their opportunities.

Topic

Market Research | Financial Strategies | Customer Reach to include corporate partners

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

The Shelby Group is a global leader in e-procurement platform implementation and optimization. With hundreds of platform implementations and support engagements to our credit, The Shelby Group's expertise has consistently led to savings and performance improvement for our clients. Each client organization's culture, processes, and infrastructure are unique, which requires The Shelby Group to customize project plans to reflect that uniqueness. This can be extremely time-consuming and ultimately it makes macro-level analysis of the project and team effectiveness impossible. If we cannot compare like entities, it becomes impossible to improve processes. Therefore, we have begun a process of consolidating project management processes and tools to provide increased project-to-project consistency.

The Shelby Group would like a team of consultants to evaluate the results of this consolidation, come up with new KPIs, and brainstorm new process standardization ideas to help increase effectiveness and efficiency in project execution.

Topic

Data Analytics | Business Strategy | KPI | Project Evaluation

Meeting Time

Monday and Wednesday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Echo Global Logistics is a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. Echo offers freight brokerage and Managed Transportation solutions for all major shipping modes, including truckload, partial truckload, LTL, intermodal, and expedited. Echo maintains a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 50,000 transportation providers to serve 35,000 clients across a wide range of industries and simplify the critical tasks involved in transportation management. Every day they coordinate more than 16,000 shipments while servicing clients from SMBs to the Fortune 500.

Echo connects businesses that need to ship their products with carriers who transport goods quickly, securely and cost-effectively. Established in 2005, Echo Global Logistics has one objective: to simplify transportation management from coast to coast, dock to dock, so that shippers and carriers can focus on what they do best. Headquartered in Chicago with more than 30 offices around the country, Echo employs more than 2,300 team members.

Echo Global Logistics would like a team of consultants to help develop a better system for collecting, storing, and evaluating data as it pertains to the many employment applications receive each month. Echo would also like the team to build a better database system that will capture criteria for applicants to help expedite the interview and hiring processes.

Topic

HR Strategies | Data Analytics | Database Development | Data Collection

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
2-3:15 p.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

WeWarriors is a women-owned and operated company committed to offering solutions that make it possible for women to live life fully. Our mission is to enable and empower women to be their own, unique kind of warrior through the development of innovative, socially-responsible, and eco-friendly products. Creating the best solutions takes time, and we hope you will be as excited as we are about our startup. WeWarriors is committed to the customer experience and makes customer service a priority.

WeWarriors would like a team of consultants to advance the work from the first project team and include a strategy for a small startup company to expand its reach into the wholesale market.

Topic

Market Strategies | New Product Launch | Competitive Landscape | Marketing Opportunities | Data Collection | Web Design | Social Media | Business Strategies

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

Jacie Collum

As a merchant service provider, TransNational provides credit card processing, full-service payroll, online payment services and mobile payments to businesses of all sizes — merchant processing is what they do. Their merchant services credit card processing comes with transparent pricing and highly rated customer service.

TransNational Payments would like an ELC team of consultants to help with the following challenges:

  • Strategies for Building High-Performance Sales Teams – Analysis of TN Payment's current processes of constructing, supporting and motivating a sales team. Formulate recommendations to build results-oriented, consultative sales teams.
  • Expansion of Product Set – Analysis of current product/service offerings for small businesses and unmet needs. Develop recommendations on potential adjacent products/services and articulate value propositions for small businesses. Consider the impact on the training needs of sales teams.
  • Improve and Optimize Conversion – Analysis of current sales process (scripts, media use) and conversion rates. Create recommendations to enhance conversion throughout the sales funnel.
Topic

Sales Funnel Evaluation | Market Research | Evaluation of the Current Landscape | Data Analysis

Meeting Time

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Faculty Coach

TBD

Spring 2019

The YMCA of Rock River Valley is one of the longest standing charitable organizations and has served the greater Rockford area for more than 150 years. The YMCA has evolved and now works for educational attainment, opportunities for youth to grow and thrive, and providing families and seniors with a place to build relationships and their own sense of well-being. The YMCA serves all and continues to grow and expand its reach into the parts of the community that are underserved through strong programs and values the YMCA is known for.

Project:  The YMCA of Rock River Valley has requested an ELC team to conduct a strategic communications project with elements of data analysis and message development. The project team would assist the YMCA in developing outcome measures and an updatable dashboard that would help them better demonstrate the impact of their programs on the community.

An example:  If we know that teaching 1,000 kids to swim reduces drowning deaths by one kid, we want to be able to enter the number of lessons offered and have a dashboard that demonstrates how many lives saved

Topic

Marketing | Communications | Data Analysis

Faculty Coach

Jacie Collum

The Northern Illinois Research Foundation (NIRF) is a not-for-profit organization (501(c)(3)) that seeks to contribute to and advance the educational, research, public service and economic development mission of Northern Illinois University. NIRF’s purpose includes promoting scientific research at NIU, administering and managing activities to foster out-licensing to third parties of technology invented at NIU, and cultivating the formation of new spin-out companies, so that such technology may be developed and commercialized for the benefit of NIU and the public.

Project:  NIRF would like an ELC team to develop a business plan for a new NIU spin-out company’s diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. In addition, a market analysis for future paths in the IP portfolio will be needed to move selected inventions with enough growth to sustain the business. If you're interested in entrepreneurship, this is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of how to launch a newly developed product .

Topic

Marketing | Entrepreneurship | Business Plan Development

 

Faculty Coach

Jason Gorham

Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The company is also a founding corporate sponsor of the Building Ethical Leaders in an Ethics Framework (BELIEF) Program in the College of Business.

Project:  Caterpillar would like an ELC team to engage in a capacity planning project. In the Spring of 2019 the consultant team will build off the previous project completed during the Fall of 2018 semester. More details to come.

Topic

Capacity Planning

 

Faculty Coach

Neil Doughty

ClostraBio is dedicated to understanding and treating food allergies and other diseases of the immune system. Life-threatening allergic responses to food are an increasingly important public health problem. It is estimated that two children in every classroom now have a food allergy that requires strict dietary avoidance. Children with allergies, and their caretakers, often deal with reduced quality of life from the fear that an accidental exposure will trigger a life-threatening anaphylactic response. ClostraBio creates new medicines to treat and prevent these life-threatening allergic reactions. The company is also studying related diseases, in particular, inflammatory bowel diseases.

Project:  ClostraBio is exploring new therapeutic uses for its medication and believes inflammatory bowel diseases, which include diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, may be a good target. ClostraBio would like an ELC team to analyze the competitive landscape and target product profile to help best market medication associated with inflammatory bowel disease. This project will include an assessment of the current landscape of similar medications, market size, market research, and evaluation, price point assessment, and data analytics .

Topic

Business Analytics | Finance | Marketing | Market Research | Data Analytics

 

Faculty Coach

Neil Doughty

Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), the industry leader and innovator in Clinical Interface Terminology since 1994, makes sense out of complicated clinical information. IMO bridges the gap between clinical language and complex coding systems and their core terminology products simplify patient documentation and facilitate the capture of clinical information. IMO is the most widely used clinical terminology, with over 500,000 physicians using IMO worldwide.

Over the past year, IMO’s Software Engineering department has implemented an initiative to emphasize a culture of DevOps, intermixing software developers who build applications with operations engineers responsible for building and maintaining the systems that host these applications. An issue facing IMO is that they haven’t been able to take the time to identify or implement a measurable approach to determine if the changes made are leading to positive improvements for Software Engineering in particular, IMO in general.

Project:  IMO would like a team of consultants to develop some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to the change as outlined above, make recommendations on what data to use to model and report on these KPIs. Provided the KPIs are researched and discussed with IMO’s team, IMO will provide actual business data to the NIU team so that they can implement the proposed KPI given source data. IMO has utilized a well-known reference text in the industry regarding information capture but has yet to finalize functionality and measurability. This is currently a real issue that IMO is facing and has the potential to blend the worlds of computer science, engineering, business, math and statistics, and marketing.

Topic

Business | Information Systems | Marketing | Data Analytics

 

Faculty Coach

Neil Doughty

FSS is the only Domestic Violence agency in the county providing comprehensive services to victims and their families. Victims are provided with information about the Order of Protection process, as well as other supportive services that are available to them.

An updated VAD system is very much needed by FSS to keep proper track of all clients and their statuses throughout Family Shelter’s process. This is a redesign of the website which was developed by an ELC team in 2004.

Topic

Business & Data Analytics | Information Systems | Marketing

 

Faculty Coach

Jock Sommese

Lots of regular people are not too smart about their bodies and health. In fact, 90% of the US population lacks basic health literacy. This increases their health risks, degrades medical outcomes, and inflates costs for individuals and across the population. It also causes immeasurable anxiety and suffering related to illness, while undermining personal goals of wellness and self-care.

Humaginarium solves this problem with a new kind of digital health education. We make science more interesting, easier to understand, more relevant and useful. Our video games promote health literacy through very engaging entertainment.

Humaginarium would like an ELC team to research a strategy and recommend ways to effectively commercialize and market high-end video game entertainment directly to consumers. Humaginarium understands that penetration of the video game industry is a formidable challenge and they’re making it harder by conceiving games that embody health science and high-fidelity simulations of human physiology. Why? To improve the lives of players with chronic illness. When you consider that video games are the most popular category of entertainment in the US, and that half of the US population has at least one debilitating chronic illness, you begin to sense a convergence of two massive cultural interests. Yet rarely do people talk about games and health in the same breath. The convergence could become a gigantic market opportunity.

Topic

Marketing | Communications | Data Analytics

 

Faculty Coach

Jason Gorham

Contact Us

Experiential Learning Center
Barsema Hall 303
740 Garden Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-4006
elc@niu.edu

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