The Sawyer Business School competition that has helped students successfully launch inventive new products is being renamed in honor of its founder, Sushil Bhatia, an inventor and entrepreneur who has taught courses in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and New Product Development at Suffolk University’s Business School since 2005.
The Dr. Sushil Bhatia Competition for Innovative Ideas has grown from its 2006 origins, when 27 entries were submitted, into an event that draws more than 250 entries and has yielded products and services that have succeeded on iTunes, QVC TV and Shark Tank.
Students may win up to $100,000 in cash and services to support the development of new products into commercial enterprises and solutions through the annual Sawyer Business School competition. Bhatia offers regular feedback to help competitors develop their ideas.
The Business School is partnering with Boston-based angel investment group TiE Angels Boston on the competition. TiE Angels Boston will look at promising product innovations that come out of the competition and introduce those exciting business ventures to TiE Angels investors for possible fundraising opportunities.
While most award categories are available only to Suffolk University students, the Urvashi Bhatia Green Product Award and Bottom of the Pyramid Award are open to the general public. Winners of this year’s competition will be announced in the spring.
“It is our pleasure to honor Sushil for the commitment he has made to bringing his innovative spirit to the University, said Sawyer Business School Dean William J. O’Neill, Jr. “Sushil has led us all in transforming our curriculum to deliver innovative learning experiences for our students. We look forward to his continued work with our students and alumni as they create new ideas and start up new businesses and successfully bring these ideas to the marketplace.
Bhatia has innovated, developed and has patents for a number of products, including Glue Stic, convention/seminar name badges, mailing labels, laser/copier labels, binding systems, decorative labels for shampoo/cosmetic/food containers, and the DeCopier.
“I am honored to have the NPIC renamed in recognition of the role I have played developing it,” said Bhatia. “But more importantly I am thrilled at the widespread success of this program and how it is demonstrating beyond any doubt how by tying together the ecosystems of higher education, financing and mentorship we can spur the growth of new companies, employing many and growing our economy in a meaningful way. I thank Suffolk University for its faith in entrepreneurship and support of my efforts.”
Bhatia is a former chair of the angel investment organization TiE Angels Boston, and current Chair Ramesh Kumar offered congratulations, saying that those who have worked with Bhatia “know his laser focus on innovation, products and entrepreneurship as a way to disrupt markets. … We look forward to the opportunity to assist and fund innovation competition winners as well as introduce them to our partners in the local angel investment community.”