An event focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation is coming to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology next week. The Rose Startup conference will feature sessions including protecting ideas, investment sources and pitching. October 29, 2013

News Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – An upcoming conference at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will give business executives the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation from the best, like successful entrepreneurs Michael Hatfield, Jason Zielke, Scott Atkin and K. Ram Sundaram.

The Rose Startup conference on Saturday, November 9, will bring together experienced entrepreneurs and young rock-star entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities and thinking. Panel and breakout sessions will cover topics on Why Entrepreneurship?, Funding and Growing, Pitching a Winner, Protecting Your Idea, and Resources for Entrepreneurship.

Registration is $75 for non-Rose-Hulman participants, $50 for Rose-Hulman faculty and staff members, and free for Rose-Hulman students. Register at

Hatfield, a 1984 Rose-Hulman electrical engineering and mathematical economics alumnus, is leading his fourth successful startup enterprise, serving as president and founder of California-based Cyan Inc., a publicly-traded technology company that helps service providers and other network operators around the world scale their networks, reduce their costs and accelerate service delivery.

Previously, Hatfield founded Calix, a leading provider of high-speed access systems for communications service providers; founded Cerent, a leading provider of high-speed fiber-optics systems, which was acquired by Cisco for $7 billion; was a team leader for Advanced Fibre Communications, helping the company go from startup to becoming a publicly-traded enterprise. He has also had management roles at DSC Communications and Ameritech.

Zielke is president and chief operating officer of Precise Path Robotics, an Indiana-based technology company that’s focused on the commercialization of automation for the outdoors, primarily concentrated in specialized software and sensor technologies.

During Zielke's tenure, the company has raised more than $18 million in private investment and grants. In 2009, Precise Path Robotics launched its first product, a robotic greens mower for golf courses, and today is embedding its technologies into several products focused on the golf course market.

Prior to joining Precise Path, Zielke was an Innovation Fellow assisting in the development of projects for Rose-Hulman Ventures; founded Enjoin, a software development company; and consulted for numerous startup technology companies in the areas of product management, market positioning and finance. He also worked as an application engineer at Allison Electric Drive, where he helped successfully launch General Motors' first hybrid technology platform. He earned a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in engineering management at Rose-Hulman, and was named a Distinguished Young Alumnus of the institute in 2010.

Atkin has been involved in business development and innovation for most of his career. He founded Sagian, an Indiana-based technology startup, and reached the level of executive vice president at Beckman Coulter. He was responsible for business and product development, and oversaw the global engineering development organization that supported all product lines in regulated and non-regulated markets. Atkin retired in 2012 as president of Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and serves as an advisor to a healthcare focused private equity firm.

Sundaram is a senior principal at X by 2 Inc. and has more than 25 years of experience in technology and business consulting. He is a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 company executives on their enterprise class technologies and multi-year strategies, and has a proven track record for conceptualizing business issues and opportunities into actionable solutions, and successfully implementing technology solutions for clients. Prior to starting X by 2, Sundaram played a leadership role in launching Cambridge Technology Partners’ Detroit operation and successfully developing two other high-growth consulting ventures.

Other session speakers and panelists will feature:

-Mike Langellier, successful entrepreneur and software executive who now serves as president and CEO of TechPoint, Indiana's technology growth initiative.

-Jonathon Fruchte, portfolio manager for Elevate Ventures, an active angel and seed fund investment firm that manages the State of Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund (21 Fund) and Indiana’s Federal Treasury SSBCI Program allocation (Indiana Angel Fund).

-Dustin DuBois, a partner with Ice Miller whose practice concentrates in various facets of intellectual property and transactions. He also assists clients with complex legal issues including compliance with export control regulations, international privacy laws and in compliance with a host of other regulatory frameworks.

-Jim A. Coles, co-chair of Taft's Intellectual Property Practice and an influential leader in technology and business issues. He has vast experience with all types of intellectual property and technology matters and helps clients determine the breadth and value of their intellectual property assets through audit services and strategies for protecting and exploiting those assets.

-Yaw Aning is the co-founder of Sticksnleaves, a ruby-on-rails web and mobile application development firm. For the past three years, he has helped clients launch more than 20 new technology ventures for small startups and large enterprises.

Sessions are planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Rose-Hulman's Hulman Memorial Student Union.

The conference has been organized by members of the Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs organization.

About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is dedicated to preparing its students with the world's best undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor, and individualized attention. The college, located in Terre Haute, Indiana, has an enrollment of approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has rated Rose-Hulman as the top undergraduate engineering college in the nation whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's. Rose-Hulman has also been recognized by The Princeton Review, which cited six of the institute’s professors within their 2012 Best 300 Professors book, the only institution of higher learning in Indiana to be included. Learn more at

Source: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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