From Entrepreneurship at Motorola to the Turner Center

By James Foley, Director, Turner Center Operations, FCBA International Programs

This summer the Turner Center is hosting a Bradley University engineering student for an internship in entrepreneurship. Ryan Miller (Mechanical Engineering, 2014) is no stranger to the creative and diverse thinking needed to solve problems associated with new companies and products. In a prior summer internship, he developed the adhesive pad used in the Motorola Droid Razr cell phone. It was Motorola’s slimmest cell phone to date, so it needed a new design for the adhesive that attaches the back cover. In thinking about the challenges, Ryan remarks: “My experience interning at Motorola gave me an inside look at the process which takes ideas from concept to final product. This prepared me to think in an entrepreneurial way because it had to be a new design, but it also had to work. We would drop-test phones. If the back came off, we had to try a different approach. In that way it became an iterative approach. ” Ultimately, a design worked and Ryan is proud to know he played a role in a well-received phone. If he notices someone with the Razr, he’ll stop and ask if they like it. And if they do, he sometimes lets them know his small role in a very big project.

His Motorola experience prepared him for his next entrepreneurial challenge: Project Springboard - Bradley’s student business plan competition. Ryan and his team presented a plan to develop Livable Tech’s battery belt that could be used to charge devices such as a cell phone. Project Springboard was a yearlong endeavor, which took many of the strategies he learned at Motorola and connected them to his business and engineering classes. The hard work paid off as his team won first place in the 2012 competition.

This summer, Ryan will be working with clients and conducting research on entrepreneurship activities in Central Illinois. He is looking forward to new challenges and projects. “I see myself working with new people and projects every day for my career, so the Turner Center was a perfect fit to take advantage of my interests and experiences.”