NAU Wind Turbine Team Team Moves Closer to a Windy Solution

Posted: Monday, December 11th 2017 at 3:24 PM

At the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester, one team, Airborne Wind Turbine Worldwide, came away from Dr. Denise Parris’ MGT 435 New Venture Creation and Business Planning’s Wind Competition Concept Pitch with a winning concept. Diana Carlson and Shawn Malkou were then joined by Tyler Brown and Jordan Parker to form a targeted Business Plan team. Throughout the fall semester, they worked with a team of 18 NAU Engineering students to develop their research-supported business model for a marketable wind turbine in preparation to represent Northern Arizona University in the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The competition will be held at the American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER conference in Chicago, Illinois, from May 8–10. Competing teams will design, build and test a wind turbine, conduct market research and develop a business plan, and site a wind farm. All products will be judged by a panel of wind industry leaders.

The team has a product concept selected, and is using entrepreneurial methods learned in Dr. Parris’ course to fine-tune the business plan details. The business team have adopted the Customer Development Process developed by Steve Blank, which is also embraced by National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™). Brown reports that they are performing continued market research and iterating based on customer feedback.  In addition to their business team roles, Malkou and Brown are responsible for communication about the team’s endeavors, Parker is project manager, and Carlson is business plan lead.

NAU is one of 12 schools that have the honor of taking part in the competition. They will be competing against powerhouse universities such as Penn State and Virginia Tech. “We are a little bit of an underdog,” said Malkou. This is fueling their fire to get the job done.

Students in MGT 435 will move on to the national Collegiate Wind Competition by enrolling in the Spring course, MGT 497 Independent Study. These students are ready to see their ideation through to the national level and look forward to the challenge in Chicago in May.

Pitch Competition story HERE


Collegiate Wind Competition Team Break Down


Categories: wind competition karin wadsack denise parris collegiate wind competition fall 2017 2017 2018 students faculty shawn malkou tyler brown