Washington State University Tri-Cities has launched a new Entrepreneurs in Residence program to provide students with direct connections to successful entrepreneurs for mentorship so that students may scale ideas from concepts into reality.
Through the program, students will have the option to meet with entrepreneurs to receive free advice, coaching, as well as networking connections to industry for potential partnerships.
The idea for the program came about as a result of conversations between WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes and regional entrepreneurs Paul Carlisle and Christina Lomasney.
“We see an opportunity to build a pipeline of future entrepreneurs starting on the WSU Tri-Cities campus,” Lomasney said. “The pieces are already here: a thriving Tri-Cities economy, a local national laboratory presence, growing venture capital resources and access to a strong academic foundation. We believe WSU Tri-Cities can play an instrumental role in bringing these pieces together to create opportunity for our Cougs, to breed entrepreneurs and to help them take advantage of our unique local resources.”
Carlisle will lead the program at WSU Tri-Cities. He is a graduate of the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business where he developed the business plan for his highly-successful and locally-based technology business, elevate, which provides technology solutions for businesses and organizations across the Pacific Northwest. Carlisle recently announced the sale of his business this month and said he is excited to be a part of the Entrepreneurs in Residence program to give back to students after a career in the tech sector. In addition to his business roles, he serves as an adjunct faculty member with the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business, as well as the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business advisory council. He also received the Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership Award in 2016, which recognizes community leaders who provide support to entrepreneurs in the region.
“Over the past 11 years, I have taught entrepreneurial courses around management, marketing and strategy,” he said. “We look to build on the decade of successful coursework in those areas to create wider-reaching pathways that engage students where they are. For example, a young undergraduate, a graduate engineering student and a seasoned business professional would all have a place at the table to access what they need to succeed on their unique journeys.”
Lomasney is volunteering her time as an entrepreneur in residence for the program. She co-founded Modumetal and served as the company’s president and CEO until 2020. The company partnered with leading Fortune 500 companies to commercialize revolutionary classes of nanostructured metals. Prior to Modumetal, she co-founded Isotron while in graduate school. Through Isotron, she realized a portfolio of advanced materials for environmental remediation and nuclear, biological and chemical defense. Lomasney now serves as an advisor to technology companies in energy, transportation, defense, manufacturing and advanced materials sectors, is a registered patent agent and volunteers as a board director on Washington state’s main initiative to secure critical material supply chains – JCDREAM.org. She was named by Fortune as one of the “World’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.”
Lomasney said the WSU Tri-Cities program will open an unlimited horizon for business, science and technology students to go beyond learning and to build for a better future.
“I look forward to sharing time enabling students to become better versions of themselves – in tune with the problems of our time and engaged in finding solutions for the future,” she said.
Both Carlisle and Lomasney will spend regular time at WSU Tri-Cities, where in addition to working with business and other classes on campus, they will also meet individually with students and help student groups realize their dreams for projects and concepts.
For more information about the WSU Tri-Cities Entrepreneurs in Residence program, including how to get involved, visit tricities.wsu.edu/entrepreneurs-in-residence.