Our MIX Lab innovation center continues to be a draw for visitors who come to the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship to learn more about our offerings. The chance to see our 35 3D printers in action, and talk to students who are innovating, making and iterating inside the lab, remains a top reason to visit the Feliciano Center.
Today’s visitors included Liliana Gil Valletta, co-founder and CEO of CIEN+, a business intelligence and marketing services company. Valletta was joined by two of our advisory board members: Mimi Feliciano, founder and CEO of FEM Real Estate, and Ilene Wachs, president of Horizon Casualty Services, Inc. at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
Valletta is an award-winning entrepreneur who also is the founder of Dreamers Ventures, a product innovation accelerator that is an alliance of leading experts, investors and mentors to fill the gap in access and opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs. Dreamers Ventures has launched and managed HSN’s Project American Dreams, a business competition that discovers, mentors and fast tracks Latino entrepreneurs to launch their products live on HSN. Valletta is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She is also an independent on-air contributor to Fox News Channel, CNN en Espanol and other networks on issues of business, diversity/multicultural and women matters.
The visitors learned about MIX Lab from two students who help manage the lab: Altarik Banks, a senior Psychology major, and Josh Miller, a senior Management major.
Banks and Miller, who have received our 3D Printing Certificate in Digitally Mediated Innovation Design and our Certificate of Entrepreneurship, showed Valletta, Feliciano and Wachs two of the items they created thanks to the knowledge they have gained from the MIX Lab and its courses. First, the duo launched Geo Collection, a series of biodegradable bags created with Kombucha leather using a pollutant free production process, leaving no environmental harm to the planet.
Then, Banks and Miller focused on special cups for Local, a Montclair coffee shop in Watchung Plaza. The cups have an innovative design that signal to servers when coffee drinkers are done and ready to have their table cleared. The pair used 3D printing to create prototypes of the cups, and after refining the design they made the cups using locally sourced clay. Local is selling the cups at its eatery.