University of South Carolina

Innovista model yields new style of company

A new startup company that combines the technology of the University of South Carolina’s engineering researchers with the entrepreneurial know-how of the university’s business school and seasoned executives exemplifies a new business model for Innovista.

The company, SysEDA Inc., is developing cloud-based collaborative engineering tools for power systems design and analysis. SysEDA’s flagship product, Virtual Test Bed (VTB), is focused on the simulation of power systems for electric ships but is expected to have implication for other types of electric vehicles in the future. SysEDA VTB is based on technology developed by Dr. Roger Dougal, professor of electrical engineering at USC, and is licensed by the USC Research Foundation.

“This is quintessential Innovista,” said Don Herriott, the director of Innovista Partnerships. “It’s business people teaming with technical people to build innovative companies.”

For more than 10 years, Dougal and his research assistants have worked with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop SysEDA VTB so that it can be used in system design, simulation and analysis of electric ships.

USC and SysEDA have been awarded a $2.4 million contract from the ONR. SysEDA will work with the global giant ABB over the next three years to develop the product for future ships. ABB is an international leader in power and automation technologies, operating in about 100 countries and employing approximately 117,000 people.

Unique Engineering / Business Collaboration

“SysEDA represents a growing style of collaboration whereby researchers from the USC College of Engineering and Computing are paired with graduates of the Darla Moore School of Business and seasoned executives to get new companies quickly formed and positioned for success,” Herriott said.

Kelly Truesdale, SysEDA’s chief operating officer and a 2010 IMBA graduate, typifies this collaboration. He works with a proven entrepreneur/corporate executive team from Bang! Technologies Inc., which provides mentorship to the SysEDA team, in addition to being hands-on members of the SysEDA management team. This approach is considered a model to bring business grads together with scientist/engineering grads under the mentorship of proven executives and entrepreneurs to form the young entrepreneurial leadership teams of new Innovista companies exemplified by SysEDA.

SysEDA is based at the USC Technology Incubator. The incubator offers a venture-friendly environment for SysEDA employees while they begin to grow the company.

SysEDA Inc. was recently formed to develop cloud-based collaborative engineering tools for systems design and analysis. The flagship product, Virtual Test Bed (VTB), is focused on the simulation of power systems that will drive the future. VTB is based on technology developed by Dr. Roger Dougal, professor of electrical engineering at the University of South Carolina, and licensed by the University of South Carolina Research Foundation.

For more than 10 years, Dougal and his research assistants have worked in partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop VTB so that it can be used to assist in system design, simulation and analysis of electric ships. Several other research universities and private corporations have been involved in the development of this significant platform over the years.

The company’s chief operating officer is Kelly Truesdale, a recent graduate of the International Master of Business Administration program in the Darla Moore School of Business at USC.

About Dr. Roger Dougal

Roger Dougal is a professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina. He is director of USC’s Power & Energy Systems Research Group, site director of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Grid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems, a director of the Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium, and director of the Virtual Test Bed project. The latter focuses on interdisciplinary simulation and visualization of modern energy systems.

About Bang! Technologies Inc.

Bang! Technologies Inc., founded by James E. Clark, Jeff McElroy and Al Quick, offers hands-on mentoring for new entrepreneurs while being actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the start -up businesses. The purpose of Bang! Technologies is to seek out innovative research in and around the university, pair it with young entrepreneurial talent from the Darla Moore School of Business, and leverage the deep managerial and entrepreneurial experience from the founders in an effort to accelerate the launch of successful new ventures.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 09/01/10 @ 4:40 PM | Updated: 09/02/10 @ 9:04 AM | Permalink