Lunch and Learn: “From Student to Startup: How I Created a Growing Company with SBIR Funding,” 5/29/2015

Don’t miss this real-life success story!

TechLink Lunch & Learn Series:
From Student to Startup:
How I Created a Growing Company with SBIR Funding

Friday, May 29, 2015
Noon – 1:00 pm

MSU Engineering and Physical Sciences Building
Room 127

Cost: It’s Free!

In October of 2012, two PhD candidates at MSU, Trey Riddle and Jared Nelson, came up with an unconventional plan to create jobs for themselves in Montana after graduation. They would form a startup company (Gradient Engineering) and tap into the Small Business Innovation Research program to fund it. The two wrote and submitted proposals for SBIR grants and contracts to three different agencies. By the time they graduated in July, they had won a grant from the National Science Foundation for the first proposal they had submitted, a research project studying the feasibility of using U.S.-grown bamboo fiber as reinforcement in composite materials.

Come hear Riddle tell the story of how he and Nelson successfully transitioned from MSU grad students to co-founders of a growing engineering firm with the assistance of over $1 million in SBIR grants and matching funds. Lunch will be provided, and there will be time for networking following Riddle’s presentation and a Q&A session.

This event is being presented by TechLink, the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development, Blackstone LaunchPad at MSU and the Montana Innovation Technology Partnership.

Trey W. Riddle, PhD, is the CEO of Gradient Engineering. Dr. Riddle has worked in a variety industries, including automotive, wind energy and materials testing. He has extensive experience with composite materials, probabilistic analysis and systems engineering. He received his BS and PhD from Montana State University and Masters from Cornell University.

For more information, contact Phillip Luebke at 406-994-7748 or