Sears think[box], a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, bridges the gap between new ideas and real-world impact. Located at Case Western Reserve University, whose alumni include Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, Craig Newmark, the Craig behind Craigslist, and Andrew Witte, inventor of the Pebble watch—this iconic seven-story, 50,000-square-foot facility features a world-renowned makerspace for prototyping ideas as well as a full spectrum of resources for entrepreneurs to build and grow their business ventures and not-for-profit organizations. Uniquely, this space is free and open to the public and serves as a nexus for collaborations from science and engineering, business and law, art and design, by innovators from around the world.
A Focal Point for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Through unique partnerships, Sears think[box] focuses the efforts across Case Western Reserve University into a complete ecosystem for innovation.
These partnerships include:
- CWRU LaunchNET - supporting business plan creation, market research, investor relations, networking, and business pitch competitions.
- IP Venture Clinic - supporting intellectual property protection, incorporation, and other business issues facing startups.
- Technology Transfer - supporting commercialization of university research at an R1 research institution.
The Significance of This Flagship Center
Leadership at this premier center includes founding members of the Higher Education Makerspace Initiative (HEMI), an academic society composed of leaders from Stanford, MIT, and other notable institutions. In 2017, think[box] hosted the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces - the largest conference of its kind. Founding members of think[box] have also been invited to speak on making and innovation at NASA's Jet Propulsions Laboratory and the National Science Foundation, and have provided insight and consulting to more than 200 higher-ed institutions worldwide.
Through the efforts of think[box] and partner organizations, Case Western Reserve University became the first university to feature student startups at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and continues to have the largest university presence at the annual show.
Startups with roots at think[box] and partner organizations have attracted investors and raised tens of millions of dollars in funding while taking numerous innovations to market. These ventures cover a broad variety of industries from medical diagnostics to cryptographic authentication, event video streaming to AI welding robots, consumer analytics to green energy devices. See our success stories >>.
The Sears think[box] is a world‐class university innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that includes a makerspace for prototyping and fabrication as well as a full spectrum of resources for entrepreneurs. Its physical presence on campus can be found in all aspects of university life, serving as an integral resource for students, staff, and faculty. This space is free and open to the public to encourage students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community to tinker and creatively invent in their coursework, research, entrepreneurial pursuits, and personal projects. Through a unique partnership between multiple schools and university offices, Sears think[box] focuses the efforts of Case Western Reserve University ‐ an R1 research institution ‐ into a complete menu of services and facilities to guide the creation and commercialization of intellectual property. Read the Strategic Planning Document >>