Verizon Grant Helps NYU-Poly Introduce Students to Joys and Rigors of Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Verizon Foundation will underwrite a novel introductory course at Polytechnic Institute of New York University that introduces undergraduate students to the excitement of technical innovation and lays a foundation of entrepreneurial skills.

By introducing new students to the curriculum that NYU-Poly calls i2e invention, innovation and entrepreneurship they become totally immersed in and comfortable with thinking creatively in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The Innovation in Engineering and Technology Forum course was the first attempt by any university to reach all its new students with lessons in innovation while introducing them to real inventors, creators and entrepreneurs.

"Verizon and NYU-Poly have worked together for many years," said Richard Windram, Verizon vice president of government and external affairs. "We are enthusiastic about taking this partnership to the classroom with the Innovation in Engineering and Technology Forum, integrating technology into the educational experience for all of NYU-Poly's new undergraduate students.

The Innovation in Engineering and Technology Forum lays the foundation for building the next generation of global innovators and inventors, said Iraj Kalkhoran, NYU-Poly associate provost of undergraduate academics. The experience brings i2e to the forefront of their educational experience in a research-intensive institution. It introduces them to a rigorous multidisciplinary approach that will guide them throughout their next four years. It encourages scholarly interaction, and it gives them insight into the strategies of successful inventors and entrepreneurs.

Throughout the course, students attend lectures by notable guest lecturers on hot-button issues like green technology, microfinance, patent law and biotechnology, discovering important examples set by scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. During course break-out sessions, they have the opportunity to put what they learned into practice and compete in innovation challenges such as generating value from a stack of Post-it notes. The forum was created by Erich E. Kunhardt, physics professor and former NYU-Poly provost. It is led by David Lefer, noted author on innovation.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 156-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.

About Verizon

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site,, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 91 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.