Lots of engineers have great, innovative product concepts, but may lack the business acumen to develop them into marketable goods. A lot of business students have great marketing skills, but might not have access to solid creative product ideas to promote.
Enter Ali AbdulHussein.
“I’m trying to build a formal link between engineering and business and get them to speak the same language,” says one of the newest faculty members on campus. “We want to create something more concrete that can turn into real ventures.”
A self-described risk taker and creative thinker, AbdulHussein earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of British Columbia in 2008 and an MBA at Simon Fraser University in 2011.
Both while a student and after graduation, he’s been involved in a number of new ventures in everything from marketing analytics to telematics and says he’d like to utilize his experience with start-ups to help introduce innovative products to market while creating an interactive learning environment for young entrepreneurs.
“I hear about new ideas every day,” he says. “It’s become very cheap to start a company, and there are a remarkable number of opportunities in this area. And there are a certain number of these students who can make for great entrepreneurs.”
Cross appointed to both faculties, AbdulHussein says he’ll be paying very close attention to fourth year engineering capstone projects to watch for marketable concepts, while working closely with the people at EPICentre, a new initiative that aims to enhance and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit on campus.