Frequently Asked Questions

There are several ways to network in the Lyle community to tap expertise. The Lyle School hosts meet and greet events several times a semester. In addition, flyers posted around the engineering quad have worked as an informal way to connect in the past. A formal posting can be made on MustangTrak, or you may connect via the Conversation Pit on this site.


If you are a student and you came up with a patentable idea without using significant SMU resources, then you might want to take advantage of the Dedman Patent Law clinic.

If you are a faculty member or otherwise employed by SMU, you should consult the official IP Policy of the University

The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship offers a wide variety of excellent courses in the discipline of entrepreneurship.

Two great student-led clubs on campus are:

The MBA Entrepreneurship Club 

SMU Entrepreneurship Club (primarily for undergrads)

You might also find the Conversation Pit a nice way to network.

Funding depends on who you are, what you’re doing, and how much you need.

If you’re a student, Big iDeas can be a great place to win a few thousand dollars.

Government grants from the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program allow you to get reasonable seed funding with no loss of equity.

Angels and venture capitalists (VC) do exist for higher risk and more developed ideas.

By no means is this list comprehensive. One thought, though, is to be selective and thoughtful about whom you take funding from and the terms of that deal. Some good advice from mentors and professionals can help a lot.


Lab Door

Hewlett-Packard started in a garage. Microsoft started in a garage. Amazon started in a garage. Google started in a garage. Apple started in a garage. Disney started in a garage. This is one of the doors on SMU’s East Campus currently housing some of the sophisticated research labs of the Lyle School of Engineering. Innovation isn’t always pretty.