Compelling speakers from the Wayne State community will describe their experiences in bursts known as Innovation, Disruption and Opportunity (IDO) Talks

Media Contacts: Matt Lockwood; Wayne State University; 313.577.9098;; Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications; 248.260.8466;

Detroit—Nov. 6, 2017—As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The centerpiece of the launch celebration is a series of brief, compelling IDO (Innovation, Disruption and Opportunity) Talks by innovators and entrepreneurs from the Wayne State community. Each IDO talk, similar in format to TED Talks, will focus on a different aspect of innovation and entrepreneurship drawn from the speaker’s experience and will last five minutes or less – just enough time to convey the speaker’s core message and ignite the imagination of the audience. The IDO speakers are:

  • Mary Anderson – Associate Professor and Associate Chair, WSU Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance. Dr. Anderson will share images and ideas about what she has learned observing durational child-directed play in the Detroit Free Forest School, located at Belle Isle.
  • Kavya Davuluri – a Wayne State student and co-founder of Optimize Wayne. Davuluri will share what she has learned about Wayne State and her fellow students through her involvement with Optimize, a student-led organization that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve social impact.
  • Lauren Hamel – Assistant Professor, Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Hamel will describe how she identified a significant problem – a lack of patient-physician treatment discussions – and how developing a solution to the problem led her to a new role as an entrepreneur.
  • Fares Ksebati – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and CEO of MySwimPro. Ksebati will describe how he turned a passion for swimming and an idea into Apple’s Best App of 2016, with impact in 150 countries.
  • Maurice Recanati, M.D. – Assistant Professor-Clinical, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Recanati will relate how his childhood desire to make the journey to Mars led him to a career that includes undergraduate degrees in physics and engineering, a medical degree, a series of inventions, and success as an entrepreneur and venture investor.
  • Jordette Singleton – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and owner of the UnitedFront retail shop. Singleton will describe how she overcame fear and took the leap into entrepreneurship, and how being the ultimate failure as an entrepreneur can lead to great success.

In addition to the IDO Talks™ presenters, WSU President M. Roy Wilson, Provost Keith Whitfield and Vice-President of Economic Development/TechTown Detroit CEO Ned Staebler, will offer brief remarks. Tech entrepreneur W. David Tarver, recently appointed Senior Counselor to the Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will serve as event host and master of ceremonies.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will reinforce Wayne State’s strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking this commitment to an even higher level. In addition to the IDO TalksTM, the high energy event will include music, the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project where participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters, and a prototype “Innovation Studio” where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with innovations and innovators from the Wayne State community and the region. Attendees will be encouraged to connect with the many resources that exist in the region, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

The event is open to the public. Light food and beverages will be served. Please register at Space is limited.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.