Atlanta, GA

Jana Boerger and Emma Wu, graduate students who entered Scheller's TI:GER program in Atlanta

Andrew Alvarez

ATLANTA, GA - Jana Boerger, a machine learning Ph.D. student, and Emma Wu, an operations research Ph.D. student, are two ISyE graduate students who entered TI:GER in the spring of 2021 and finished the first semester of the course.

Boerger left the course to pursue two internships with the Boston Consulting Group and Shopify, while Wu will remain with TI:GER.

TI:GER® (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) is a 12-credit, three-semester course that links Tech, MBA, and Ph.D. students with Emory University School of Law Juris Doctor (JD) students to translate ideas into successful technology solutions which is one of these intriguing prospects.

Boerger and Wu discuss their journey with the program, how their thoughts on entrepreneurship have altered, and their future goals, through an interview.

With Boerger, the reason she chose TI:GER is because she's always been fascinated by entrepreneurship, particularly how to turn an idea into a viable business. She felt the program sounded ideal when She noticed that they accept Ph.D. students.

While Wu said she has spoken with one of her mentors, a Georgia Tech alumna, who informed her that the program is fantastic and that it has helped her tremendously in her career, which is why she chose to apply. With TI:GER, she'd like to broaden her views and learn more about entrepreneurship.

Regarding turning their research into a business, Boerger stated that the concept originated from both Emma and her. A group of engineers has created an algorithm that optimizes warehouse decision-making. Clients will be able to administer their warehouse management systems easier.

Wu's research project has the potential to be commercialized. She claims she might launch a company that leverages her trading algorithms to provide quantitative market insights. She intends to raise $1 million for her quantitative trading research project, which involves machine learning.

For Boerger, the class in TI:GER provides a research methods section of the lab that was quite interesting. Because they're so focused on quantitative research at Tech, learning more about qualitative research, such as how to conduct interviews without leading witnesses, was quite beneficial. And she also learned about the phases of consumer discovery in the innovation analysis course.

While for Wu, the product she's intending to design is connected to investment management software, such as a Robo-advisor, and she learned that some entrepreneurs invest very little in the financial markets and instead put all of their money into their own business. That was one of the intriguing things she discovered.

Boerger said that understanding the customer discovery process was one of the most valuable skills that she learned. Furthermore, with Wu, she spent a lot of time researching the genuine needs of customers, potential markets, and market rivals during the customer discovery and disciplined entrepreneurship courses. So, she's glad to have the chance to work on the business end of her research.

Read the complete Q&A here.

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