Company projects are the backbone of the Bessel Origin program. These real-world work projects pair our participants (usually students or recent grads who want practice applying what they’ve learned in school) with sponsor companies who need help with a time-sensitive project. These pairings give our participants the chance to make an immediate impact and learn how work unfolds outside the classroom.
In the fall of 2020, we worked with the medical device startup Fulmer Instruments. The company needed help with a variety of classic startup tasks to move its concept forward. Nandini Venkatesh mentored a team of three Bessel Origin participants for 8 weeks on the project. The team took on human factors analysis, concept development by computer modeling, market research, and financial modeling. I guided the team during our weekly cohort sessions.
Fulmer Instruments is in stealth mode - stay tuned to hear about their family of products currently in development!
What was the experience like for the team at Fulmer Instruments? I asked Fulmer Instruments founder Dr. Ben Fulmer and his co-founder, industrial designer Lloyd Cooper, to share their feedback.
For Participants: A Chance to Learn and Make an Impact
First, the Fulmer Instruments team recognized the clear benefits of the program for Bessel Origin participants. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for these young people to get experience and observe a project happening in real-time,” Lloyd says. And in the case of the Fulmer Instruments project, “it was an opportunity to work on groundbreaking technology that could have a massive impact on the quality of care. They made a tangible contribution to a meaningful project that will help a lot of people.”
Plus, participants were able to see how their specific contributions fit into a larger project. The Fulmer Instruments team gave Bessel Origin participants access to their project management tool, Basecamp. In Basecamp, participants could take responsibility for their parts of the project — and get a larger context for the other work the company was doing.
For Fulmer Instruments: A New Perspective from Young Minds
Bringing on a Bessel Origin team was like hiring a new class of interns — but without the burden of finding, hiring, training, managing, and mentoring those interns. The Bessel Origin experience was turnkey for Fulmer Instruments. “As a project manager, I wouldn’t have had time to manage a team of interns,” Lloyd says. By working with Bessel Origin, the company got a ready-made, eager, and helpful team. “Working with Bessel shortened the lead time. We could start acting on our needs immediately,” he says.
Lloyd and Ben describe their Bessel Origin team as “hungry,” “motivated,” and “enthusiastic.”
What did the Bessel Origin participants do for Fulmer Instruments? “We needed help bringing several parallel disciplines to maturity,” Ben says. “They worked on our finance plan, market sizing, and manufacturing processes.” And when they brought that research back to the Fulmer Instruments team, Lloyd says “they helped us make the next decision faster.”
A heartfelt thanks to Fulmer Instruments!
Interested in Sponsoring a Bessel Origin Team?
If you’re looking for a lean, efficient resource to jumpstart a project and do work quickly, consider the Bessel Origin program with your team, or the Bessel Origin for Interns program. “I would strongly recommend participating in Bessel Origin,” Lloyd says. “It’s a great opportunity to bring in resources in a cost-effective way, and to leverage the guidance of experienced mentors who manage entry-level talent efficiently so you can get real work done quickly.”
Have a project for us? Learn more about becoming a sponsor company.
Do you know a motivated recent college grad who should participate in Bessel Origin? Refer them to our application page.