On April 30, Paul Wessel, CEO of Innovation Consulting Partners LLC concluded the SPICE (Speakers Pioneering Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship) speaker series of the academic year, hosted by Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology of Saint Louis University.
SPICE, sponsored by KEEN and the Coleman Foundation, was a free ongoing speaker series to enhance the flavor of engineering education by bringing technology visionaries into direct contact with students and practitioners. Throughout its run, students and practitioners heard from several incredible speakers who have made an impact in this field. By sharing real experiences, including the charms and the challenges, students will be better prepared when they enter the field themselves. By taking an entrepreneurial approach, this speaker series showed students the importance of teamwork, creative thinking, customer-appropriate values, project management, and even social responsibility.
With a great story to tell, “From Father to Inventor,” Wessel was the ideal final act of the series. He shared with students his passion for the industry through his different life experiences, both good and traumatic. Like all great ideas, there is a moment that ignites innovation. We all need that inspiration to follow through on an idea, and for Wessel, that was the beginning of his quest to start his own company.
Inspired by his son, Mr. Wessel developed a medical device for Game Boy to help kids with diabetes. He discussed the high and low points of his eight-year journey in creating this device.
“Paul Wessel was a genuine and engaging speaker,” said iScholar Emily Hart. “His unique style of presenting that incorporated the story of his family life with his technical journey through the product design process helped me realize that the path of innovation takes commitment, patience and determination.”
Mr. Wessel spent 28 years in different disciplines of industrial and healthcare automation. He has held different executive leadership roles in sales, marketing and new product and intellectual property development within large and medium sized corporations. As an inventor and entrepreneur, Wessel has successfully built and sold several medical device companies, giving students an interesting perspective as the final speaker of SPICE.