This is an archived assignment from English 3764: Technical Writing, taught at Virginia Tech during the Fall 2018 semester. Links may no longer work, and newer versions of some resources may be available.
In this course, you will write a series of connected projects. As we begin on these projects, I want to explain how the projects are connected. The full details on these projects will be included in the relevant Canvas modules.
All of the projects relate to your membership in a fictional business incubator, the Ut Prosim Incubator. The projects you complete for your portfolios will be documents that you create as a member of this incubator. You will create a business and then write the pieces for your portfolio from the perspective as a starting business owner. You will collaborate with other members of the incubator and contribute materials to the endeavors that the incubator undertakes.
Taken from “Incubating Success. Incubation Best Practices That Lead to Successful New Ventures” (2011), business incubators are “designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services, developed or orchestrated by incubator management, and offered both in the incubator and through its network of contacts” (15).
There is much more to what an incubator does and how it works, but but our purposes you just need to understand that it is a place the provides support to help beginning companies succeed.
Naturally starting a company is a complex endeavor that involves many decisions, specific legal and financial work, and a significant amount of planning. For this class, we will assume that most of that work is already done. We will generally assume that your company is happily chugging along, doing whatever it is that your company does. That might be making a product, providing a service, researching innovations, and so forth.
You will define the work that your company does, but beyond that you will not need to worry about that part of the scenario. You will focus more on creating some technical writing documents that relate to the company you create.
Our make-believe incubator was founded by some well-established and successful Virginia Tech graduates who wanted to give back to younger graduates by helping them get started in the business world. They have created a program that supports any kind of company with the one requirement that the company participates in the special projects that the Incubator undertakes as a whole.
These special projects relate to the mission of the Ut Prosim Incubator to reach out and work in ways that support others. The founders of the incubator have extended the university’s motto, Ut Prosim (“that I may serve”) to their own mission and motto, “that i may serve through my business.” To clarify, the incubator asks that member companies participate in programs that support causes like sustainability, environmental stewardship, mentorship of young entrepreneurs, and public outreach and education.
|Info Sheet||You will create a short information sheet that introduces your company to others in the incubator. There will be a specific list of information to provide, including your company name, what it does, and your company’s typical customers.|
|Short Proposal||You will write a short research proposal that presents the topic you will explore for your white paper. Your proposal should explain not only what the topic is but how it relates to the incubator goal of public outreach and education.|
You will write an informational report for non-experts that presents details on a specific issue related to your company and the work that it does. Your white paper will tie directly to the incubator goal of public outreach and education. Specifically, the incubator founders want to provide a library of documents that inform readers about how science, technology, and engineering work.
|You will design a poster presentation, based on the details in your white paper, that will be part of a poster session that the incubator sponsors for the local community. Like the white paper, the presentation will focus on the incubator goal of public outreach and education. As an extension, additional investors and clients also attend the session, so you have the potential to make critical connections for your business.|