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Local Business Owner Uses UNA Interns to Launch New Software Product

IP Watch UNA InternsIP Watch Corporation was created in Florence, Alabama, in 1999 with the goal of ensuring patents, copy rights and intellectual property protection for innovative companies. Sean Collin is Director of Research and Innovation and Co-Founder of IPWatch Corporation and also a full time faculty member at UNA, co-executive director of the Institute of Export Research and Technology Transfer, and Advisory Board member for the UNA Business Executive Advisory Council. Although a fifth-generation Californian, Sean’s attraction to the Florence area is both personal and professional. Sean’s roots go back two generations, when his father’s Cherokee ancestors lived here, and he is proud to raise his family here now. Professionally, the opportunity to service Fortune 500 companies based in a community ripe for cultivation was highly appealing. Not only does IP Watch support UNA graduates with relevant, sustainable jobs, but its presence helps to cultivate the local economy by using the skills and knowledge of exceptional UNA alumni.

Up until 2013, IP Watch worked with third party software companies to implement its products. Now the corporation runs its own highly innovative software that assists in the management of intellectual property globally by offering a new means for businesses to ensure they can own and protect their brands. Sean describes the company offices, located next to the Off-Campus Bookstore, as Silicon Valley meets the South. Technology and software design is one of the largest growing fields in the United States. By working with UNA students, IP Watch promises jobs for graduates, attracting and keeping more young people in the area so they don’t have to move away to establish a career. “My strong view is that this can continue and I’m hoping this will be a model for others,” Sean said.

IP Watch presently employs 15 UNA students in paid internships. Some students work full time over the summer while others work for course credit. Student internships are available for a wide range of studies. In addition to business majors, Computer Science students work in software, and students from Communications create webinars. Biology and English majors are also welcome to intern at IP Watch, filling a variety of roles and experiential opportunities including writing and business research. “I look more for a skill set than I do an individual qualification,” Sean said. Most of the IP Watch interns are recommended by Dr. Vince Brewton of the Honors Program and by Sean’s colleagues in the College of Business. Sean underscored the importance of the university in forming the base and growth of IP Watch. “UNA has been at the middle of it all since the beginning and these students are doing things that have never been done before in the field. They are meeting and exceeding demands.”

To learn how your business can utilize UNA interns, please contact UNA Career Services.

July 2014

June 2014