Through OSU’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, Dylan Boye and Blake Heiss are making their business dream come true.

Dylan and Blake are in business thanks to the Austin Entrepreneurship Program
Dylan and Blake are in business thanks to the Austin Entrepreneurship Program

Dylan Boye and Blake Heiss want to be filmmakers, and they’re finding OSU an ideal place to develop that dream. The juniors from Brookings, Oregon, both photography majors, have been friends since 5th grade and, because of their similar goals, went into business together in the 7th grade.

At first, most of the business was transferring old movies to DVDs. “It originally was an excuse to make money and get camera equipment to work with,” Blake says.

Both came to OSU, but during their first year they lived in separate residence halls, and the business languished. This past year, however, the Austin Entrepreneurship Program residential program in Weatherford Hall was opened, and they moved in together.

“At Weatherford, with faculty living in and checking on how things are going, that keeps the idea going, and it really helps,” Dylan says. “Looking at how we did compared to the previous year shows how much it helped. The faculty and students in Weatherford were really helpful in getting the business back off the ground.” Now the two are doing what they want to do.

“We’ve pretty much abandoned transferring movies,” Dylan says. “Now we’re more into shooting and production. We made a presentation video for alumni awards night, and we have a fair amount of other business.”

How do they work together? “It would be easy if we always thought the same, but we don’t,” Blake says. “That causes ‘creative abrasion.’ It comes out in our work and improves it, I think.”

And their friendship? “Having a business makes a friendship different, but we’re still good friends,” says Dylan.

Austin Entrepreneurship Program

Weatherford Hall

Weatherford Hall virtual tour

The Kelley Engineering Center is the new home for the rapidly growing School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Kelley Engineering is LEED Gold Certified
Kelley Engineering is LEED Gold Certified

It features wireless classrooms, “plug-and-learn” alcoves, flexible learning laboratories, and many high-tech innovations, along with office clusters and common areas that foster communication.

But it also offers an array of “green” features, including an atrium, glass-walled conference rooms, and dozens of windows designed to take advantage of sunlight for light and heat.

In fact, the four-story, 153,000-square-foot Kelley Engineering Center, new home of OSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is on track to receive a “Gold” certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which will make it the greenest academic engineering building in the nation.

OSU is the 23rd largest engineering school in the U.S., and, according to engineering dean Ron Adams, “as we continue to build a nationally ranked program, we will continue to grow. The timing for the new building could not be better.”

The $45-million building was funded by a $20-million gift from OSU engineering alumnus Martin Kelley, $20 million in public funds authorized by the Oregon legislature, and $5 million in other donations.

Adams says the new facility will help the College of Engineering in its efforts to be ranked among the top 25 in the country. “Today, innovation is all about collaboration, teamwork, and new ideas,” Adams says. “This new building is designed to help spark those ideas by ensuring that the people inside connect.”

To encourage connection, labs in the new building are not dedicated to individual faculty members. Instead, each lab is the central element of a “research-learning suite” surrounded by faculty and graduate student offices and assigned to a specific research project. In addition, the building contains a centrally located e-cafĂ© where faculty, staff, students, and industry partners can gather to share ideas.

The building was designed by the Portland architectural firm of Yost Grube Hall and built by Baugh/Skansa of Portland. It features six ceiling-suspended kinetic aluminum sculptures by Tim Prentice, a wall-mounted sculpture of commercial safety reflectors by Dick Elliot, and a 20-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture by Po Shu Wang in the exterior plaza.

A grand opening ceremony will be held during Homecoming, October 29 at 10 a.m. Jen-Hsun Huang, a 1984 engineering graduate and co-founder of nVIDIA, one of the most successful high-tech companies in the world, is the keynote speaker. The day’s activities, called “A Home for Innovation,” feature departmental gatherings throughout the College of Engineering in addition to the building dedication.

Information about Kelley Engineering Center

Photos of the completed building

Kelley Engineering Center animated tour

“Green” characteristics of Kelley Engineering Center

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science website

College of Engineering website