There’s a saying that goes, “The purpose of life is to find your gift – the meaning of life is to give it away.” If you ask James Fay, he would tell you this is the saying he lives by. It seems appropriate, then, that the 1974 Iowa State chemical engineering grad is back at his alma mater sharing his gift of entrepreneurship with students eager to learn.

Fay, who developed Huggies® Pull-Ups®, Diaper Genie®, and other well-known consumer and industrial products, is teaching two classes called Entrepreneurial Product Development Engineering. These courses are the first of their kind in the country and designed to help Iowa State students take their product ideas and start their own companies. However, Fay notes that entrepreneurship doesn’t always mean starting your own business. “No matter their career plans, my classes teach students the skills, mindset, experience, and character that can be equally applied to innovation, intrapreneurial, and entrepreneurial ventures so they can thrive,” said Fay. “I want students from all over to come here because they know they will get the finest training of this type in the world.”

It might sound like a big undertaking, but with Fay and other entrepreneurial-minded faculty and staff at the helm, it’s a mission that Iowa State is working toward every day. As for Fay, there’s no other place he would rather teach. “Iowa State offers so many world-class opportunities,” said Fay. “The students in my classes are full of energy, passion, and motivation. They have amazing skills that leave me in awe. And, most of all, they have character and values that restore my faith in humanity and the future.”

Just like necessity is the mother of invention, Iowa State is the mother of adventure. Here’s where you’ll find all the support and resources you could ever want to succeed, from people who want to help you grow. So, there’s just one question left to ask – are you ready to invent your adventure?

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.

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