Dr. DAVID ORR, an ’06 Clemson University alumnus, is the co-founder of KIYATEC, a business dedicated to delivering more effective preclinical testing for drug development and advancing clinical diagnostics to drive more personalized cancer treatment. Orr and KIYATEC co-founder, Matt Gevaert, a ‘99 Clemson alumnus, are also mentors for the Clemson Design and Entrepreneurship Network, also known as The DEN.

In 2005, as students, Orr and Gevaert saw Clemson’s potential for creative innovation, but noticed a lack of entrepreneurial support. Today, The DEN has filled that void, and the two men find themselves members of the Tiger community once again. For Orr and Gevaert, The DEN offers a collaborative environment that was not available when they were graduate students.

“In my time, The DEN would have been a welcomed addition to the growth of entrepreneurial activities across a broader student population,” Orr says. “But today, it’s one way for us to contribute our expertise and knowledge to the great entrepreneurial ecosystem growing within South Carolina.”

Since becoming involved with The DEN, Orr has become an advisor for student entrepreneurial teams working in the life sciences. Orr has been pleased with his time spent with DEN students calling them “future founders and the workforce [behind] start-ups in South Carolina.”

While Orr and The DEN are still developing their relationship, Orr says he has already recognized the tremendous opportunity to work with Clemson’s energetic group of students.

“The start of each new day requires any aspiring entrepreneur to be self-motivated to keep pushing the ball forward,” he says. “DEN students have taken it upon themselves to do just that. These students are able to actively push forward entrepreneurial education and The DEN is there to encourage that process.”

As an entrepreneur himself, Orr admits that it is a challenging pursuit, but one that provides an exciting career and experiential learning opportunity.

“DEN students have a ton of ideas and the energy to pursue them,” he says. “This enthusiasm needs to be fostered and encouraged so they can create their own jobs by starting companies or partnering to commercialize their technologies and ideas.”

With the promise of cutting-edge innovation, Orr is enthusiastic about the DEN’s potential and its promising future.