Bitar named entrepreneur in residence in Anderson

With expertise and experience in entrepreneurial endeavors, Pete Bitar has been appointed entrepreneur in residence for Purdue University’s College of Technology at Anderson.

The first person to fill the role, Bitar will help recruit and mentor students who are interested in innovation and starting new companies. He will work alongside college administration and faculty to create an entrepreneurial culture for the Anderson location.

“Pete brings a wealth of knowledge and excitement to our location. He is truly committed to helping our location and the city of Anderson grow,” said Corey Sharp, director of the College of Technology at Anderson. “He will be the conduit between our entrepreneur-minded students and the available community resources to help guide our students’ through the innovation pipeline.”

Bitar has been through the process at least six times for the current businesses he leads. He is the founder, president and CEO of Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS), and he has several smaller ventures including PVB Holdings, AirBuoyant and Flying Dune Buggy.

“I want to give students the perspective that everybody should first be an entrepreneur for themselves. While you may work for XYZ company, at the end of the day, you are your own company, made up of your own assets,” Bitar said. “If you ever decide to work for yourself, you’ll already have the right attitude to be successful.”

One of Bitar’s first assignments was a presentation to incoming students during orientation. By introducing the concept of entrepreneurship early, students can start thinking about their futures in the context of looking for a job or creating jobs, Sharp said.

As part of this partnership, students will be able to use the high-tech labs at the Anderson Innovation Center (AIC), a high-tech business incubator founded by Bitar. The AIC will be an important part of Bitar’s involvement with the College of Technology. Students will use the various labs for engineering technology classes and for entrepreneurial projects that may benefit from prototyping or experiments.

Sharp is excited to incorporate the facility into the curriculum.

“The AIC allows for industry-focused, project-based learning that we’ve never been able to do,” he said. “Our students will be in the heart of the Innovation Center which will make their experience more relevant and rich.”

Part of the AIC has been set up for additional classroom space to accommodate a few College of Technology classes.

More about Bitar

Check out a video profile of Bitar and the Anderson Innovation Center, created for the We Are Madison County campaign.

Bitar is the inventor of the StunStrike directed lightning (electrical discharge) system, used in non-lethal and Counter-IED applications. He and his team at XADS have also patented variants of this technology for other directed energy related products, including Xap Technology. He also has patents pending in non-lethal laser systems, which cover products already fielded for counter-piracy applications, and also being tested for use in wildlife conservation applications.

He is also the developer of the VertiPod, VTOL aircraft and electric jetpacks, as well as the inventor of two, patented wind-turbine designs. Pete has designed and patented a ground/water/air vehicle-in-one, multi-mode dune buggy. Pete also has a patent on a VTOL, all-electric personal helicopter and, most recently created an all-electric, manned jetpack. Additionally, he has a patent with a Secrecy Order on it for a missile defense system.

He also serves as a governor-appointed member of the State of Indiana’s Unemployment Insurance Board as well as being appointed to the Regional Works Council. He serves on several boards involved with education and economic development in the area, and is the Vice-Chair of the Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council.

More about Purdue’s College of Technology at Anderson

The Purdue College of Technology at Anderson focuses on offering educational opportunities to both traditional college students and area businesses and their employees. It offers degrees in four Purdue programs: engineering technology, computer and information technology, industrial technology, and organizational leadership and supervision.