Client Benefits & Responsibilities

Client benefits and responsibilities of the Smeal APEX Program

Client BenefitsAPEX Client Benefits

  • A comprehensive analysis of a current business problem by a team of experiences, skilled and motivated individuals.
  • A fresh and independent perspective on a business challenge supported by the expertise and resources of Penn State.
  • First-hand interaction with an exceptional pool of talent for potential hiring needs.

APEX Client Responsibilities

  • Providing a primary contact who can commit 2-3 hours per week to the project and a secondary contact who can assume the primary contact role if needed.
  • Provide access to internal information and personnel relevant to the specific project.
  • Attend a project kickoff meeting and a final project presentation (in person or via video conference).

APEX Program Costs

There is no fee for participation in the APEX Program.  However, Clients are encouraged to make a donation of $1,500 to the University which is used to offset costs associated with operating the APEX Program.

Clients are expected to cover any out-of-pocket student expenses (such as travel) if required for the project.  These expenses would be approved by the Client in advance and reimbursement is made directly to the students.


APEX projects frequently involve company-provided information that a client requires to be kept confidential to protect its competitive position. In these instances, clients may require each team member to sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition for working on their project. The APEX Non-Disclosure Agreement obliges the students to observe due diligence in protecting the confidentiality of company-provided information.

On rare occasions, a project may involve the creation of intellectual property that would be used by the client. In this situation, the right to use this intellectual property can be transferred to the client through the Penn State Special Intellectual Property Agreement Form for Students.

Due to the very large number of student projects done at Penn State, we are not able to modify the terms of these agreements or to use other non-disclosure or IP transfer agreements.