Innovate

innovate logo

Learn. Launch. Lead.

Innovate is a community open to students of all majors who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, visionaries, and business leaders. Innovate assists students in developing new business ideas, taking steps from ideation to creation, or furthering current ventures through the many programs and opportunities offered. Even students who don’t want to start their own business can benefit from the entrepreneurial mindset and skills learned through Innovate.

Vision - To inspire students to redefine the possible and drive positive change.

Mission - To discover, prepare, and connect the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.

Who we are - We are a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, difference-makers, tech enthusiasts, artistic visionaries, avid learners, and purposeful problem solvers. Together, we have one common goal: Transforming opportunities into action.

  • Transparency in failure
  • Growth
  • Opportunity
  • Community
  • Initiative

We are in search of the most creative, driven and entrepreneurial innovators to come live, play, create, and innovate in our community. The Innovate living-learning community brings together a diverse group of committed and driven students into a high-energy learning environment. Innovate will provide an opportunity for students to gain insights into the entrepreneurial process, interact with successful entrepreneurs, and learn from Virginia Tech faculty and community partners with expertise in areas related to developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

Innovate is open to all students in any major interested in creating a community that provides a diverse array of entrepreneurial interests and perspectives. At the end of their first year in the Innovate program, students should come away with:

  • A basic overview of entrepreneurship, intended to provide a fundamental understanding of associated business practices such as strategy, marketing, finance, etc. in the context of start-ups.
  • Exposure to entrepreneurial opportunities available to them in and around the Virginia Tech campus.
  • A network of peer and faculty partnerships that will provide ongoing enhancement to entrepreneurial ventures.
  • An understanding of the basics of an entrepreneurial mindset. Including skills on how to apply this mindset to their own lives and the differences between thinking like an entrepreneur and thinking like an employee.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to return to Innovate to both continue their own entrepreneurial learning as well as mentor and support incoming students.

Course Information

First-year students participating in Innovate will enroll in a 3.0 credit hour course (MGT 1064) during the Fall semester.

After the Fall semester, students can begin coursework in the entrepreneurship minor.

Requirements

Innovate is open to undergraduates from all academic majors, across all colleges, at Virginia Tech.

Innovate students sign on for a two semester (one year) commitment. Additionally, after the first year community members may re-apply for further leadership development opportunities within the living-learning community.

You are strongly encouraged to move into Pritchard Hall on the first day of move-in so that you can fully participate in Innovate welcome activities. In addition, you will be required to attend occasional evening events during the week in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

Innovate will be a strongly experiential program. Innovators will have the opportunity to participate in the following programs:

Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders visit with members of Innovate and share their stories about their experiences with entrepreneurship. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and to build a lasting relationship with each Fireside Chat guest.

Students embark on an immersive experience by traveling all over the country to meet and network with start-ups and innovative companies. Treks provide an unprecedented opportunity for students to learn first-hand how their major and interests are applied in business.

Coffee Nights are biweekly events hosted in Innovate’s Venture Lab. The events are hosted by Innovate or former Innovate students and are focused around developing entrepreneurial skills, forming strong ideas, and building teams for venture creation. Coffee Nights not only inform students about opportunities, but also help develop essential workplace skills, such as resume building and interview tips.

Venture Vibes are events focused on the “community” aspect of the “living learning community”. Fun events, such as musical guests, karaoke, and games, are hosted in the Venture Lab or the courtyard and are designed to bring each member of Innovate closer together.

In addition to face-to-face events in residence, Innovate students have the opportunity to provide leadership and direction for Innovate that is supported by both the program director and the live-in Student Life Coordinator. Opportunities for leadership include serving on committees, the leadership council, and/or as a mentor in your second or third year.

Innovate is a program of the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is a collaborative venture that includes support from the Pamplin College of Business, Student Affairs, and a number of departments across campus with interest in engaging with students in the entrepreneurial experience.

If accepted, you will become a key part of the broader innovation ecosystem emerging on our campus and broader community. We are constantly seeking out driven, creative young minds who can positively contribute to our community.

For additional information, contact Program Director, Laura Townsend, at innovate@vt.edu.