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6 Strategies for Xavier University of Louisiana

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Improving an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem on Campus




STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1. Provide opportunity for student-led innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship experience through POP-UP classes!

Goal 1: Introduce innovation and entrepreneurship concepts by developing Pop-Up classes during a time when most students are available.

Objectives for Fall 2015:

a. Identify a day and time many students are free to participate in extracurriculars!

b. Identify the best location for these classes that will allow the most space for work. 

c. Develop course strategies. Including all possible ideas and topics for the classes, and take up surveys of what students may want to learn. Collaborate with fellows from other universities for help with planning and strategies.

d. Use Enactus donations and SGA donation for our first class.

e. This course content, if necessary, must be approved by the appropriate authorities (i.e., deans, provost, and/or university academic council) (Fall 2014- Spring 2015).

f. Evaluation of the curriculum by students, faculty, and administration (Spring 2015).

g. Adjust any needed changes and continue (Spring 2015-Spring 2016).

Goal 3. Establish a multidisciplinary Innovation Club (XU CREATE).


a. Recruit student members from different disciplines.

b. Appoint officers among student members for the club through election.

c. Recruit at least six but no more than eight faculty from different disciplines to serve on an Executive Board.

d. Develop the roles and responsibility of the Executive Board.

e.. The executive board plans out the events for the 2015-2016 school year including guest speakers, fundraisers, community service, and challenges/competitions. This plan must be approved by the Office of Student Services advisor and Campus Activities; dates will be subject to change.

f. A simple problem can be selected where students compete to design a prototype in hopes of winning a prize. This challenge must be advertised in the newspaper, bulletin board, website, etc. The challenge occurs outdoors, satisfying its aim to gain more student members.

g. Encourage the growth of a successful innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem (Spring 2016).

h. Evaluation by student, faculty, and administration (Spring 2016).

i. Adjust any needed changes and continue (Spring 2016).

STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2. Provide opportunity for student, faculty, and staff innovation, technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship.

Goal 1. Encourage student, faculty and staff to participate in innovation, technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship.


a. Leverage the entrepreneurial skills of alumni (Fall 2015-Spring 2017).

b. Encourage faculty research into entrepreneurship (Fall 2014-Spril 2017).

c. Review University’s current policy related to Intellectual Property and recommend changes to include student-led innovation and ownership (Spring 2015-Fall 2015).

d. Increase the number of Invention Disclosures to at least five per year (Fall 2014-Spring 2017).

e. Increase the number of Provisional Patent Applications to at least three per year (Fall 2014-Spring 2017).

f. Increase the number of Non-provisional Patent Applications to at least two per year (Fall 2014- Spring 2017).

g. Develop policy for student, faculty, and staff start-up companies to facilitate technology transfer and commercialization (Fall 2015).

h. Remain active in the HBCU Collaborative to learn and share best practices (Fall 2014-Spring 2017).

Goal 2. Form strategic alliances with other universities and private sectors for innovation, technology transfers, and commercialization.


a. Leverage existing collaboration with other local universities (e.g., Tulane University and LSU Health Sciences Center) to increase research innovation (Fall 2014-Spring 2017).

b. Leverage existing partnership with Louisiana Vaccine Center (LVC), Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC), and Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center (LaCATS) to increase in research innovation (Fall 2014-Spring 2015).

c. Establish new partnerships with industry to facilitate technology transfer and commercialization (Fall 2014-Spring 2017).

d. Invite CEOs from New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) and Idea Village to join the XU Innovation Club’s Executive Board (Fall 2015).

STRATEGIC PRIORITY 3. Provide opportunities for local K-12 students to learn innovation, technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship.

Goal 1. Encourage K-12 students in innovation and entrepreneurship.


a. Invite K-12 students to participate in innovation and entrepreneurial activity at Xavier (Fall 2015).

b. Organize innovation and business plan competition for K-12 students (Spring 2016-Spring 2017).

STRATEGIC PRIORITY 4. Obtain financial resources needed to support ICE initiative.

Goal 1. Develop plan to increase alumni giving to support campus Innovation Competition.


a. Invite alumni to sponsor a participating “student innovator/entrepreneur” (Fall 2015).

b. Collect a nominal membership fees to join the Innovation Club (Fall 2015).

Goal 2. Develop plan to obtain private sector funding to sponsor campus Innovation Competition.


a. Identify potential sponsors and contact them individually (Fall 2015).

Goal 3. Develop plan to obtain extramural funding.


a. Identify potential extramural funding sources (Spring 2015).

b. Submit grant applications to NCIIA (National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance) (Spring 2015).

c. Submit grant applications to state and federal agencies (Fall 2015-Spring 2017).

Collaborate with SGA and Other Clubs 

The Student Government Association represents the student body in the university-policy making. They also are responsible for many campus activities that result in a large student turnout. Other organizations such as Xavier Activities Board, Biology Club, Chemistry Club, Public Policy Club, and Enactus are just a few popular organizations on campus that can work with X.U.CREATE to increase the visibility of this new organization to students. By doing fundraisers, community service events, or even sponsoring speakers or activities together, more advanced clubs can help spread awareness to the innovation club.

Social Media

The executive board of the innovation club needs to create social media networks after a charter has been awarded to the organization. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts are very popular ways to convey the message of the group. This will increase the amount of students and professionals aware of the organization create a means of attracting more members who may not be on campus as much, and display the ideas/prototypes that members have created. Social media is changing how the world receives information and that is something that should be taken advantage of. The innovation club has a goal of promoting creativity and entrepreneurial mindsets among college students. This positive vision deserves to be shared via these sites and create an environment where students, innovators, and entrepreneurs can share ideas.

Create a Maker Space

An atmosphere conducive to innovation is important to maintain and not just begin an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Entrepreneurship Institute has designed an incubator with computers, tables, and chairs for members of Enactus to meet and work on business plans or gain business experience. A similar space is needed for innovation on Xavier’s campus. A space that
[[File:MS.jpg|thumb|MS.jpg]]is set up with white boards, dry erase markers, crafty materials, and tables that student can use to design prototypes and models of their ideas. Having a permanent space allows students to convene on their own time and work on group or independent projects that they might not have otherwise been able to accomplish. An under-utilized classroom or storage area can be transformed into an innovative maker space with the funds gained from fundraising. Approval of this space must also be gained by students, faculty, and administration through petitions or SGA. This will be the long term goal of the innovation club, hopefully to be implemented by 2016.

Invite Guest Speakers

The information obtained from the OPEN 2015 conference revealed so many resources that could be brought back to Xavier’s campus. The employees from LinkedIn, Google, and Stanford University were excited to speak with the university innovation fellows and give feedback to improve innovation and entrepreneurship on their campuses. The New Orleans Bio Innovation Center is a local company that is committed to biomedical research and technology. Xavier University places a strong emphasis on health and science and getting people from this organization to speak to Xavier students would encourage creativity. There are local entrepreneurs that currently speak weekly hosted by the Entrepreneurship Institute in the Business Department. However, there are only a small percentage of students that attend. By opening the current gap to include local innovators as well as entrepreneurs, more students might be interested in the NCIIA’s goal and see that this movement is relevant to them as well.

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Xavier University of Louisiana

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