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Grand Valley State University

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Grand Valley State University (also known as GVSU), is a public, liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan, United States. The university is located west of Grand Rapids, Michigan. and offers classes at a second campus in downtown Grand Rapids--GVSU's Pew Campus. The Pew Campus houses programs in Engineering, Education, Nursing, and Business. A third campus is in Holland, Michigan, and centers are located in Traverse City, Detroit, and Muskegon.

Currently, in 2018, there are 25,049 students, with 21,937 of them being undergraduated and the other 3,112 students being graduate students. There are ninety undergraduate programs and 38 graduate programs. Grand Valley also offers over 400 student-led clubs and organizations.

Thomas J. Haas, affectionately known as T. Hass, has been serving as president of the university since 2006. 

Within GVSU, the Fredrick Meijer Honors College is housed. In Fall 2017, there was an all-time high total enrollment of 1,700 students, 420 of them being freshmen. A multitude of majors are represented within the Honors College. The focus on the Honors College curriculum is an alternate education that focuses on integration of topics and perspectives, utilizing the resources surrounding the GVSU community.

There has been a movement through the past several years to improve the innovation and entrepreneurship landscape on GVSU main campuses. This recent push has gained the momentum of numerous courses, clubs, workshops, competitions and other programs involving innovation and entrepreneurship. The infrastructure is slowly growing to empower a greater number of students with the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur and innovator. With a continued focus on liberal arts, Grand Valley has been working on integrating subjects to allow for students to receive a more well-rounded education.

Campus Overview

Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

As of 2018, GVSU has three non I&E departments utilizing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in their courses: Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Marketing, and the Honors College. Students can also use the following resources to support their learning through I&E:

  • Hack Your Campus
  • TedxGVSU
  • Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP)
  • Honors College Lecture Series
  • Learn How to Pitch
  • “Seven Principles of Entrepreneurship
  • Start Garden


Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

At Grand Valley, faculty are highly encouraged to pursue research. Many faculty allow students to collaborate on their research, which creates many research opportunities at and within Grand Valley. If faculty are pursing research, their course load will be limited to three total courses per semester.


Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Within GVSU and the surrounding community, many programs and partnerships have become available to promote a continued use of I&E outside of the classroom. These programs include:

·       GR Makers

·       Grand Angels

·       Blackford Capital

·       Grand Rapids Inventors Network

·       Start Garden/Varnum Consulting

·       GR Current


Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

With its prime location at the heart of West Michigan, Grand Valley works with the Van Andel Global Trade Institute and the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative through both Grand Rapids and Muskegon SmartZone to promote local economic development. Grand Valley also supports a number of charter schools throughout the state of Michigan. 

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Not only does Grand Valley State University support its students in innovation and entrepreneurship, both in and outside the classroom, but the Grand Rapids community also supports it. There are many organizations that offer funding, advising, space, and much more for small start up companies and businesses. Below is a list of some community organizations and GVSU programs and courses that support innovation and entrepreneurship. 



  • Idea Pitch
  • Collegiate Entreprenuers Organization (CEO)
  • MWest 
  • Hack Your Campus
  • 5x5 Night GVSU Editionte
  • aMDI (Applied Medical Device Institue)
  • Design Thinking Academy
  • Start Up Weekend GR


  • Engineering Prototyping Lab
  • Makerspace (Grand Rapids and GVSU)
  • Machine Shop and Wood Shop
  • Atomic Object Technology Showcase
  • Calder Art Center
  • DTE Innovation Space



  • The Faculty at GVSU integrates innovation and entrepreneurship in their courses through hands on projects and assignments. The classes below offer an emphasis on I&E. 
  • EGR 301 - Product  Design
  • EGR 401 - Advanced Product Design
  • EGR 614 - Opportunity Identification for Medical Devices
  • MKT 450 - Marketing Capstone
  • MGT 672 - Creativity and Social Entrepreneurship
  • ENT 150/151 - Entrepreneurial Quest/New Venture Feasibility
  • ENT 250/251 - Entrepreneurial Finance, Accounting, Marketing and Management
  • ENT 350/351 - Entrepreneurial Business Plan and Project
  • HNR 480 - Designing Social Ventures 
  • LIB 323 - Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs
  • ART 153 - Making and Meaning

Co-op Program 

For GVSU’s Engineering program, students must participate in a 3 semester co-op program. The last two years of an Engineer’s education, a student will alternate between co-op (usually at a company) and school every other semester. This allows students to apply what they have learned in real live situations and gain valuable industrial work experience. Typically students will get job offers after graduation with the company they co-oped with. The program also has a two semester long undergraduate senior project.  

Not only does all this hands-on experience cause students to develop work ethic/economics and project management skills, it offers a more active participation in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Landscape Canvas/Student Projects

2018-2019 Pitch Pamplet:

2018-2019 Landscape Canvas:

2017-2018 Landscape Canvas: 

2016-2017 Landscape Canvas:

2016-2017 Pitch Video[Pitch Video] 2015-2016 Landscape Canvas:

2014-2015 Pitch Video

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