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Universidad de los Andes Student Priorities

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2018 Student Priorities: 

Strategy #1: Helping the students become aware of the I&E opportunities available to them

Centralize all I&E opportunities and offers in the same place within the university

At Uniandes, students tends to recall one or two of the initiatives in the I&E ecosystem, but they don’t know what they do and where to access the resource. Additionally, a variety of these extracurricular clubs many times do the same things, confusing the students. By merging and organizing these clubs, we could increase the impact of the circles and facilitatethe location of information or support for students in terms of the I&E ecosystem.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Proposal of a restructuration of the I&E ecosystem, favoring alliances, mergers, and reorganization.
  2. Facilitate access to mentoring in each faculty
  3. I&E Uniandes with ONE website and as a unique source of information
  4. Develop activities that help provide access to networking

Create Ideation spaces with the people that live in the surroundings of the university

Uniandes is located in what used to be a humble neighborhood with a high level of poverty. Nowadays, the region has evolved into a more secure and developed one, yet there is still area for improvement. Proyecto Fenicia is an Uniandes initiative where the institution seeks to involve the neighborhood inhabitants in an effort to generate positive impact on the with the University’s growth. Our idea was to open and generate spaces where neighbors share their problems and students have ideation spaces to manage and solve hands-on projects with a positive impact on the Uniandes immediate surroundings, which really puts the project in the Colombian context, in the hope to help the development of great projects that can be replicated.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Present the idea of a Fenicia Ideation center to the directives and to the neighborhood community
  2. Encourage students to be a part of the initiatives in their spare time (could eventually become an alternative instead of a thesis project or of participating as a TA in an academic investigation)
  3. Develop a system of positive incentives that can catalyzes the participation and learning of students in the Fenicia Ideation Space, such as credits or bonuses for solving specific problems for the community.
  4. Involve the Fenicia Ideation Space in courses where learning will be triggered by working with the community and where it will have a positive impact on the neighbors

Create interdepartment I&E competitions

At Uniandes, At Los Andes, virtually every course that incorporates I&E into the formal learning curriculum is either of the Business, Design or Engineering department. Additionally, most competitions are for one or two departments, and creating interdepartment I&E competitions will allow the creation of synergies and will encourage the interchange of ideas and knowledge between students and will raise the viability of projects by questioning and challenging their assumptions.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Identification and involvement of I&E-prone teachers and courses in each department
  2. Create an inter-Disciplinary Teacher Council in order to organize and involve external groups and actors in the competition’s challenge (generate a challenge that exists in real-life)
  3. Ask all departments and the Dean of Students to spread the information to all students and offer incentives in order to engage them
  4. Facilitate the inscription of lone students who don’t know anyone in other careers by providing channels for them to meet others.
  5. Hold first competitions and then showcase alumni’s work in I&E to get students from all majors motivated and in sync with I&E.

Increase the amount of activities surrounding the I&E ecosystem


At Uniandes, there are not many activities about I&E that really engage students with the participation circles, as students generally approach them with their own startups and business ideas. By increasing the amount of activities surrounding the I&E ecosystem, students will become more engaged and will learn about such ecosystem. Additionally, they will understand how it works and where to find information about the participation circles.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. With the unification and organization of the participation circles, create better communication channels for the students
  2. Interview and interact with students to understand which types of activities would attract them to participate (competitions, summits, challenges, etc.)
  3. Begin communicating with all the faculties and start organizing and offering spaces and activities about I&E more frequently. 

Strategy #2: Help student's projects pass from experiment and discover stages into pursue and spinout

Bring investors from different industries to “Semana de la innovación” (Innovation week)

During “Semana de la innovación” in the university students present their startups and the projects they developed during the semester to other students. Unfortunately the majority of these projects stay in an initial phase and do not transcend to become a real venture due to the lack of support and funding. We want to bring investors that could be interested in these opportunities and will offer funding and support for students to build and take forward their venture.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Generate alliances with investors of different industries
  2. Give easy access to people from outside the university to the innovation week fair
  3. Publicize the week of innovation outside of the university
  4. Talk to the different organizations dedicated to I&E in the university to get involved and help students pursue their idea. 

Have a class open for students in every faculty where students will have to go to the real world and test their startup ideas.


The courses offered by the university  that incorporate I&E into the formal learning curriculum is either of the Business, Design or Engineering department but currently it does not exist a course open for every student in the university that incorporates I&E.  The idea will be to open an elective course that helps entrepreneurs develop and test their idea in the real world. The course will be open for everyone. We think if students have some sort of orientation and support from experts there is a higher probability that the projects will succeed or at least get to the phase of pursue or spin out.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Present the idea of a new course elective course to the directives
  2. Design the curriculum of the course with the help of the business faculty
  3. List potential teachers that could lead the course
  4. Conduct surveys to students of different faculties as to whether they would be interested in the course
  5. Conduct surveys to students of different faculties to know the amount of students that currently have a startup or are in the process of developing one. 

 

Create design thinking workshops that involve students in innovating courses in order to really address their needs and tastes


Currently the university is working on reforming some of the courses including innovative forms of education and training teachers in innovation in education. Although this effort has been helpful and successful in some courses,  it is common that the ideas teachers have and think will improve the course are not attractive for students. We think it is different when adults ideate for students than when the students are involved in the process of innovation. By creating spaces in which teachers and students can work and think together in innovative solutions and changes for the courses, the needs and tastes of students will be really address and the changes in the courses could be more successful.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Talk to Conecta-TE to understand the process and workshops they develop to innovate in courses.
  2. Propose workshops of design thinking with teachers, students and teacher assistants.
  3. Encourage students to be a part of the initiatives in their spare time,
  4. Encourage both students and faculty to try to grasp a deeper understanding of all the benefits that can be derived from innovating in their courses.

Strategy #3: Encourage a more complete exposure to I&E initiatives (all faculties, careers, and stages of the career)

Common brand that involves all of the supporting activities and entities

Create a common brand that involves all of the supporting activities and entities through a cluster where all this mini-organizations are part of a coordinated cluster that can help the entrepreneurs in different stages. 

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Talk with all of the relevant organizations that support the I&E ecosystem in the university.  
  2. Measure the impact each of the different organizations (Empreandes, Empreandinos, WIB, Centro de Emprendimiento, Innovandes) are having to the entrepreneurs in the university acting like one.
  3. Analyze how much startups are created every year.

National event around I&E

Create a national event around I&E that shows the trending innovations and most voted projects in universities.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Evaluate the possible impact that the event could have, by measuring the number of people that attend it.
  2. Make strategic partnerships with other universities to promote the I&E culture

Course where all careers come together and work on a project

Course where all careers come together and work on a project that will teach them how to build a startup from scratch and prepare them with the tools to innovate anywhere in any occupation.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Measure the immediate impact in the students, faculty and the communities involved, after they see the course.
  2. Evaluate how the course adds value to the I&E ecosystem in the university, creating statistical data that let have great information about it.

Inspirational talks

Create a series of weekly inspirational talks with key people from I&E backgrounds that will let them support the culture creation.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Define a series of topics that can be relevant to the people in the university with I&E in mind.
  2. Choose spaces in the talks, where people can make networking and connect with key people that will attend the events.
  3. Making 30 talks with experts that have been in the field of I&E, and that will let us to improve the culture and importance of it.

Strategy #4: Enhancing the innovative spirit of the community

Course with credits (maybe an elective) where students can pursue their entrepreneurship projects

We thought that if we create a class where students from all careers and semesters could attend where there is a real space to create and develop in real life their startup. So in the program, each one of them earns academic credits with their startup, as long as they can prove that they are having real results.

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Talk to the directives of the university to find out whether it is plausible to implement this kind of method to check credits from the career.
  2. Plan the entire course including activities, grading method, workshops.
  3. List potential teachers that could lead the course
  4. Encourage students to participate in the course.

Starting each semester or year, organize a SharkTank Uniandes for each faculty where students compete and present their ideas

In this case, the idea is to organize a semestral SharkTank Uniandes for each faculty where students compete and present their ideas.


Tactics + Milestones

  1. Present the competition to each faculty and find out which faculties are truly interested in following and promoting the contest.
  2. Plan the contest and how people will be evaluated regardless of the topic of their idea.
  3. Look for the faculty or students that can be judges of the contest.
  4. Inform both students and faculty of the new competitions.
  5. Encourage students to participate in the competition with advertisement.

Strategic alliances with organizations that are external to Uniandes in order to involve people outside from Uniandes in their plans


The idea is toget external organizations to get involved with Uniandes to be able to achieve plans that these external organizations seek, whether it is helping society or generating value.

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Present the idea to external organizations and see their interests.
  2. Once you have the list of the organizations present these to the university and see which the university are interested in forming alliances with.
  3. Set an agreement on how each alliance is going to function.
  4. Check regularly how the alliance is going and whether both parties are still gaining something from the collaboration.

2017 Student Priorities: 

STRATEGY #1: HELPING STUDENTS BECOME AWARE OF THE I&E OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO THEM.

Create a platform to connect student’s interests with I&E offers

Create a website/app that offers students I&E related resources (be it a workshop, a conference, or any other sort of event) based on their own particular preferences.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Empathize with students to understand what other services that the app could offer are important to them.
  2. Create a way to have students showcase their own projects within the app. This could be in the form of a gallery, or the possibility to create their own events and list them with the other I&E offers.
  3. Develop a database with all the different events related to I&E across campus.
  4. Develop the website and mobile app.  

Introduce students to the formal and informal initiatives involving development as an entrepreneur

An interactive blog, that has a printed version in the form of a magazine or catalog, that helps students track the different activities that are going on around campus. This could also be a space where the Innovator of the Month, so to speak, is presented alongside their work.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Encourage students to be a part of the initiatives in their spare time.
  2. Develop a system of positive incentives that can catalyzes the formal learning of students in the classroom. Bonuses for attending specific initiatives that are related to the subject of study.
  3. Search the community for entrepreneurs to present in the blog, before it is renowned enough that students are the ones who go in the search of the blog manager to have their work published.
  4. Develop the blog.

Faculty I&E Summits

At Los Andes, virtually every course that incorporates I&E into the formal learning curriculum is either of the Business, Design or Engineering department. We wish to tackle this problem by creating teacher-led “I&E Summits”, where the teachers can share their experience to point other teachers from other departments/schools in the right direction to adequate I&E into their curriculums.


Tactics + Milestones:

  1. “First Steps into I&E” Guides created by the Business Design and Engineering departments.
  2. Develop I&E handbooks, providing clear instructions and key pointers to incorporate I&E into the classroom.
  3. Create an inter-Disciplinary Student Innovation Council so the weaving of I&E into curriculums can be blended into student life seamlessly. Students could hold I&E Sessions themselves, to remind students the importance of I&E so they too can help accept other departments instructing them I&E related topics.
  4. Ask all departments and the Dean of Students to spread the information to all students and faculty members.
  5. Encourage both students and faculty to try to grasp a deeper understanding of all the benefits that can be derived from using I&E.
  6. Showcase alumni’s work in I&E to get students from all majors motivated and in sync with entrepreneurship and innovation.

Centralize all I&E opportunities and offers in the same place within the university

A big problem for students when looking to get a grasp of Innovation and Entreprenurship is that Los Andes is quite a bureaucratic institution; this means that every particular issue needs to be taken to a particular dependency…the problem with I&E is that all the resources are not necessarily located in the same building nor even close to each other. Hence, we would like to unify I&E in a single space (be it a building or a new dependency that handles all I&E procedures, raging from providing information about events to actually carrying them out).

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Present the idea to the Entrepreneurship center, emphasizing that the building they are located in is the top choice to create the I&E hub.
  2. Develop a daily basis plan: after all this is a place where students know they can always find information and personal aid regarding entrepreneurial processes.
  3. Provide easy access to mentoring,
  4. Develop activities that help provide access to networking
  5. Create events that favor easy team building.

STRATEGY #2: AUGMENTING THE PROACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF STUDENTS IN I&E EVENTS.

Develop better communication channels, adjusted to the demographics

We believe that many students do not participate in I&E-related events because they are not aware of the existence of many of these activities and the benefits that students might derive from them. By adjusting the communication channels –which at the time have proven to be ineffective and to have little scope– students might come into contact with most of these events first-handedly. We will achieve this by leaving behind traditional and outdated methods of communication (like written notices and printed out info on bulletin boards), and switch to targeted advertisements on social networks, and catered messages.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Involve students of all departments, not just those familiar with I&E events, workshops and tools.
  2. Develop an active social media management.
  3. Create a mailbox to receive project information, feedback and opportunities from students.
  4. Generate alliances with managers of department newspapers and magazines.
  5. Develop peer to peer methodologies to encourage students to share their projects.

Have teachers provide 5 minutes of class time to promote events that have certain affinity with the course

The main objective is to involve teachers in I&E projects, to try and give them an active role in innovation. We will send them the information of the I&E events related with the course topics and have them to encourage students to participate in those events.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Create a plan to involve students of many departments.
  2. Instruct teachers in how they would be making an impact by playing an active role in I&E.
  3. Provide monthly information updates on the events that will be coming up.
  4. Open direct communication channels with teachers.

Involve innovation activities with course activities

The university innovation dependencies provide multiple resources to develop student led innovation projects; especially those developed in the classroom. We will establish alliances with these dependencies and the courses that deal with I&E directly to develop projects hand in hand.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Develop a model to have university innovation dependencies (UID) promote course projects.
  2. Encourage the faculty to work with UID, by emphasizing on the enormous impact that this will have on student projects.
  3. Share success stories on university media.

Website of rewards and challenges

We will develop a collaborative website where students can find the I&E recent projects developed in the university, as well as projects under development. Including a "hall of fame" of the most interesting projects, as voted by their peers. Students will also be able to post further challenges and problems to be solved. Other students –and themselves– they could find teammates based on similar interests and characteristics that compliment each other.

Tactics + Milestones:

  1. Development the online portal.
  2. Generate an active launch campaign on social media.
  3. Start promoting student’s projects to have the student community develop an interest in this new source of inspiration.
  4. Find resources for student’s projects.

STRATEGY #3: IMPLEMENTING A SPACE THAT FOCUSES ON DEVELOPING CREATIVITY

Creativity Lounge

We will develop the first ever “Creativity Lounge”: this is a space where students –and teachers! – can give a better use to their free time by investing it in practicing old hobbies, learning new skills, playing challenging brain games or perfecting a handcraft, that might add to what they learn in the classroom. Who said Chemistry students cannot complement their formal studies by learning how to cook? What about aspiring Doctors and knitting for fine motor skills? We bet engineers could use some dynamic problem solving challenges!

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Find the room to implement the Creativity Lounge
  2. Define the look and feel of the Lounge. We are thinking tall tables and stools, erasable surfaces on tables and walls, colorful ambiance, puffs, a lego station (even with a lego wall), etc.
  3. Find funding with alumni and then go to the deans; they like it when students work hard to get their own sponsors before going to ask for money where they know they will get it (mainly because it is the department’s mission to foment high impacting student projects)
  4. Define schedules and regulators. Who is going to monitor the space?
  5. Define regular material providing alliances to keep the Creativity Lounge up and running nonstop.

Adequately equipped Makerspaces

We will inaugurate a new space in our University with inspiring and work inducing decoration, where people can go work in a particular area of interest. We will eventually be running a business, engineering and design makerspace at the University, but initially we will have to pick one and build on from there. Our first choice is the Business makerspace given that it doe not require any heavy machinery (as is the case of the engineering makerspace) nor does it require a constant replenishing of expensive materials (like it usually happens in design makerspaces). A business makerspace, in terms of equipment alone, does not require more than a few large sheets of paper with Business Model Canvases printed on them. 

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Define the look and feel of the Makerspace. Tall tables and stools, erasable surfaces on tables and walls, colorful ambiance, puffs, a lego station (even with a lego wall), materials for rapid prototyping, etc.
  2. Find the space where the first Makerspace will be implemented.
  3. Define events that will take place inside the Makerspace. As one of our members learned in his videoconference of session 2, keeping a business makerspace up and running is not the hard part…it is getting people interested when an event is going to be held in the facility.
  4. Define communication channels so students have the makerspace top of mind.
  5. Specify potential alliances with I&E oriented courses, so students can receive some sort of bonus or extra credit in attending the Makerspace’s events.
  6. Specify the regulation of the Makerspace. Who is going to monitor the space? Is there going to be an expert in charge who can offer valuable input on demand?

Renovate current work spaces to enhance productivity and innovation.

At the moment, there are multiple spaces at the University that are presented to be some sort of innovation hubs. Nonetheless, these creative spaces are not in mint conditions, so we would like to open a competition among the students, to see who can come up with the best, most viable and practical renovations for these spaces! The idea is to give the students a voice in how they want their spaces to look like, to ensure that they will indeed be coming to the space and taking the best advantage out of it.

Tactics + Milestones

  1. These workspaces should be spots on campus where you can go if you have an idea but you don´t know how to start pursuing it.
  2. Define which spaces are in desperate need to be renovated, and which of those can we actually intervene
  3. Set up parameters, terms and conditions of the competition. This will orient participants in what is expected from their submissions.
  4. Launch the competition
  5. Forge an alliance with a particular course of the Design, Architecture, or Arts curriculum that might be interested in making the vision a reality once the winner has been chosen. This is far cheaper than hiring an external provider of the renovation service, and might be a great hands on learning opportunity for students.

STRATEGY #4: ENHANCING THE INNOVATIVE SPIRIT OF THE COMMUNITY.

Entrepreneurship competitions among the different universities.

We intend to establish an annual entrepreneurship competition among the top universities in the region, given that they want to join the alliance. This is key to ensure that the universities will be endorsing on, two, or a few teams, which further means that the students have someone to cheer for, someone with whom they have some things in common (even though they might not know each other, they will both be students at the same institution).

Tactics + Milestones

  1. The Make-a-thon format could be really interesting to foment school spirit, because the resulting product (tangible, observable) is something other students can wrap their heads around even if they are ignorant on the matter, thus enhancing the backing of the participant and the school spirit.
  2. Design thinking workshops that give the participants the tools to further develop their initial projects,
  3. Create the inter-university alliance of schools that will take part in the competition. Set up a contract determining how the logistics costs will be handled.
  4. Set up dates and topics of each workshop.
  5. Develop printed out formats for the students to work on.
  6. Find external funding to be able to offer a hefty prize! Any sum of money, will not only be of great emotional value for the winner (since he worked hard and won) but also because money is one of the toughest things to access as a young entrepreneur, so we would be really setting the winner’s dreams in motion.

UniAndes Entrepreneur/Leader Showcasing

Each semester, the main gallery at Universidad de lo Andes, should do a profile on the entrepreneur or leader of the semester and his work. This exhibition could help the student get funding, plus it would be quite an honor to be selected to set up this exhibition.

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Determine what criteria will be employed to evaluate the different entrepreneurs and leaders.
  2. Get in touch with local news and press agencies to increase the reach and the visibility of the exhibition.
  3. Set up a specific date to have the gallery automatically reserved each semester.

Live streaming of the University’s sports events

Sports are one of the strongest bonds that young people have among them. Specially in Latin America, where soccer is pretty much a religion for example, being able to broadcast the “fútbol” games to the rest of the community online is something that would definitely bring the community together. That said, we intend to transmit all games (not just soccer games) because we think that there is no reason to exclude others. Even if only one person watches a Chess Match’s broadcasting, we will be happy to think that we made that one extra person happy and it only took a few extra clicks programming the link to watch it.

Tactics + Milestones

  1. Implement a tab on the main website where the games are broadcasted.
  2. Conduct surveys to see which games are most people interested in.
  3. From this it will be easier to analyze which games should we focus on broadcasting first.

Related Links

Fellows 2018:

Lina Merizalde

Maria Juliana Moya

Daivd Delgado

Camilo Villa

Fellows 2017:

Pedro Juan Isaza

Camila Buenaventura

Diana Solano

Nicolas Castro